Handwriting stencil


So I was working on an AJ page and when I got to the “title” part I considered and discarded a number or ideas – stamps, printed text, a lettering stencil, magazine letters.  I tried a few lettering options on scraps, to see if I would be happy with just writing it, and I really wasn’t.



I have one handwritten letter stencil and I really like it, but it is someone else’s handwriting.


Much as I hate my own, I am TRYING to get more comfortable with it.  I had a bit of a flash and thought, well, why can’t I make one from my OWN handwriting?  and of course the answer was, I CAN.  And so can YOU LOL!

The first thing I did was write the phrase I had in mind on white paper.  I used three different types of pens: a fat Sharpie, a brush tip Pitt pen, and a chisel tip marker.



I scanned that.  No reason to scan it at a supper-high resolution.  Frankly you don’t WANT every little stray brush mark.  I did 150 DPI but I suspect 72 dpi is fine.



Once I had that, I cropped the scan to create three .jpgs, one for each version.  I imported each one into SCAL and used the TRACE option.  Once I had traced it I selected the BLACKOUT option – the effect is pretty much the same in the end, but there is no need to cut both the letter and the opening as cutting makes all the letters that have an enclosed white area (like the O, the a, the l, etc.) end up as just an opening, like the stencil.



Why cut both when it’s just going to fall out anyway?

I was being lazy so I lined up all three so I could cut them from one sheet



I can just mask off the ones I don’t want to use. It’s heavy card, covered both sides with contact paper and it wipes clean (but I wouldn’t try to wash it LOL!)



Cool!  I tested them with spray ink and paint with a stencil brush.



Not bad – it’s more my technique that needs work – I never press the stencil flat to the page, and I never move my hand back and forth like I should.  And with the paint I used paint that was perhaps a little too liquid.  A thicker, more heavy bodied paint and a sponge and I think it would have been crisper. But the real win for me was using my homemade modelling paste!  That worked out perfectly.



You can sort of see the commercial stencil sample I showed when I did the post. My handwriting is not so lovely but my STENCIL works equally as well.  So then it’s just a matter of deciding what phrases are worth doing, or, like the original, just writing out the alphabet in my own hand.  COOL!

6 thoughts on “Handwriting stencil

  1. You are so creative! What a fantastic idea.
    Can’t wait to try this.
    Thanks for a wonderful blog full of great ideas.

  2. You are so creative! What a fantastic idea.
    Can’t wait to try this.
    Thanks for a wonderful blog full of great ideas.

  3. what is SCAL. ? is tat how you cut your stencils?

    • SCAL stands for Sure Cuts A Lot and is a program that they USED to sell that made the Cricut usable without cartridges. It allowed you to cut any font on your computer on the Cricut, as well as allowing you to import .jpg images that you could “trace” and cut and to import .svg vector graphics to cut. The makers of Cricut sued the makers of SCAL (and Make the Cut and Fairy Cuts, other programs that did the same sort of thing) to stop them selling it. You can’t buy it anymore but I’ve had mine back from the beginning so still use it. Any sort of cutter (like the Cameo/Silhouette/Craft Robo) that has the same capabilities to trace a .jpg image and cut it can be used instead. I think the shape of the letters is simple enough that you could even manage a usable stencil by hand cutting with a craft knife, if the letters weren’t too tiny.

      I had hoped once Cricut banned them from selling the software they would themselves come out with something similar but they didn’t. Shame. When my Cricut eventually dies, as I expect it will, I’ll get a Cameo-style machine and use that instead 🙂

      It MAY be possible to buy a used copy of the software, I’m not sure. I bought mine as a download with a disc as a backup (still unopened) and I guard it with my life. …..

      History lesson over LOL!


  4. You come up with the most fantastic creative ideas. Did you put the contact paper on after you cut the paper? Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Def. add the contact paper before cutting – I wouldn’t like to try to add it after (you’d either have to re-cut the openings or match up the two cut out areas which would be a nightmare! :))

      Glad you like the idea


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