How to Make Car Stencils

Updated April 17, 2017

Stencils add personalised art work to your car. They're a cheap and an effective method of painting designs onto any surface; you can transfer most patterns or designs to your car using stencil cut outs and there are a variety of stencil designs available online to print out for free use. They are also a good choice for designing repeat patterns on cars because the stencil can be reused and the pattern does not have to be designed again.

Draw your selected design on white paper. You can print off free designs online or draw your own. Draw the lines thick to make the stencil easier to cut.

Cut out the white paper designs with scissors (or Stanley knife if the design is precise and complex). Keep the cut line inside the lines you have drawn, not around.

Place your white paper stencil onto cardboard, and trace the stencil design with a marker pen. Thin cardboard, such as cereal box cardboard, works especially well.

Place your cutting mat (or thick cardboard) on a flat surface. Using your Stanley knife, carefully cut out your cardboard stencil. Again you must make sure you cut into the markings and not around.

Check your stencil once it is cut to ensure there are not sharp edges that would effect the final results. When you are happy with your stencil design place masking tape around the far edges to stick the stencil onto your car.


When you are ready to paint your stencil onto a car use spray paint rather than brushes. Always cut away from your hand when using a sharp blade. When drawing your stencil onto cardboard cut away from the outside line and cut into the stencil. This will prevent any slips through the outline of your stencil.


Take care when using sharp knives and wear thick gloves whenever possible.

Things You'll Need

  • White paper
  • Scissors
  • Thin cardboard
  • Marker pen
  • Stanley knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Masking tape
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About the Author

Victoria Gorski has been a freelance copywriter since 2005, producing articles for small businesses, newspapers and magazines, as well as creating marketing material. She also publishes material for literacy communities and regional newspapers, such as the "MEN" and "Bolton News." Gorski is pursuing a Master of Arts in creative writing and a postgraduate certificate in education.