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An Old Idea For a New Era - Stencils

When I first heard that people were looking for someone who could make stencils, I thought that they must be in a historic era. In today's age of computers, color printers, copiers and every other electronic gadget you can think of, why would anyone want a stencil? A thought ran through my mind. Why don't they just print a label and slap it on whatever they want? Presto, you're done. It looks good, it's cheap and it's fast. Why go through all the trouble of using stencils.

Being of sound mind, I knew that there was a reason behind their madness. There was a mysterious force compelling them to do something that seems so ridiculous to us normal people.

I knew that I just had to find out, or else I would go insane; just what was with these people. A short drive to the local craft store and a friendly chat with the owner opened my eyes. There are still lots of uses for stencils. Even today's computers can't replace some of the functions of a stencil.

Let's examine the stencil itself. It is nothing more than a thin sheet of Mylar or plastic with holes cut out of it. It looks flimsy and requires manual labor to use it. How archaic is this? The answer is very archaic. It is what can't be seen, heard, or touched that lives within the beauty of the stencil. And that would be the creative talent, the genius and the innovation of both the person making the stencil and the one using it. The light is starting to shine through.

Holidays are almost upon us and it's time to think about decorating. You have that large sliding glass door begging for a little decoration. OK, you can go out and buy a cling vinyl decal and slap it on the glass window and poof your done. Who is going to appreciate it or even notice the cheap decoration? Now it's time to change gears. Buy a couple of stencils or have someone make them for you. For the Christmas holidays, all you need is a star, snowflakes, Santa and sleigh with reindeer, and a few other choice pieces. Now you have the creativity in your hands. You design the scene yourself. Each piece is painted or frosted wherever you want it. You are a piece of the scene since you created it. If you don't like it, you can change it or even personalize it with you children's names. The sky is the limit and you go for it.

Now I am not only talking about windows; we do have walls and doors too. Did you know that you can use a stencil to decorate a cake? Let's see a computer do that. A good stencil and a little powdered and colored sugar and you have a knock out cake decoration. Guests will be asking you where you had that done. Why stop here? Let's put a Santa on the cookies. Now I think you are starting to get the idea.

Any old drab school house vintage stencil will not be very impressive. Let's get our stencils professionally made. Bring back the computer. Professionals can take your images and by using the computer, convert them into stencils and cut them out using a laser engraver. The details can be very crisp and sharp. No more using an exacto knife. You may be surprised at how cheaply your designs can be turned into beautiful stencils. Best of all, stencils are reusable.

In conclusion, don't do as I did and think of stencils as a thing of an ill forgotten era. Rather, think of how in this age of computers we can bring back the personalization that stencils once gave us. Once you start thinking, the possibilities are endless and rewarding.

The author's website has examples of just such stencils. Take a look at the true beauty of these stencils and let your mind start to wander.