How to Make Flame Stencils

By Melissa Hopkins

Whether you are creating a flame stencil for an art project or you want to spice up your home décor, making flame stencils is relatively easy with the proper supplies. A well-crafted stencil can add complexity and depth to your design ideas. Although stencils can be made with any kind of paper, a paper stencil may stick and tear, ruining it for further use. By cutting your flame stencil out of acetate, available at most craft and art supply stores, you will be able to create a stencil you can reuse for all sorts of projects.

Practice drawing stencil-style flame shapes on a piece of drawing paper. Use a pencil to sketch a rough outline of the overall shape you want the flame stencil to be. Use this as a guide in placing your flame shapes. Use an ink pen to develop the kind of detailed line drawings best suited to a stencil. To make a durable stencil, larger designs need to be built up from many small shapes with spaces in between.

Begin developing the stencil outline by drawing smaller flame shapes inside the outline. Draw tear drop shapes with slight curves at the points to indicate direction for the flames. Use larger tear shapes toward the center of the outline, with the flame shapes gradually decreasing in size as you move toward the edges of the outline. Try to keep spaces of at least half a centimeter in between each tear drop shape for a stronger stencil.

Trace or draw the flame design onto your sheet of acetate. To trace the exact shape of your practice design, lay the drawing paper on top of the acetate. Use a pencil to retrace the design using moderate pressure; this will make indentation lines on the acetate. Use a medium point permanent marker to draw your flame designs on the acetate or to emphasize the tracing lines. Let the ink lines dry before cutting out the stencil.

Tape the edges of your piece of acetate to the foam core to hold it in place during cutting. Cut your flame-shaped designs out with a craft knife. Take your time cutting for a neatly detailed surface that will create a sharp design when you paint over the stencil. If you make a mistake cutting the acetate, don’t worry; it’s an easy fix. Press a strip of clear tape over the damaged section and smooth it firmly onto the acetate. Use your craft knife to follow the design, cutting away any excess tape.

Warning

Always keep craft knives out of the reach of children.

About the Author

Melissa Hopkins began writing for the Southern Illinois University newspaper in 2000, where she won several awards. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Hopkins moved to San Diego, where she worked as a stringer for various publications with the Pomerado Newspaper Group.