Creating a digital stencil

Hi everyone, Ona here with a tutorial on creating your own digital stencil! This really is a FUN and easy way to add some interest to your layouts.

This is my page, featuring a silhouette of my eldest granddaughter. I created a stencil using various brushes and elements created by Rachel as my base, before cutting out a 'shape'. The steps I took appear below, hope you will join me!!


Credits: Captivating 2012: DEC [Mixed Media Kit] | Dreamer Splatters | Artistry 01: Grunge | Mish Mash - Stamp Stash 09 | Create, Captivate & INSPIRE: Signature Collection - Stamp | It's My Journey [Value Bundle]

Creating a stencil base: First we need to create a base, out of which we will 'cut' a shape.

Open a new file in PSE and then start looking through your Captivated Vision stash and find the brushes, stamps, png files and elements you are going to use and place them on the page. I used the following items for the base:

Dreamer Splatters | Artistry 01: Grunge | Mish Mash - Stamp Stash 09 | Create, Captivate & INSPIRE: Signature Collection - Stamp | It's My Journey [Value Bundle]



Just keeping adding to your base, if you are using brushes then vary the size and change the direction, if you are using png files again, change the sizes to give it your base some variety. Think about the colour. You can either recolour the completed base at a later stage or change each layer as you lay down the base.

Handy hint: Try some of the brush techniques I discussed in the Brush Options - What do they mean?  tutorial I wrote recently on the Captivated Visions blog. In particular have a look at the brush settings, ie Fade, Jitter, Scatter and Spacing to see how you can change the look of your brush to make for a more creative base.

I knew that I was going to be working with one of my fave kits by Rachel, Captivating 2012: DEC [Mixed Media Kit]  so I picked the colours out of the papers. If some of the layers are looking too light/soft, then duplicate the layer and change the blend mode to Soft Light or Colour Burn to strengthen the colour.

Once you are happy with your base you will need to merge these layers together. A safe way is to go to the top of the layers palette and use the Stamp Visible function (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) to do this - REMEMBER to turn off the white background first though! You can hide the other layers for the time being, just in case you need to go back to them.

Cutting out the stencil shape:

Now that the base has been created, select the brush or element that you want to use to cut its shape out. Think doilies, leaves, lace, feathers etc so that you end up with a definite edge around your shape.

Position your shape stamp over the base, then CTRL+click in the layers palette to select your shape stamp - this will put the marching ants around the shape. Move to the base layer and press the delete key. Hide the shape stamp layer and you should see your stencil cut out! Pretty nifty!

I used an element from Captivating 2012: DEC [Mixed Media Kit]  as my shape stamp, and outlined it in red just to show you where I had positioned it on my base.


If you are happy with with your stencil you can go ahead and delete all the base layers and shape stamp as well.

Finally, save your new stencil as a PNG file so you can use it on your layouts. The possibilities are endless in creating stencils, so I truly hope you will try it if you haven't done so before.

The Captivating Sistas having been playing as well, let's take a look at their gorgeous pages and see the stencils they have used.

Roxana: "Just the BG with the original stencil."


Finished LO: Roxana changed the stencil blending mode to color burn.


Credits: Captivating 2012: DEC [Mixed Media Kit] | Mish Mash: Alpha Stash 7 [Alphabet & Stamps] | Mish Mash: Stamp Stash 1 [Stamps & Brushes] | Mish Mash: Stamp Stash  9 [Stamps & Brushes] | Mish Mash: Stamp Stash 10 [Stamps & Brushes] | Mish Mash: Edgy Stash 3 [Edgy Overlays]


Anja: "This is the page WITHOUT the stamp applied."


Finished LO:


Credits: Dreamer - Shabby Solids | Dreamer - Splatters | Dreamer - Elements | Hope Shines Bright - Elements & Ephemera | Artful Intentions - She Wears Wings (Artsy Stamps) | Mish Mash: Stamp Stash 11 | You Are Strong | Another Man's Treasure  | It's My Journey | Create, Captivate & Inspire

There you have it, a quick and easy technique to add some background interest or to simply jazz up your page. !

till next time,

Ona xxx