Free Stencils Collection: Christmas

Christmas stencil with bell and holly
Donald Klumpp / Getty Images

Make this holiday season particularly festive by painting your own decorations and cards. It's really not tricky to do with a stencil, and is something the whole family can do together. The possibilities for things to stencil are endless, including Christmas tree ornaments, tote bags, aprons and towels, bowls and mugs, even the walls and windows of your home. Decorate your own house or give your creations as gifts.

Either way, you will be glad you tried this classic craft.  

If you've never cut out a stencil before, this How to Cut a Stencil Step-by-Step shows you what to do. Note: These stencils are free for personal, non-commercial use only.

Christmas Stencils:

Paints for Stenciling

The type of paint to use for stenciling depends on the project, particularly the surface on which you will be painting.

The best paint for stenciling on practically anything except glass and fabric is craft acrylics. You can also use artist acrylics if you have them, but craft acrylics have a viscosity that is well-suited to stenciling. You want to use acrylics rather than oil paint because oil paint takes a long time to dry and increases the risk of seeping under the stencil and ruining your design.

Also, since acrylic paint is water-based, it is a less toxic alternative to oil paint. It also dries to a permanent and durable surface.

Stenciling is fun with small children, too. If you are interested in stenciling cards and decorations with small children, try using water-based children's paints such as tempera or poster paints. Look for products with the Non-Toxic seal from the ACMI (Art & Creative Materials Institute). If it is something that you want to preserve you should frame it under plexiglass or glass or seal it with an acrylic fixative such as Krylon Acrylic Spray (Buy from Amazon).

When stenciling on fabric, it is best to use a fabric paint, which is a bit thinner than craft acrylics. You can also make your own version by mixing craft acrylics with textile medium (Buy from Amazon) which will make the paint more suitable for fabric such as t-shirts, towels, aprons, etc. 

Don't use acrylic paint when painting on glass for it will easily chip, peel, or rub off. For stenciling on glass, use a paint specifically made for glass such as water-based folk art enamel. Make sure to clean the glass well first with soap and water. Then wipe with rubbing alcohol or vinegar and let dry.

This will help the paint stick. 

For walls you can use artist acrylic paints or acrylic latex paints. 

Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set PROMOABI (Buy from Amazon) is a good craft paint for stenciling. 

Colore Acrylic Paints (Buy from Amazon) are a popular brand of tube paint with vibrant color suitable for many different surfaces including paper, canvas, wood, clay, fabric, and pottery.

As previously mentioned, all ages and skill levels can participate and enjoy stenciling. Simply follow these step-by-step instructions and tips on How to Cut a Stencil and you'll be doing it yourself in no time at all. Happy Holidays!

See Also:

Updated by Lisa Marder 8/11/16

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RESOURCES

Adams, Kathy, What Kind of Paint to Use for Stencils?, Home Guides, Demand Media, http://homeguides.sfgate.com/kind-paint-use-stencils-98433.html, accessed 8/10/16

Makaeva, Janna, Right Stencil Tools for the Right Job! , Cutting Edge Stencils, http://www.cuttingedgestencils.com/blog/right-tools-for-the-right-job.html, accessed 8/10/16