How to use stencils on cards

Stencilling is a great way to quickly build up designs on your homemade cards.

Stencils provide a template that you can use with inks or other media to add colour and pattern to papercraft projects.

Simply use a sponge to dab your ink through the apertures of the stencil design, to transfer the pattern onto your card.

Once the ink has dried, you can use the stencil again to build up layers of different coloured inks, to create more detail. You can also finish off your design by shading with pencils or adding highlights with a white gel pen.

From abstract patterns and lettering to flowers, shells, stars, city skylines and much more, there are so many options available to buy or create yourself!

You can find loads of stencils in stores or online, such as Hunkydory’s For the Love of Masks range, but you can also create your own hand-cut or die-cut designs then dab ink through them.

Take a look at our jam jar flower card project to find out how to combine stencilling with stamping and heat embossing to make a pretty background design.


Julie Kirk created this card for Papercraft Inspirations 173, by dabbing ink through the waste of a die-cut sentiment.

Top stencilling tips

When die cutting a sentiment or shape, you can use the negative (or waste) of the die cut as a stencil, too! As shown above in this sympathy card, designed by Julie Kirk.

It’s a good idea to use a low-tack tape, such as washi tape, to hold your stencil in place before inking the pattern onto your card. This will make sure the stencil doesn’t slip while you’re using it, and you’ll get crisp, smudge-free lines.


How to use masks on cards

Masks work in a similar way to stencils, as they cover areas of your design, so you can ink around them, leaving a negative space. This is more likely to be a block shape, such as the circle mask included in the video below, rather than a pattern.

Watch our handy video to see how a mask can be used with inks to create a stunning atmospheric sky.