Cut & Paint: Street Art Inspired Stencils

Morgan Lindsay Nelson, Graphic Novelist

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4 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Getting Started

    • 2. Cutting

    • 3. Painting

    • 4. Tips and Examples


Project Description

Get familiar with the stencil cutting process (share photos in your class project showing off your work!)


  • Paper (plain copy paper)
  • Pen
  • Copy machine (optional; standard inkjet copier will do)
  • X-Acto knife
  • Self-healing mat (or cardboard/kitchen cutting board)
  • Paint (optional; soft body acrylics recommended)

Step 1. Draw what you want to stencil (start with a simple drawing at first.) Tip: use a pen with a medium to think line so it'll be easier to cut around.

Step 2. Make a photocopy of your drawing -- that way you'll be able to experiment and try different versions without it affecting your original.

Step 3. Gather your supplies: your drawing, X-Acto knife, and self-healing mat (or a thick piece of cardboard taped to a kitchen cutting board.)

Step 4. Cut out your stencil!

Advanced tip:

Be sure to practice first before painting...

- Get the hang of cutting out at least two stencils before applying paint or marker.

- Number your stencils (i.e. 1 for the first, 2 for the second.)

- Then paint both stencils...see what you did differently between the two and learn from it! (i.e. You may have done something on the first that looked better than the second, so you'll be able to keep it in mind for your next stencils.)

Any questions?

Post them in the Community section and I'll get back to you!

Additional resources

Last Call with Carson Daily interview with Mr. Brainwash

Student Projects