Thursday 25 April 2013

Introducing "The Crafter's workshop" stencils

Hello Everybody,
Today I want to share some information about a product that is one of my favourite things to use, and that is the Crafter’s Workshop Stencils.I would not be exaggerating if I say that I am in love with these.I have been collecting these for some time and I am so glad that these are now available locally and so easy to purchase.

The Crafter’s workshop is a company based in the US which specializes in templates and stencils.They are quite a rage with artjournalers, scrapbookers and mixed media lovers all around the world.These stencils come in two sizes i.e. 6 by 6 and 12 by 12 and are made of good quality plastic.They are easy to clean and maintain and incredibly versatile.There are a lot of different designs available and they keep coming up with newer templates very frequently.
Here are some ways that I have been using these awesome stencils.
1.To create backgrounds
There are multiple ways you can make backgrounds for your cards,tags,scrapbooking layouts etc,using these stencils.There are a lot of options and I am going to cover a few of them and also show you some samples that I created for this post and some projects that I have already done using these.(Please excuse the not so nice pictures.Almost everything is in low light.)

Here are some of the things that I have tried so far :

Use with Distress inks : You can use these stencils with distress inks and create cool backgrounds.You can combine multiple colours of inks with the same stencil too.Here's how I did it and the results

I used the Flutterby Stencil with worn lipstick distress ink and some White opal liquid pearls on the butterflies

For my next sample I tried two different inks ( Peacock Feathers and Worn Lipstick) with the Circle Grid stencil and also sprayed some gold spray through the stencil.

Spray away : Another popular technique is of course spraying.You can use shimmer sprays,flat colored sprays ,homemade sprays and make beautiful backgrounds for your cards,tags etc.I have to admit that I struggle with spraying.My images are more blotchy than crisp.You will see this in my sample.
Here's my attempt in my art journal .Not a very good result but that is more my clumsiness than anything else.:-)

Here are some tips that I gathered on getting a good sprayed image
 Tip 1 : Whenever you are using sprays,always make sure to use a repositionable/low tack glue or tape to attach the stencil to the paper.This ensures that the stencil does not move and also since the stencil is stuck down to the paper properly,there are less chances of the liquid seeping through the cutouts.
Tip 2 : Don't spray too close to the stencil.Keep some distance to get a finer spray.This will help in avoiding blotchiness and unclear images.Also note that if you are looking for very crisp images,especially you cardmakers,you may or may not like spraying.The effect that the sprays create is more artsy than crisp,so if you like that,go for it.
Heat Embossing : Yes,you heard me right!You can use these to do heat embossing too and then try the embossing resist technique.How you do it depends on the stencil you choose.For very intricate stencils,it might not be a great idea to go for heat embossing, but stencils with larger designs totally work for this.Some examples of stencils which will work great for heat embossing are Bricks Stencil , ,Mini Flower Frame, Mariposas, Circle Grid,to name a few.

Here I have used the Harlequin stencil with silver Zing Embossing powder and various shades of distress inks ( Broken China , Peacock Feathers and Faded Jeans ).Picture taken in lowlight.:-(

If you have a large stencil design,you can just use your embossing ink directly on the stencil.Make sure that your embossing inkpad is juicy and just squish it between the cutouts.You can then just emboss as usual with any embossing powders.
If you have more detailed/intricate stencils,you can make use of embossing pens like Versamarker Watermark Pen and fill in the areas that you want to emboss.

Note : You can use the same principle for using Perfect Pearls Pigment Powders  too.

Use with Modelling paste/Texture paste/Gesso : This is my favourite way of using the templates since I am fascinated with mixed media.You will need some kind of textured medium for this.Shalini will have liquitex modelling paste in her store very soon and I am very excited about that.
For this, all you need is the stencils,your modelling paste and a spatula.If you don't have that,a popsicle/ice cream stick,old credit card or even a hard brush should work.I haven't tried it with a brush, but have seen some people do it.So give it a try.
The trick is to take a moderate amount of paste on your spatula and then place it over the stencil and then spread it just like you would do when icing a cake.It will be a good idea to use some sort of respositionable adhesive to stick down the stencil Let the modelling paste airdry or use your heat tool.It doesn't take too long.
Tip : The modelling paste is generally white in colour,but that does not mean that you have to rely on that only.Modelling pastes are paint friendly,so if you want a specific colour,mix some paint with the modelling paste and then apply.
I have mixed black acryclic paint with the modelling paste here
You can also use distress inks over the modelling paste after it has dried.You can even stamp on it..
The stencilled design is coloured with Vintage Photo and then stamped with a script stamp in Colorbox Frost White Pigment ink

Here, I altered a frame by using the stencil and modelling paste and then coloured the whole thing with Worn Lipstick Distress Ink

I have used the Art is Stencil , Harlequin Template and the Flutterby Stencil respectively in these projects 
2.For dry embossing : Okay,a disclaimer here first.I have not personally tried this,so I am not sure how well this works.During my research on this product,I found that these stencils can be used for dry embossing using a Cuttlebug.I have a Bigshot Machine and I have yet to try and see if it works with it.Here's a video showing you how to dry emboss using these stencils.
3..Outline and colour to add random accents to your projects : Some people also use the stencils to just outline the design and then go back in and colour in the image.This might be tedious but I think can be useful if there's a specific design you want and you don't have a stamp of that particular design.

4.Resist with Mod Podge : This is a last minute thing I tried in my art journal.,you can sponge Mod Podge through the stencils.Once it dries,spray with the colours of your choice.Mod Podge will resist the sprays.This works best with gloss finish Mod Podge as per the internet,but I tried with Mod Podge Matt Finish and the results were not all bad.Ignore the bad spraying and uneven stencilling please.Focus on the resist.:-)The top portion has a thicker coat of mod podge and the bottom has a very thin layer.

4..Use with different kinds of paints: The most traditional method of using stencils is to use it with paints.Acrylic,water colour,poster paint,whatever you have.Remember,these stencils can be used to paint any surface,be it tags,boxes,canvases and if you have tons of patience and determination,even walls and wooden furniture.:-)

Phew,this post is really long,but I really could not help it,There are so many ways to use this product.One post is not nearly enough!
Whatever is mentioned in the post today is what I have learnt from various sources and have personally tried till now.I am sure there are many many more ways you can use these.There's no rule stopping you from combining multiple techniques with these templates.I think the possibilities are endless and you just need a tiny bit of creativity to make full use of this awesome product.
Here is a pic of some of the products that I have used for this post.All these are available at the shop.
Hope that I have shared enough information to highlight the versatility of this product.If you have any questions,please leave a comment or write to us at .
 Have a lovely crafty day.



  1. Beautiful post Pallavi! Now I want to get a couple of these.. Thanks for sharing...

  2. Wow !! what an amazing review Pallavi ..I never knew these stencils were so versatile and can be used in so many different ways !!! ...I really loved your post and the beautiful projects you have shared here ...Thank you so much for all the info :)...These stencils are definitely on my must buy list :)

    1. Thank you Hussena.Glad that this helps you a little bit.:-)

  3. wow!!! thanks for sharing so many tricks :)

  4. Thanks for sharing Pallavi...though i have already bought a couple of them....i didnt know how exactly to use them.I m definitely gonna try some of these techniques sooon!!

    1. Thank you!I am sure you will have a lot of fun playing with these.

  5. Great timing with this post...LOL. Since you just got me one of these stencils. I sooooo want to try these out. All those different techniques will keep me busy for a while.
    Awesome review! xxx Tamara

  6. very pretty creations and nice tips on how to use the products !!!

    1. Thank you Paula.I am glad that this was of some help.:-)

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  8. Fabbie i need to borrow some from you...And p.s no errors!! fabbie fabbie post!!

  9. phew,did you check the for commenting.

  10. Goin to try out the techniques , great info , now i know how you got those butterflies on that altered frame,it looks so good :)



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