How to Make a Globe Stencil

By Stephanie Steensma

Things Needed

  • Printed globe image
  • Box cutter or utility knife
  • .003-inch clear acetate, cardboard or foam board
  • Tape

Stenciling projects allow users to customize an object without a large expense. Creating a globe stencil, or a stencil of any shape, is as easy as finding an image you like and turning that into a stencil. Stencils that will be used more than once should be constructed from a sturdy material such as a thin sheet of clear acetate plastic or foam board, whereas stencils constructed for one-time use can be made out of lighter materials.

Determine what type of material is needed for your stencil project based on how it will be used. If the stencil will be painted over, a moisture-resistant material such as clear acetate or foam board prevents the paint from soaking through. However, if using crayons, colored pencils or other craft supplies that are "dry," a thinner material such as cardboard, cardstock paper or even construction paper is suitable. A stencil that will be used repeatedly should be cut from a sturdy material, such as clear acetate or foam board, whether paint is used or not.

Locate the globe image to be used as the stencil and print it. Images can be found in clip art software, magazines, photos, children's coloring books, online or even drawn by hand. The image chosen for the stencil will be ruined after cutting, so if it is important, make a photocopy to use as your stencil image. While any image can be turned into a stencil, images with many thin lines are often more difficult to cut out.

Tape the paper globe image face-up on the clear acetate or whatever material you intend to use. Remember that cardboard, cardstock paper or construction paper work as well, but will not be as durable for repeated use.

Determine if your stencil will place emphasis on the continents, oceans or neither. If the desired result is simply an outline of a globe, cut around the outside of the globe. Cutting out the oceans places emphasis on the continents, while cutting out the continents places focus on the oceans. The design made by the stencil is determined by the areas of the globe you remove.

Cut out the portions of the globe you want to remove using a sharp knife such as a box cutter, utility knife or Exacto knife. Leave approximately 1/8 inch around any portions you remove from inside the globe that forms the outline of the globe. For example, if the continent extends to the edge of the globe, removing the entire piece will leave a gap in the outline of the globe. Leaving the small boarder of the continent retains the shape of the globe.

Tip

For a sticky-back stencil that will hold itself in place repeatedly, spray the back side of the stencil with spray adhesive.

Cut out all pieces of the image before removing it from the stencil material for the best results.

Warning

Avoid creating a sticky mess on the acetate use masking tape or painter's tape to secure the image to the stencil material.

Avoid damaging the surface below the stencil material by simply putting something hard under the stencil material that you don't mind cutting up. A piece of wood or an old phone book work well.

About the Author

Stephanie Steensma began writing in 1998 as a radio news reporter. Her work has appeared in print publications such as "Engineering Today" and "Dome Magazine" as well as online. Steensma has a Bachelor of Arts in communication and journalism from Western Michigan University.