Spray-paint stencils are a fun, quick, easy and inexpensive way to create multiples of a design on posters and t-shirts. The key to a good spray-paint stencil is in the prep work – the more care that is taken in setting up the printing process, the more crisp and clean the resulting image will be.
1. Design image in clean blocky letters – sans serif fonts work best – keeping in mind that space between letters is needed. For a standard t-shirt, an image approximately 6" wide is a good size.
2. Cut out the letters with an X-acto knife.
3. Insert a piece of cardboard between the front and back of the t-shirt you want to use, stretching out any wrinkles if possible.
4. Lay the stencil down on the t-shirt in the spot where you want the image to be. Secure the stencil to the shirt with masking tape.
5. Cover the shirt with newspaper – any place that is not covered WILL get paint on it! Carefully tape the newspaper to the stencil, being careful not to cover any part of the design.
6. If any parts of the stencil (the leggy parts of the letters E or G, for example) are lifting up away from the t-shirt, use rocks, pebbles, nails, chopsticks, or other handy implements to weight them down.
7. Spray in quick, light strokes. Better to do several light coats with a few minutes' drying-time in between than to saturate the fabric with a lot of paint.
If you have any questions, please post them in the comments!