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  1. Extinction

    ExtinctionExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 1, 2009
     
    Ok, my system is simular, but I'm going to try this, sounds like it works better. I'm also bad a round edges, but thanks for the advice. I use whatever my artist sister has around. Usually acrylic I think. I'd have to ask. Sometimes if it's big I've used spray paint.
     
  2. Hex

    HexExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 22, 2009
     
    some things to keep in mind when cutting stencils:

    for improved control use Xacto blades, not heavy duty boxcutter/carpet cutter type razors.

    KEEP your blade SHARP...dull blades ruin stencils and will also make round areas hell to cut. invest in a new blade often, more often then you think. if you have a friend at a piercing shop, try to get a hold of the disposable scalpels they use...makes cutting stencils a breeze. if you are using cardboard, all blades will dull faster.

    carefully DRAG the blade toward you...SLOWLY! don't rush it. the faster you go, the more likely you will be to fuck up (the stencil OR yourself!) if you are using a lot of downward force, you are doing something wrong.

    if you are planning on cutting a lot of stencils, invest in a "self healing cutting mat" you can find these at most art stores for about $10. well worth the trouble as they will make cutting stencils easier and save whatever surface (table, floor, whatever) you are currently cutting on. this also maximizes blade life.

    as far as actual material to use for stencils ...go dumpster at your local Kinkos or any copy shop that offers lamination. most places will 'run off' large (3 foot or more) strips of clear lamination when they fire up their laminating machine that are unusable (for them) and are perfect for large stencils. huge blank walls can benefit from the stencils you can make with this stuff!

    also you can use the thin cardboard from cereal boxes or store bought pizza boxes for stencil backing. now THAT is recycling! more expensive solutions include Bristol paper from an art store.

    for paint on leather or denim i suggest an acrylic paint. Liquitex Basics (from an art / hobby store) works ok , but will crack and need touch ups over time especially if you are using it on an area that flexes a lot (like sleeves). when painting on new or still very glossy leather, i tend to 'rough up' the surface first with a piece of medium to fine grade sand paper, this will let the paint adhere to the surface a bit better.

    now go get busy! \m/
     
  3. Cocytus

    CocytusExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Oct 14, 2009
     
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Knows whats up
     
  4. Wonder138

    Wonder138Experienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Dec 2, 2009
     
    im pretty D.I.Y
    it all stared with making pipes for smoking weed in middle school and making stencils for tagging as well as my artistic ability to draw and bomb like a fuckin pro(sumtimes anyways)

    then i got into punk and anrchy then D.I.Y came along i make my own shirts with stencils everything on my leather jacket i did my self studs spaypaint patchs paint all that shit i made sum plaid pants and i sew zippers on alot of my pants i rely only DIY cloths but im still all for DOING IT YOURSELF
     
  5. Hex

    HexExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 22, 2009
     
  6. Extinction

    ExtinctionExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 1, 2009
     
    Thank you very much Hex, there's actually a Kinkos near me, so I will have to go looking for some shwag.
     
  7. KnockItBack

    KnockItBackActive Member Forum Member


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    Dec 8, 2009
     
    Hex, good advice. But I'm too lazy to do all that. Thankfully I'm pretty artistically inclined, so instead of spending an hour on the stencil making sure my edges are perfect, I just round them off on the shirt itself. That mat is a good idea - I've been using a thick foam board which is cut up to shit now. I do push really hard on the exacto knife... what am I doing wrong? My blade is pretty sharp, and I feel like if I press any lighter I either A.) don't go through the cardboard or B.) do not have good control. Also, I suck with scalpals. What size blade do you use? I've only used 10 blades, but I think I'll try with a 15 and see if that is better than the exacto knife.
     
  8. Wonder138

    Wonder138Experienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Dec 2, 2009
     
    i use xacto blades when i make stencils to
     
  9. Hex

    HexExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 22, 2009
     
    yeah Knockback, i tend to freehand everything cause i am also artistically inclined, but i was writing tips for people who might not be. the scalpels are just handy cause they go through light cardboard / bristol paper and paper like it was butter. i have a bunch of disposable #11 bard-parker (i believe) scalpels that Corvus Corax was kind enough to nick for me. they do tend to dull pretty fast, i might only get 2-3 larger stencils out of one scalpel. also (and i hate to harp on this cause it makes me sound like some fucking art supplies dealer) the self-healing cutting mat is well worth the trip to the art store if you cut stencils frequently.

    using a lot of downward force actually lessens your control. check the angle at which you are holding the blade...if you are more pushing straight down and using the point of the blade to do most of the work, this will cause you to work harder (sore fingers, broken blade tips, less control). optimally, a very new and sharp blade will cut best if you angle it maybe less then 45 degrees to the surface of the paper and drag it toward you through the surface. a good sharp blade will just slide pretty effortlessly through the paper/cardboard...unless of course you are using a very heavy cardboard like from a moving box or takeout pizza box...in that case i would try something lighter like the cereal box cardboard. ultimately, just use a method what works best for you!
     
  10. Hex

    HexExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Sep 22, 2009
     
    also be on the look out for vinyl sticker paper in those copy shop and custom signage dumpsters...long strips of botched printing jobs can usually be found in the dumpster there too! great for making your own stickers (try stencil + spray paint!). also it never hurts to go inside (preferably late at night after the gung-ho day managers are off) and ask the counter helpers if they might already have some in their trash that you might have or that they might set aside for you. most late night workers are pretty chill people and will be happy to help.
     
  11. Wonder138

    Wonder138Experienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Dec 2, 2009
     
    that makes me think of the one time i went to a cvs and was gonna steal a couple of 40s i was rely drunk and droped one of them and it broke the guy comes over and looks at me he knows im drunk i had a cigarette siting in my ear and he says you give me a cigarette ill let you take the beer so i gave him 5
     
  12. chesticles

    chesticlesActive Member Forum Member


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    Oct 14, 2009
     
    i love watching boys sew hahaha
     
  13. KnockItBack

    KnockItBackActive Member Forum Member


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    Dec 8, 2009
     
    Nah, I use really thin cardboard. I got a new 10 blade today and used it and it did work well (I've misplaced my exacto anyway). I just don't like the flimsy plastic handle. I wish I could get a proper non disposable steel blade holder. The blade I used before must have just been dull.
    I'll practice the way I cut more, because I do use a lot of force and my fingers do hurt sometimes after (but I'm also a pussy).
    Are your exacto blades the heavy duty or regular?
     
  14. corvus corax

    corvus coraxMember New Member


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    Oct 9, 2009
     
    you needn't necessarily worry about cutting through the stencil material in one pass; i learned in an intro to graphic design class some years ago that you can get really clean lines by lightly applying your cutting tool to the surface you are cutting, and making many passes until you're through the stencil material--it will save on both your fingers and your blade, but you do need some modicum of precision. this is true for cardboard at least, and that's how i do it, though i admittedly don't make too many stencils. i can't see lamination material creating the same obstacle as cardboard, which is generally thicker & harder to cut.
     
  15. Anom

    AnomExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Dec 21, 2009
     
    NOW iI found this topic!
    I also make stencils and like corvus I find it best to cut with many light passes most the time, but it depends a bit on the cardboard and the type of line. Have made a stencil recently that I will apply to some flags, now waiting for the store to get home more of the black fabric that I want.
     
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