The word "stencil" means the "outline of an image." A stencil is a device that helps you apply a particular design onto a surface.


Stencils are manufactured or may be created by hand. They may be cut-out pieces of acrylic, dura-lar, or card stock.

There are two parts to a stencil. The negative spaces are known as the "islands." They allow the ink or color to seep through to the surface or material below. The positive spaces or "bridges" are the areas that connect the stencil and hold it together as one piece. 

A stencil may be inked, arranged on prepared paper, and printed either on a press or by hand and tends to work best on a flat surface.

A Brief History

Stencils have been used to print onto cloth, woodcuts, and mass-produce prints. Used to save time as the images would be the same without having to hand paint or write by hand.

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