I’m finally sharing something that’s been on my mind for forever. I see it daily and I can’t stay quiet any longer. There are countless stencil abusers in the world, and maybe I can make a difference. Maybe I can help save one project from a ragged finish. Today I will share what stencil abuse is and how you can join me in helping to stamp it out. Stencil abuse can kill (a project)! This is as serious as serious gets (in crafting world)!
As you already know, stencils were created to help save time and give people who don’t have freehand sketch and lettering skills a leg up at painting shapes and letters – or, for folks who have these skills, a quick way to repeat a shape over and over. They’re endlessly useful as embellishment goes. But there’s a step in the process that I see skipped all the time. Much like the difference between “alot” and “a lot”, once you know this, you’ll notice it every time.
So, you take a simple stencil. Here’s an easy one. A script “love”.
You do what you do. You tape it to a surface you want to stencil (or use spray adhesive on the back of the stencil if you want to get fancy) and apply a thin layer of paint.
And you have this. Nice, right? Yes. But you can use a detail brush to neaten some edges, and while you’re there?
Fill in those little bridges.
Bridges are there to hold the island in the middle of the “O,” for example, but they’re not there because they look good. They’re there just to serve the purpose of holding the stencil together. So, grab the detail brush and…
Fill them in! And neaten any raggedy edges as you like.
In my detail-oriented mind, this little extra makes for a far more finished-looking product. Sure, there are times when you want the “packing crate” look that’s offered by stencils– in this project, for example. But about 97.2%* of stencil projects fail to follow through here. Be brave, friends. These are bridges made to be burned.
In an effort to shed light on stencil abuse to help eradicate this worldwide issue that affects crafts globally, won’t you share this post? You have a crafty friend or twelve who’ll thank you for it! And me. I’m your crafty friend who’ll sleep so much better tonight.
*based on a highly scientific study I’ve conducted over years of blog reading.