How to make your own masks and stencils for art journaling

make your own stencils

When you’re looking on social media for art journal inspiration it can get boring pretty quickly. It seems that everyone is using the same designs and tools in the same ways. I want you guys to be able to add your own personality and flare to your art journal. A great (and fairly simple) way of doing this is to make your own stencils and masks. Don’t worry – you don’t need any drawing skills. Follow these instructions if you want to be original!

Step One – Find a picture that would make an awesome stencil.

You can either use your own photography skills or find an image online. Beware of copyright infringement! When making stencils you need to pay particular attention to the silhouette of the image. If the outline shape doesn’t look like anything then it’s not going to look like anything when you use it in your journal.

peeking dog photo

Step Two – Print out your image.

Print out the image, preferably on printer paper (it’s thicker and you can get more than one use out of it). It does’t need to be in colour and it doesn’t need to be fantastic quality, as long as you can clearly see the outline of the subject. 

Step Three – Cut out your image.

Use a craft knife or a decent pair of scissors for this. You need to try and keep the inner shape and outer shape whole, otherwise it won’t work. If you need to you can make a simple snip as an entry point to get your scissors in position on the outline, then tape the split shut afterwards. Pay attention to detailed areas as these will make your stencil look more impressive.

cut out of dog

Step Four – Have fun and Experiment!

art journal dog silhouette

Your stencil and mask are finished. Now the fun begins! There are loads of ideas on YouTube if you search “Stencils and Masks” including this great link I found.

Have you tried making your own stencils and/or masks? How did it they turn out?

How to Break Out of Your Creative Slump

break out of creative slump

Hey you! Yes you who owns a bazillion empty notebooks and has nothing to fill them with. Need some inspiration that doesn’t require much brain power? Need to have a purpose before you can put ink/paint/pencil to paper? Look no further than this lovely list I’ve made to help you break out of your creative slump!

  1. Rip up tiny pieces of junk mail and stick them down to create a word of your choice. Decorate the rest of the page to fit in with the word you chose. If you can’t even think of any words then try one of these.

    be reckless and create

  1. Cut out a magazine picture, stick it in your journal and doodle on or around the image

    giraffe rainbow art journal

  1. Find any old photograph, stick it in and draw your own version next to it

  1. Find some things that you can sprinkle. Mix them together. Glue a pattern and sprinkle the sprinkles over and shake off the excess

  2. Go outside and find some natural flat items. Use them to make a collage

  1. Take a pencil in each hand then draw and colour a beautiful mirror-image butterfly

  1. Doodle and annotate your day

    doodle journal entry
    Can we just take a moment to appreciate my outstanding drawing skills?! See – don’t let a lack of skills stop you from creating!
  1. Cover an entire page with different magazine pictures that speak to you

    magazine collage

  1. Cover an entire page with words

  1. Get your favourite book. Search for quotes and fill a page with them. Use watercolours to paint over and express the feeling that the book gives you

  1. Collect textures and stick them in

  1. Collage a picture of your home

  1. Cut two pages out of your journal, leaving a 1cm strip running parallel to the spine. Sandwich a new page of any found paper in between the strips and glue it in. Use the new page as a background for a list of things you would like to achieve in the next year

  1. Draw around your hand and fill it in with intricate doodles and glitter

    mandala hand pattern

  1. Stick an envelope in and fill it with 10 interesting facts about yourself

    I would love to know if any of you guys try any of these activities. If you do be sure to let me know in the comments!

Simple Hand Lettering for your Notes and Journals

simple hand lettering

When you’re using a computer it’s so easy to make text look interesting by using spacing and different sizes and types of font. It’s harder when you’re writing by hand, especially when you’re like me and not particularly gifted in the art of calligraphy. That’s why I’ve put together this list of easy hand lettering that you can try. All you need is any pen and paper. I couldn’t think of any deep and meaningful phrases to demonstrate so I used my DVD collection as inspiration. Give it a try. If I can do it, you sure can!

Home Alone

green home alone

Write your words in your usual printed handwriting then add dots to the open ends of your letters.

The Hunger Games

purple hunger games

For this one you need to think of a digital clock that has small dashes that make a figure 8. Different parts of the figure 8 light up to make the required digits. The letters in this font need to fit into that figure 8. The only letters that don’t work are ‘W’ and ‘M’. For those I just turned the 8 on it’s side. Let me know if you think of a better way!

The War of the Worlds

yellow war of worlds

This is small joined up writing with no loops.

Kick Ass

blue kick ass

Use your usual print again, but make each stroke 4 times before moving on to the next.

The Fellowship of the Ring

orange fellowship of ring

Italicise your print writing and elongate the stalks and tails.

School of Rock

blue school of rock

This is made up of straight lines, giving a spiky effect. The only curves are for the letter ‘O’ but if you wanted to you could make ‘O’ diamond shaped. Personally I preferred to keep it round.

Mrs Doubtfire

purple mrs doubtfire

Stretch the width of your printed handwriting. Make sure you’ve got plenty of space so you don’t go off the edge of your page!

The Karate Kid

red the karate kid

Print your words as normal and then draw straight vertical lines on the left-most down stroke of each letter.

The Goonies

pink the goonies

Think how you would draw curly hair on a stick-person as a child. Now use that curly movement to create your letters.

Kick Boxer

green kick boxer

Make a fuss of your capital letters by shrinking the left-most down stroke and exaggerating the right-most stroke/s.

See – they’re all pretty straight forward. I would love for you to share any simple hand-lettering techniques you’ve learned or invented and please let me know if you try any that I’ve shown you.