How to Make Your Own Stencil for Free

By Morgan O'Connor ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Cardboard, stiff paper or a stiff-but-thin plastic sheet
  • Pen
  • Wooden board
  • Utility knife
Make your own stencils at home for free.

Stencils are useful for creating designs that can be replicated on various surfaces ranging from walls to T-shirts. If you are unable to find a specific stencil design in stores, it's not difficult to make your own stencil for free.

Draw your desired pattern on the cardboard, stiff paper or plastic sheet using a pen. Draw one simple shape for an easy pattern. For more detail, draw a pattern that includes multiple sections; for example, draw a flower with separate petals.

Place the cardboard, stiff paper or plastic sheet on a wooden board set on a flat, stable surface.

Cut out the shape or shapes you drew on the cardboard, stiff paper or plastic using your utility knife. The board you placed underneath will prevent damage to any other surfaces as you cut.

Tip

If you only intend to use your stencil once or twice, cardboard or stiff paper will work. A stiff-but-thin sheet of plastic is much more durable and easier to clean, and therefore a better option if you intend to use the stencil several times.

About the Author

Morgan O'Connor has been writing professionally since 2005. Her experience includes articles on various aspects of the health-insurance industry for health-care newsletters distributed to hospitals as well as articles on both international and domestic travel.