Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Stenciled Journals & Message Boards

Hi! Aleta Jacobson here! I am so pleased to be here to share my ideas and creative process!

We all love stencils. I have never heard anyone
from students, to my friends, to other artist say they didn’t like them.
We are all hooked. And why not? Stencils are tools that come in so many shapes and sizes.
No matter what kind of art you are creating, you can always use a stencil. 
There are so many things that you can use stencils for;
I would run out of room if I were to include them here.
These are just a few things that I use my StencilGirl stencils for.

The StencilGirl stencils I used for these projects are:
Stenciled Journals

My first and favorite is to cover journals.

I paint on the covers of theme books that I get at my local office supply store.
I usually buy a few at back to school time when they have their sale.
Some spiral bound books at Staples that are made with sugar cane papers so they are eco friendly and they are easier to paint on as they are a course paper that takes the paint well.

Supplies: Brayer, Golden paints, StencilGirl stencils, waxed paper, theme book or spiral notebook, palette paper, rags or paper towels, brushes, make-up sponges, water bucket.

 First, I tear some waxed paper and place it under the cover to protect the pages.
I also do this when I paint the back of the cover.
A theme book is very slick, so it takes a few layers of paint. 
 I have used gesso and then painted the cover, but you can just put a light layer of paint and let it dry overnight.
If it’s not completely dry, it will peel off the first layer.  
Next, I lay down a good layer of paint on the covers. I use a mixture of colors on the covers.
Teal, titanium white, Naples yellow are some of my favorites.
Payne’s Gray, Titan Buff, and Anthraquinone Blue mix nicely also.
After the books are dry completely, I stencil over the painted cover. Sometimes, the work on the cover needs a bit of touch-up or some blending around the image. I sometimes go over the stencil again with other colors to make it pop. Blues and oranges are my go-to complements.  

Stenciled Message Boards
My next project originated from a friend’s request.

I had a message board that I purchased cheaply because one of the clips was broken. I took it to my studio to hang for announcements of my classes and students information.

When my friend saw it, she thought I had made it. She asked if I would make her one. 

Supplies: Pre-cut craft wood 2 feet long x 3 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick, paint of your choice, gesso, StencilGirl stencils, make-up sponges, brayer, large clothespins, D ring hook, medium sanding block, paper plates, E6000 glue, water bucket, rags or paper towels.

 I went to the lumber yard and got some pre-cut “craft wood.”
First, I paint a coat of gesso on the board and let it dry. Then rolled paint over the gesso.
I mix the paints as I did on the journal covers. I love the mix of magenta and Payne’s Gray. 

After the paint is dry, I sand the surface just a bit with a medium sanding block.
Don’t sand too hard. This is just to get the paint smooth.
Then, I picked some stencils and create some great images.
Collage papers can be added, too. I also paint the edges of the board. 
 When, I have the board the way I like it, I add the clothespins.
I painted these also, but you can leave them natural, as they look great either way.
I glue them onto the board evenly spaced. 
When the glue is dry, I add the D ring to the back of the board, with a screw for hanging.  

I love to work with different supplies and tools and find new ways to manipulate them.
I sometimes just sit and brainstorm with some things to see what I can come up with.
I never have artist block and I know it’s because of my playing that keeps my brain in creative mode.
I can be found at:
 My work has also been published in these books: Incite 1, 2, and 3 from F&W media.


  1. Aleta, thanks so much for choosing to use two of my stencil designs in this beautiful and very clever project! May I have your permission to post parts of this project/your art in my blog? Giving you full permission, of course.

    1. Cecilia,
      Yes you have my permission. I do sell these also.
      Send me a link when you do so I can share too. 😉

    2. Aleta, I have this photo scheduled to go live on 7 -21 at But at times things come up (like my new stencil releases) that force scheduling changes, so the best way to be notified is to visit my blog and become a subscriber. I'm going to include a blurb about where you sell these.

  2. great ideas, inspires me to do likewise mrsjetjr at yahoo dot com


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