Stencils on Skateboards: Customize Your Own Board | Leitha Matz | Skillshare

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Stencils on Skateboards: Customize Your Own Board

teacher avatar Leitha Matz, Maker

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (12m)
    • 1. Customize a Skateboard

    • 2. Preparing an Old Board

    • 3. Create Your Design

    • 4. Finishing The Board

    • 5. Test Ride

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About This Class

Stencils are a fast, easy way to add a design to a variety of surfaces. In other classes, I've demonstrated how to do a stencil on fabric or a wall, but in this class, I'll show you how to renovate an old skateboard to make it your own.

You don't need much to get started -- if you've done one of my previous printing classes, you might already have everything you need to get going!

Meet Your Teacher

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Leitha Matz



I work as the head of product at a startup, but when I'm not at the office, I'm always making things of my own. I especially love illustrating, writing and design.

Here at Skillshare, I usually focus on creating classes in printing -- everything from stencils to woodblock.

I find printmaking inspiring because anyone can quickly start making successful prints with very few tools. It really opens the doors to producing a vision of your own on all kinds of materials: t-shirts, walls, stationery, stickers and so much more.

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1. Customize a Skateboard: Hi. I'm like, I've got a bunch of classes here. Sculpture about printing on different objects so you can print on wall or postcards or a T shirt or tote bag. But in this class, we're going to be printing on old skateboard. And so we're gonna take this old skateboard on, make it look a little more like this You can use on old skateboard like I did. I just found this one down by the trash. But who could also use a blank board that you buy from a skate shop just new and renovate that make it your own? If you want to use a used board, you know, check maybe Craigslist or eBay or garage sales or yard sales or whatever. There are simple boards out there. If not, then you get a new one, and you can work on making that one customized to fit your aesthetic. So the challenge of putting on a board as opposed to a T shirt or a flat surface is that the board has curves. We'll talk about a couple of different ways to address that, but let's first start out with a review of materials you're gonna need 2. Preparing an Old Board: so the set of supplies you needs kind of depends on whether you're starting from a fresh board that you've picked up at a skate shop or whether you're renovating aboard. Since I'm renovating, I'm gonna show you those steps a swell. So I have started out with a few basic supplies here. I've got a couple kinds of sandpaper. There's a very core script. I think that's about 200. And that's the one that you want to use forgetting in this case, the decal off of skateboard. Or you can use a power sander. If you have access to power tools, that would be great. I don't have one, so I'm going to be doing this by hand. I've also purchased a little tool here that just holds a razor blade s so that I can kind of slice off some of the tougher areas of the D cow. So I'll use both the razor and the sandpaper along with this sanding block and just ah lot of work out on our balcony so you can see this job just takes a lot of patients and muscle unless you have a power sander. So if you have a friend with one. You might want to go that route. This took me about an hour and 1/2 of work time. I took breaks in between. But that's about how long it took me to do this. If you have a power sander, it's just a matter of minutes after its stripped. You have a few choices. So the grip tape on this board looks not too bad. I might take that off. I might not. But if you do want to take it off, it's great to start with a pair of pliers, just kind of turn it up at the edges and give it a yank as it runs down. So after I get this totally sanded and the old design is completely gone, I'm gonna begin with what I consider to be my primer coat. What I'm gonna go with is just several light coats of the color of choice here, which in my case is pink. I'm gonna drive you to layer, and if you want to make it especially smooth, you can use that very fine grain sandpaper and just run across your whole board and then rinse it off, dry it off, sprayed again so that you get a series of really smooth, beautiful coats. I'm working in the sun, so this thing drives pretty quickly, but you'll know it's dry when it's no longer tacky to the touch. I'm gonna try this overnight, and then I will call that ready for the design. 3. Create Your Design: My motif of the summer is kind of this ice cream dinosaur. Earlier this year, I did a stencil for a wall stencil of a dinosaur with an ice cream cone, which is kind of my commentary on, you know, eat ice cream before you're extinct. So this is the design that I want to work with. There's a lot of latitude you have with designs, so you don't need to go with something cartoony like what I'm doing. You could do something really graphically interesting with shapes or color blocks. You could do lettering or, you know, lots of different styles. It's really up to you. But the way you get something onto aboard is a little trickier than doing your average print work because the board is rounded, so you need to have a set up this really stable and stabilizes both the board and the screen. Now you can build one of thes on your own that stabilizes the frame and moves it into position and doesn't allow it toe wiggle around. But if you do have something that just sits in the center of your board, you could probably pull it off a little more easily. So what I've done here is I printed out my design on a piece of paper. I cut out the dinosaur design, and I'm doing a combination with tape to define the area where his eyes and nostrils and his eyebrow are. And then I'm blocking off the sections that need to be reserved, or his ice cream cone and ice cream scoops those that will do individually with separate layers. And I'll show you that in a second. But what I really recommend is that you use masking tape. Cover your board with the masking tape, maybe tape your design on top and then use a sharp exacto knife to cut the design straight out of that masking tape and peel it off your board for my design. Here I'm using a paper stencil, which I'm fastening to the board, and then I'm using a screen just to give him that kind of orange rind texture that you get from a screen print. I'll do a little cleanup on that, and then I cut out the individual scoops and the cone and do those separately on each layer as it dries. So my dinosaur ends up being one black layer one layer for the cone and three layers for the different scoops. That's actually five stencils that I'm using, and I have to drive, of course, in between each layer. So that's a little more complicated than what you might want to do for your first design. When everything's dry, I'll pick up the tape, and now I have my design in place, and I'm pretty happy with this. You'll see some of my paint layers are a little more mat and some of the paint layers or a little more shiny. But once you do the clear CO, it won't matter because it will be consistent according to whichever clear coat you got, whether you gotta Matt clear coat or in my case, I got very shiny clear coat. So the next step will be attaching the trucks in the wheels and the bearings in the grip tape and getting this thing out for a ride. 4. Finishing The Board: and you can see it does pull off. It just requires a little bit of effort. And then before too long, we will be revealing the board underneath. So that's the clean board. It's all ready to go, and the old tape is off it. So let's get that new tape on. There are a few different ways to do this. The method I'm gonna do is to go from the middle to those outer edges. So what I'm gonna do is take off this backing of back on. I'm going to save that. I'm gonna come in, drop the middle, moved to the outside on hand, attack it down a little bit gently, and then I'm gonna take the paper that we use for the backing here. And I'm gonna really smooth it out and get the bubbles out. So I'm going to show you that process now have it centered. I want to kind of feel out where these edges are, so I have both edges in my fingers. I got full coverage. That's the important part. Is gonna drop it down, move to the outer edges. Okay, so I don't have any major air pockets happening there. That's great. Okay, now I can take paper on instead of shredding my hands here on the grip tape. I can use paper to really press it down, so that's looking really good. At this point, you can see that I just have this overlap that exists along the outside edges of my board. So the way that you deal with that is with a razor. So I've got this razor blade here and I'm gonna take this razor blade and I'm gonna come along the outer edge. Now, the way that you want to do this is at an angle. And of course, you're using a razor blade, so be really careful as you're moving along, but come in at, say, a 45 degree angle and cut as close as you can to the board so that you're cutting the excess tape away. But we want to kind of press it a little as you go along to make that adhesion even better along the outside edge. It's a good idea to delineate where the edge of grip tape is. And to do that really quickly, you can just kind of turn over your razor on use the backside to scrub along the edge on. Then you can really clearly see where the edge of your board is in accordance to the grip tape. Once you find that edge, just run the razor as smoothly as you can along the side at an angle pressing as you go. Great. So at this point, my board is gripped, that looking that too bad. And I'm going to flip it over and poke holes through where we need to put those trucks. But this task, I'm just gonna use a skinny little screwdriver and I'm gonna poke the whole through the grip tape on the other side. And that's how I'm going to know where to put the bolts Riser pads, go here and line it up with the existing holes. If you have the existing holes, obviously, if you don't have to put in your own, the important thing to remember with trucks is that the bolt here goes on the inside again . If you're the kind of person who has power tools, that's awesome. But if you don't, then you can just use a regular old screwdriver and some arms drawing power. I'm gonna do that myself right now. So first thing I'm gonna do is just place these bulls and kind of get them going on this side before I make things harder on myself by turning it on its side. So if you place your bolt on the inside on both sides, then you're good to go, and you will be able to steer your skateboard. If you don't, you're gonna have problems so old on the inside and get those placed on the existing holes and then let's get those screwed in. So meanwhile, undecided got these little nuts with plastic right here. And so I'm going to want have plastic site out as I place those on top of the screw threads here. I'm just gonna place these on my hand right now. And then I'll get everything straightened out and tightened up when I use my crescent wrench on this side and then fasten the other side with this screwdriver so you can use the power tool to drill these bolts into your board. But just be really careful that you don't go too hard. You can split the wood. Once he bolted down your trucks, you can actually use them to help you put the bearings into the wheels, you're gonna need to have a bearing set on each side. And so if you just slip the bearing onto the axle there and then you push the wheel into the bearing, you can get it really mushed into the wheels center there. So then just slip on the nut and tighten it up. I recommend you tighten all the way, said that the wheel doesn't move and then come back just enough so that you get good fluid motion on that wheel. Announced Time. Take this dinosaur out for a ride. 5. Test Ride: so I'm pretty happy with my board. I think it's looking good, but it's not complete until you've taken it out for a test drive. I have a friend in from New York who's gonna do that for me. Jakey has been skating all his life, so I think he's gonna have some good insights on how this thing Rolls. J B came to visit Berlin while I was finishing this board, so I required to do for this very important job. He didn't bring the right shoes on this boards a little short for him, but he's able to get some action on it, which is great. Now you see the spot here where the wheels kissing the pain. That's a sign that your truck's air to lose. I'm gonna need to fasten these bolts Little tiger, but you can see that does roll. It's not flying apart, and I think I have a ride here. Now I have a board that is dynamite E. It's seaworthy. It's ready to roll on. And so I hope that you are inspired to do a board of your own on. If you do, please post it in the projects area. I love to see what you guys do on. If you have any questions, please post those in the discussions area on until next time.