Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Creative Play & Collage with Stencils

Hi StencilGirl® friends! Nicole here, and today I’m playing with stencils and collaging in my art journal.


In January I began a very unplanned cleaning and purging of my art studio. Phew! I still have some drawers and shelves that I need to tackle, but the re-set and clean feel so good.  


Due to just one of those years, I had a couple piles of supplies and things I purchased that I hadn’t sat down to play with. So, I grabbed the paint and a few stencils to explore to have a creative play session. It was so good. Even though I didn’t love everything I created, I learned, discovered, explored and best of all let loose! Splashing paint around and not caring is the best. We all need to schedule these play times into our art practice!


In that play session, I created a couple of small stenciled papers that I feel in love with and just knew I needed to add them to my art journal.

To make the papers, first I added a layer of watered-down gesso. 

Then, I splashed around some walnut ink on one and watered-down Payne’s gray on the other. 

When those were dry, I grabbed a new to me paint color, purple madder (matte acrylic paint by Blick), and used it through the longwood florals stencil. Before the paint could completely dry, I also scuffed up the stenciled imaged a bit and added some watered-down purple madder too.

Next, I had to figure out what to do with them! I grabbed my art journal and stuck down some blank ledger paper. Then, I broke those ledger sheets by first spreading around some paint and gesso and then loosely tracing inside the bittersweet mini stencil with my stabilo all in graphite. 

I then activated it with my dirty paint water. It had the most beautiful lavender hue from the purple madder paint. After that, I splashed around some walnut ink.

After breaking those pages, I thought a simple collage on each would be perfect. It took me a while and lots of moving around of papers and images to achieve what I wanted. I’m not a seasoned collage artist, and it’s one of my goals this year to play more with collage.

For the papers, I used my stenciled cyanotypes and stenciled pages. You can read how I created them and see tutorials here on the StencilGirl® blog. (The stenciled page sheet was from another play session similar to the one linked to the blog post but doesn’t appear in the blog.)

I topped off the collages with a vintage photograph, some really old stamps, and the string the stamps were tied up with.

My last step was to just add a touch of watered-down Payne's gray around the bits of Boro collage papers.

Watch how it all came together, and count how many times I moved the paper bits around in the video tutorial below.





Connect with me on



   Longwood Florals

   Bittersweet Mini

Cyanotype Stencils

   Vintage Typewriter Numbers

   Journal Texture 12

   Symbol Grid


Stenciled Paper
   Boro (cyanotype version pictured above)



  • Ledger or book papers
  • Acrylic paint
  • Gesso
  • Matte Medium
  • Old photograph, stamps, ephemera
  • Collage Papers
  • Walnut ink
  • Stabilo all (graphite)
  • Dirty paint water

Monday, February 12, 2024

StencilGirl Stencils + Molding Paste = A Match Made in Heaven!

Hey there! I am Kristin Williams of Ephemera Paducah, home of the Everyday Artist! 

Nothing goes hand-in-hand as well as Molding Paste (same as Texture Paste, Grunge Paste, etc.) and Stencils. There. I said it. If you’ve never used it or haven’t used it in a while, this is the post for you.

Molding or texture paste dries hard and adds dimension to your surface design. 

This medium provides a wonderfully adventurous and welcoming surface for inks, fluid acrylics, regular acrylics, or whatever liquid medium you want to flow through it. If precision is your jam, quit reading. You cannot control this beast. You LITERALLY have to go with the flow.  

Before we get too far, if you want to watch a super real, mistakes and all, not a lot of talking video about my process, click here. For a description and photos, keep scrolling. 

When I finish or nearly finish a journal, I ponder what I want on the front of it. Because of its versatility and interesting outcomes, most often I’ll reach for one of my favorite detailed stencils and some Molding Paste. I tend to do this at the end of completing a journal because it creates a bumpy surface and journaling, for me, is a messy process. I don’t want to mess up the front. 

You can also use it on paper (I have an affection for tags) as well as canvas or wood surfaces. I use the tags in my art journaling or collage. 

I mentioned grabbing a detailed stencil and this is my personal preference. I like all the little bits, textures, and shapes a detailed stencil provides. You can use any stencil with Molding Paste but beware the larger the area of the medium, the greater the risk for cracking or flaking during usage of it. 

Generally, I have a stack of deli paper on hand to put behind the covers of the journal creating a barrier for the pages within. It’s not foolproof, but it helps. 

Using either a palette knife or one of my favorite yellow Bondo scrapers I pick up at Harbor Freight I spread the paste through the stencil much like icing a cake. I hold it down with one hand and spread it with the other. 

OF NOTE!! Although I generally do not wash my stencils, I always have a pan of water handy when I am using stencils with Molding Paste. You don’t want that stuff to dry in your stencil and ruin it. You also don’t want to run the dirty water down your drain. Wash your stencil in the pan and then throw the pan water outside. 

Because I’ve heard of people being impatient and ruining their surfaces by painting or manipulating too soon, ahem, I let my paste dry on the surfaces overnight. A good trick is to work with it your last hour of the day making art and then leave it to dry. 

The next day I feel all over where I have applied Molding Paste without rubbing. I just lay my hand on the textured areas. If anything feels cold that means it is not yet dry. Once you can confirm all is dry, the fun starts. 

A twofer trick I’ve learned for this next step is to create a pile of book pages, ledger paper, scrapbook paper you hate, and other ephemera (10-12 pieces) and put it underneath where you are working. Trust me, there is a method to my madness. 

Get any kind of drippy medium - acrylic inks, sprays, fluid acrylic paints — and hold your piece above the pile. Squeeze some color directly on it and then attack with your water spray letting the drips fall where they may. Periodically toss your pile of drip-catching papers and blot your Molding Paste paper onto the pile. You can even pick up colors other than the one you are working with. 

By doing this, you end up with a great load of collage paper!

Once you get to a look you like with the runny mediums, set your work aside to dry. Separate your collage papers pile so they don’t stick together. 


Thanks for reading and as I said at the beginning, there is a warts and all process video you can take a look at here

Friday, February 9, 2024

Using stencils to make marks easily in your journal pages

Hi Everyone,
Niamh here from sunny down under! I love mark making and it is something I know a lot of people find tricky. But what if there was a way to make it easier for you? There is - stencils!!!!
Stencils come in so many varieties - but at stencil girl products - there are sooooooo many that you can use in different ways to help you with mark making in your art easily.
I have chosen two of my favourites today to play with, the Maltese mix stencil and the CM 2019 circle stencil. I love these as there is a great mix of sizes and flow on the stencils allowing you to be a little random with your marks. 

Here is the step by step video making this page: 

Stencils used: the Maltese mix stencil and the CM 2019 circle 
Happy Creating,
@niamhbaly (IG/YouTube)

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Check it Out! New Designs from Carol Weibe!

Carol's stencils are available now at stencilgirlproducts.com

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

How to Create Pendants and Earrings Using Polymer Clay and StencilGirl Stencils

Hello everyone!  Jane Bellante here, and I'm back today to show you how to use your StencilGirl stencils and masks to create jewelry with polymer clay.

I love experimenting with polymer clay, and I just knew that I could create some fun pendants and beads with the Garden Flowers Tile Mask by Valerie Sjodin.

I started by rolling some white Sculpey Clay in my pasta machine on a #7.  This is about 1/8th of an inch thick which is great for pendants and earrings.  

Next, I grabbed my Archival Distress Inks and some make up sponges.  I cut my clay in half so that I had a small area to work with after I placed the Garden Flowers Tile mask on.  I pressed the mask gently into the clay and started applying the inks.  This part is so much fun- you can use any color combinations that you like!

I have a bunch of polymer clay cutters (you can use small cookie cutters if you have those) so I cut out several shapes from the clay with them.  You can use the leftover clay with the ink on it again by rolling it all together and kneading it.  When you roll it out again it will show some of the leftover ink, but you will never see it if you just ink on top of it again.

Then, I poked some holes in near the top of each shape so I can get a jump ring in them after they are baked.

You can bake these in your oven at 275 degrees for 15 minutes per 1/4".  These are about 1/8th of an inch, so they baked for about 8 minutes.

After you let the cut out shapes cool, you can then embellish them more.  Glaze them, paint them, use more ink, etc.  You can really create any look you love with your StencilGirl stencils and masks, Archival Distress Inks and polymer clay. 


You can watch the full tutorial right here:

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!  You can find me at Jane Bellante Art on all social media platforms.  And- if you create something with your StencilGirl stencils and masks, please drop me a line and show me your results.

Until next time,