Stencils make it simple to paint or draw identical numbers, letters or shapes time and time again. You can use stencils to paint your house number on the curb, making it easier for visitors or emergency personnel to find your home. You can use stencils to create a sign with your family's name, or one asking passersby not to walk on your grass. Instead of buying stencils at the hardware store, make your own using Microsoft Word and your printer.
Measure the area where you will paint or draw the stencils. Count the numbers or letters you want to stencil onto the area. Divide the area by the number of characters to determine what size your stencils should be.
Open a blank document in Microsoft Word. In the Font drop-down menu, choose a large, bold font with simple lines. A font called Stencil might already be installed with the program, but other fonts such as Arial Black or Impact would work, too.
Create a WordArt object by going to the Insert tab and selecting "WordArt" in the Text group. Choose a basic WordArt style without a drop shadow or other effects. A WordArt box will appear on the page, using the font you selected in Step 2. If necessary, highlight the text in the box, go to the Drawing Tools tab and change the Text Fill to a solid colour and the Text Outline to "No Outline."
Type the word, letters or numbers you want to stencil into the box.
Click on your WordArt object and drag it to stretch the letters to the size you need. Make sure you are in Print Layout view (found under the View tab) so you can use Word's rulers to size your letters. You can also change the page orientation to make more room for the text by going to the Page Layout tab, clicking on "Orientation" and choosing "Landscape."
Print your stencils and use scissors or a craft knife to cut them out.
You can use basic clip art graphics to create picture stencils the same way. For sturdier stencils, trace plain-paper stencils onto thin cardboard and cut them out.
Tips and warnings
- You can use basic clip art graphics to create picture stencils the same way.
- For sturdier stencils, trace plain-paper stencils onto thin cardboard and cut them out.