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 January 10, 2014.   0 Comment
Graffiti stencils are used to translate images, often photographs, onto surfaces in an urban environment. Whether to make a political message, promote an event, or simply for the love of street art, homemade stencils are a cheap way of sharing a picture. As one of the quickest graffiti methods, stencils are also your best option if time is of the essence. Consider the following when learning how to make a graffiti stencil.

 

  1. 1
    Find a high-resolution image on your computer.
     
  2. 2
    Import the image into a photo editing program.
    • Photoshop works best, but other programs like Paint, Paint Shop, or GIMP are adequate as well.
    • The 'desaturate' command will do this, as will simply brushing over any undesired material with a white brush. Make sure the edges of the image are distinct.
     
  3. 3
    Isolate the image to be stenciled by eliminating the background.
     
  4. 4
    Increase contrast and adjust the brightness.
    • Homemade stencils depend on a sharp contrast between light and dark, so make as great a visual distinction as you can between important and unimportant features. Keep in mind what you'll be painting.
    • Homemade stencils can be one of the hardest graffiti methods to visualize: remember that you'll be cutting out the black bits in order to paint them. Whatever is white will remain in your stencil, so you have to connect all the white parts.
     
  5. 5
    Cover black areas you want painted later, and connect "islands" to the rest of the stencil.
     
  6. 6
    Print out your image onto thick card stock.
  7.  
  8. 7
    Cut out your stencil using an exacto knife or box cutter.
    • Again, remember to visualize how you want your image to come out, and cut out anything that will be painted. It's important to maintain soft and even edges, as any irregularities will show up in your final work of street art.
    • Spray adhesive is the best method, but must be applied to the stencil several minutes before painting and is expensive. Strong tape will also work. Test the stencil's security before painting.
     
  9. 8
    Head to the streets and secure the stencil to a surface.
  10.  
  11. 9
    Spray paint over the stencil lightly and evenly from a half arm's length away.
     
  12. 10
    Remove the stencil and reuse.
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