Stretching Your Stencil- 9 ways 1 Brutus Monroe Stencil


I was reorganizing my craft space last week and realized that I have a lot of stencils that I do not use, some I have never used. I am sure I am not the only one. 😉Stencils are inexpensive and some are amazing so why don't I use them more?? I came to the conclusion that I get stuck in a "one technique rut." I look at stencils and I think ink blending, especially since Ranger and Tim Holtz brought Distress Oxide into my life and made it soo easy. As I was tossing and turning in bed later that night I came up with 9 different ways using products I have in my craft room or could get easily. I decided to use one stencil to show the 9 techniques. 

I purchased the Birthday Circle stencil from Brutus Monroe in June when I visited the store, fabulous place, if you are in or near Pittsburgh you must go, I decided to use it for my one stencil. 

Technique #1- Stencil Stamping 

This technique is very simple, inexpensive and my favorite. Did you know that you can use your stencil to stamp?? You can using Distress inks. 

I used Worn Lipstick Distress Oxide to cover the panel. Anytime I am blending with Distress Oxide I use Bristol Smooth Card stock

Next, I turned the stencil over and used the Distress Sprayer from Tim Holtz to coat the stencil in water. You want to make sure that you use a lot of water. Carefully pick up the stencil and lay it down on the ink panel. Be careful not to move the stencil once it is placed on the panel. 

I use a soft towel to gently pick up any water that has pooled. Gently remove the stencil and you will see a beautiful tone on tone effect. As the panel dries the colors will become more vivid. 

The stencil will have ink on it in several areas. I like to take a white panel and press the stencil to get a cool effect for a second panel. 

Technique #2- Ink Blending (couldn't leave it off the list) 😀

Using the Brutus Monroe Birthday Circle along with Distress Oxide in Blue Jean  and Spiced Marmalade for the first two blending panels and Candied Apple for the final ink blending panel. I used a round ink blending tool for each panel. 

Using a circle stencil doesn't mean that you only have to create designs that are a circle. With the blending I show how using tape to mask off parts of the stencil can create whatever shape you need for your card. 

Technique #3- Heat Embossing

For this technique I taped the stencil to my glass mat and taped the stencil down on all four sides. Don't forget to use an anti-static tool on the paper first or you will have to lift the taped stencil. ( From the video you see I learned this first hand) 😏Once the stencil was taped I used Brutus Monroe embossing ink all over the stencil. Make sure you cover all areas of the stencil. Carefully lift the stencil and apply embossing powder as you normally would. For the embossing power I used a pink power that I created at the Brutus Monroe studio store and Brutus Monroe Twisted Tangerine. I heat set each panel with my Wagner Heat tool.   This is a simple technique that can be used on the entire stencil or just a portion. 

I cut apart the twisted tangerine panel to show that you can use any section you want for your project(s). 

You can also use clear embossing powder and apply ink for an emboss resist effect. There are so many fun ways to use embossing powder and your stencils! 

Technique #4- Glitter

Disclaimer...I love the end result of using glitter, however I do not like creating with it. No matter how careful you are glitter is messy. I do think the results are worth the mess, but prepare yourself. 

For this technique you will need to apply adhesive to your card panel. There are multiple ways to achieve this. I use the Xyron Creative Station you could also use score tape or Stick it

Once the panel has adhesive tape it to your work station. A trick that I learned from Jennifer McGuire is to apply embossing/watermark ink to the back of the stencil before you put it on the adhesive. This prevents it from sticking to your panel. 

I used two different colors for the stencil cut outs I used Nuvo Pink Diva and Elizabeth Crafts Solar Gold for the outline. 

I applied the Pink Diva on top of the stencil and used an old bone folder to burnish the glitter into the adhesive. After removing the stencil I applied the solar gold over the top. Using the bone folder I burnished the entire panel to make sure that the recipient won't get an extra "gift" of loose glitter. 

Technique #5- Foiling (Deco Foil Craft Gel)

Foiling is an easy way to add so much beauty and fun to your cards. I used the Deco Foil Transfer Gel for this foiling technique. The foils I used are from Gina K Therm-o-web foil.  There are so many amazing colors to choose from. 

First I taped my stencil down to my work service over my panel. Using a palette knife I added the gel to the stencil, smoothing it out into an even layer. Once the stencil is removed the gel has a milky color. Once the gel dries it will dry clear. Once clear it is ready to foil. 

Using a laminator that I purchased many, many years ago I cut a piece of foil slightly larger than the card panel and put it between a piece of folded parchment paper. When you put the parchment "sandwich" into the laminator make sure you put it in fold side first. 

Next the wow effect takes place when you peel back the foil. It reveled a gorgeous pink foiled stencil design. 

For my second panel I cut strips in rainbow colors and laminated the panel. This created a beautiful rainbow foiled panel. 

Technique #6- Nuvo Embellishment Mousse

For this technique I used the Nubvo Embellishment mousse. The color that I use is Pink. This is a simple technique that goes on a lot like the Deco foil gel. You want to use the pallet nice to place a smooth coating over the stencil.

Once you have your mousse on the stencil ,carefully pick it up. 

You'll see a textured image of the stencil on your paper. Once this dries it is beautiful! There're so many colors to choose from to make your backgrounds pop!

Technique #7- Surface Spray (Brutus Monroe Surface Sprays)

For this technique I used two different colors of Brutus Monroe Surface Sprays, Oz, and Rouge. Oz is a deep blue, turquoise color and Rouge is a dark beautiful red. When using surface sprays you must remember to shake the bottles before each use and also to spray within a confined space, such as a box, also don't forget to wash your stencil as soon as you remove it. Once the surface sprays dry it is permanent. 

I began taping the stencil to a sheet of cardstock and spraying it with Oz and then adding Rouge to the bottom half while overlapping the colors in the middle. 

The second example I used masking paper to mask the stencil half way down. I sprayed Oz on the top and then masked the Oz side and used Rogue on the other. The Rouge gives a "grungy"effect that I think is very cool. 

Technique #8- Watercolor
For this technique I am using two brands of water color. For the first example I used Gansi Tambi Starry Colors. These work wonderful on darker cardstock. I used black. I decided not to use the entire stencil, but rather just a center section. The biggest tip for this this technique is to use minimal water. The more water you use the more likely that the colors will run under your stencil. Basically you are just coloring within the lines of the stencil for this technique. 

For the second example I used watercolor cardstock and Koi watercolors. I love the bright, vivid effect that you get using these watercolors. 

This technique is very simple and not precise. The images won't be crisp, they have a whimsical effect. 

Technique #9- Bo Bunny Glitter Paste

I created three examples using the glitter paste. The paste that I used was sugar. It is a clear paste with sparkle. 

The first panel I used the glitter paste just as I did for the Nuvo Mousse. Once the stencil was covered I removed it to reveal a beautiful textured clear background with a shimmer. 

The second panel I used the candied apple blended panel that I created in technique #2. I lined up the stencil with the blended ink and taped it to my work surface. Once I applied the glitter paste to the inked panel it immediately gave it a gorgeous glittery shine without losing the color.  

The third panel I showed how you can use the sugar paste to create your own custom color of glitter paste. You can use any ink that you have in your stash. I used Distress oxide Mermaid Lagoon. I rubbed the ink on my glass mat then I added clear glitter paste to the ink. Once you mix it up the paste will become the color of the ink. You know have numerous colors of glitter paste with one bottle of sugar paste! 

I used a few of the panels to create four cards. 

I hope this inspired you to look at your stencils in many different ways! Happy Crafting!

Don't just follow your dreams LIVE them! 


Note: I do use affiliated links. What this means to you is, at NO additional cost to you I receive a commission when you purchase a product through one of the product links. This allows me to continue to purchase new products and create additional inspiration. I list links for several companies so you are able to locate the best prices for the product. All products used are purchased by me and not received from any company. 


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