Thursday, November 21, 2013

StencilGirl Guest Designer Candice Schwark

Hi - I'm Candice Schwark, owner of Studio-Mosaic and MyBlendAll™. My studio refuge is where I create art, conduct workshops, do some calligraphy, and make messes. I've been a fan of stencils for a long, long time and enjoy the stencils offered by StencilGirlProducts.  It's really exciting to see (and own) such a wide variety of stencils by lots of talented artists!

When StencilGirlProductsDoors and Windows stencil by Jessica Sporn caught my eye, I thought about the different ways I could use them in my altered books. Yet, what usually happens with m, happened….I started experimenting with the stencil for use in altered books and came up with a totally different idea for the holidays.

For approximately 35 years my friends and family have received handmade cards, gifts or ornaments for Christmas. Would you believe I’ve created as many as 150 items each year? So, It dawned on me that two of the doors in this stencil would be beautiful in several different ways for the holidays. And I was off and running…..

I chose various materials so each is different as ornaments or gift tags. They can be decorated in lots of ways but I kept mine simple.

First, :::::::cringe::::::: I cut the stencil apart!! I know it's okay to do that but I always cringe, so, I now have a bunch of stencils from one 9x12.

Using two of the door stencils, all of the materials were embossed in my Big Shot Express by Sizzix. (Sorry it looks so dusty but it's VERY well used!) After embossing one door on brown card stock, I decided to put the stencil back on the card stock and add the fun peanut-buttery texture of Wood Icing to the stencil with an offset palette knife.

When adding Wood Icing or any dimensional paste to any kind of stencil, it's really helpful to add removable tape to the top edge. In addition to stabilizing everything when spreading the Wood Icing, you have created a hinge, which helps you remove the stencil more carefully. I usually put the hinge tape on first, add tape on each side of the stencil, then on the bottom. When I remove the tape, I reverse the procedure…..bottom edge, sides, top hinge. The Wood Icing is a terrific product and dries quickly. (see photo collage at the end of this article) It’s not necessary to emboss the card first, but it helped keep the Wood Icing where I wanted it.

When I use the StencilGirl stencils in my Sizzix Big Shot, this is how I layer.  I used the base plate, the acrylic plate, stencil, cardstock with front facing down, rubber mat and texture plate.

I experimented embossing with the stencils in the Big Shot with different materials - gold mirror cardstock, gold metallic vellum and a more muted gold card stock.  I stamped Merry Christmas on the back of some of them and Merry Christmas/To/From on others. Red or Green Stickles™ decorated the door knocker, mail slot or doorknob. After using a ribbon punch, I threaded red or green ribbons for hanging on a package or Christmas tree.

One tip:  Originally I was going to do a red cardstock door with the embossed parts sanded to show the white core of the paper. I wasn't able to hit just the raised areas of the door with the sandpaper, so I put the stencil back over the image and sanded. I damaged one of the stencils doing that, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you put removable adhesive on the back of the stencil first.

Another tip….I like to keep my stencils clean, not that I actually meet that goal! I use babywipes or warm water at first then the net-covered sponge (see it on the left in the photo collage here) to finish cleaning my stencils….it's works really well even on stencils with fine lines. I believe I purchased it at a dollar store. I don’t wash Wood Icing down the drain. I clean it in a recycled shallow plastic plate then when the water evaporates, I throw the plate away.

If you have any questions, please let me know! 
Happy Thanksgiving!!


  1. Hi I love the idea of using stencils to make tags and decorations although I don't know if I can bear to cut up my stencils! tfs

  2. Go for it :) Some stencils are more useful when separated from the others on the sheet….just be careful how you cut - leave as much border around it as you can :) I cringe, then cut

  3. Well now, this gives me inspiration to dust off my old stencils and invest in some new ones. Love the door stencil. Have ideas for all kinds of cards to make with that one!! I'll be looking for more inspiration from you, Candi. Thanks a bunch.

  4. It even looks like the door to the gingerbread house!
    Wonderful ideas!


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