Making Street Art/Grafitti Stencils

Chalk stencil

That’s me! Pretty sweet, right? You won’t believe how easy this was.

Start with a photograph. Preferably one with a plain white background.

My face

Open it in Photoshop. Go to Image > Adjustments > Threshold.

screenshot

Then move the arrow left or right to get the effect you want. If it looks kind of wonky, try a different picture. Some work better than others.

screenshot 2

Now for a brief stencil lesson. When you cut out a picture to create a stencil, you need something called “bridges”. Anywhere you see enclosed white areas, or “islands,” you need to open them up to stay connected to the rest of the stencil. Otherwise, when you cut the islands, they will fall off.

Incorrect

Incorrect

Correct

Correct

Use the brush tool to make your bridges.

Screenshot 3

Now print it, glue it to something sturdy, like cardstock or a manila folder, and cut the black sections out with an x-acto knife. Be careful to not cut your bridges.

Of course I didn’t think to take a picture of my face stencil before I destroyed it. Here’s what the mushroom looked like:

mushroom

That’s it! You’re ready to spray!

I used chalk spray from Abrivo Sports. These stencils held up for 2 or 3 sprays. If you want a reusable stencil, I suggest cutting it out of acetate instead.

I actually did this with a group of high school students. None of them were interested in making a stencil of their faces, naturally. Here are some of their results:

2013-04-22 10.58.57

2013-04-22 10.56.21

2013-04-22 10.56.53

2013-04-22 10.57.50

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Making Street Art/Grafitti Stencils

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s