The Cricut personal die-cutting machine is designed to cut paper, vinyl, fabric and other materials into custom embellishments for scrapbooks, cards, home decor and more. To create a custom wall design for any room in your home, you can use your Cricut machine to make wall stencils. Whether you cut a word or phrase to stencil on a kitchen wall or a whimsical menagerie for a nursery, using a Cricut helps you create exactly the look you want.
Choosing an Image
To make stencils with a Cricut machine, choose an image from a cartridge as you would for any other project. Adhere thin plastic or acetate sheets, available at any craft and hobby or hardware retailer, to the cutting mat and insert the mat into the machine. The best images for stenciling are silhouette images without a lot of intricate detailing. Consider graphic images, such as simple shapes, or easily identifiable images that do not require a lot of detailed layers. Many of the images on Cricut cartridges require that you cut multiple layers from paper to create the embellishment, but when you are creating a stencil, simple shapes work best. For example, the Cricut Wall Decor cartridge is a good choice, as it contains multiple graphic and silhouette images designed to be used on walls.
If you have the Cricut Design Studio software, you can create custom images on your computer to cut with the Cricut machine to make stencils. The Design Studio is especially useful if you are creating stencils with words, or if you want to create a border stencil. In the Design Studio, you can meld words and images together, rather than cutting multiple single images. The Design Studio also allows you to combine images from multiple cartridges. For example, you can create a border stencil combining the font from one cartridge with images from another cartridge. Without the software, you would have to cut the words from the first cartridge, reinsert the cutting mat and manually adjust the mat to cut the images from the second cartridge into the stencil, creating the potential for mistakes or improperly placed images.
The Cricut machine is capable of cutting freezer paper, thin plastic or acetate if you use the deep blade housing and the right level of pressure. Depending on the thickness of the material, you will likely have to set the pressure to at least level four, and possibly the maximum of five, to cleanly cut through the stencil material. Use a low speed to cut as well to ensure a clean cut and that the details of your stencil are clear. Because cutting plastic can dull your blades more quickly than cutting paper, start with a sharp blade. As an alternative, use Cricut-branded stencil material and follow the instructions on the package. Depending on the Cricut machine you are using, you can cut images up to 12-by-24 inches, giving you complete control over the size of your stencil.
Using Cricut Stencils
Once you cut wall stencils with your Cricut machine, use them as you would any other wall stencil. Place the stencils on the wall and adhere with painter's tape, masking tape or a spray adhesive designed for stenciling. Use a dry brush and paint designed for stenciling for best results. Start in the center of the image and use a swirl motion to fill in the stencil. Avoid using too much paint, as it can seep under the edges of the stencil and distort your image. Allow the paint to dry before removing the stencil.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images