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How to Turn an Image into a Decal for Reverse Stenciling

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Decals and stencils are one of the easiest ways to add beautiful detail to furniture but they can be very expensive and 9 times out of 10 I can’t find what I’m looking for anyway so I decided to make my own. I know, I know I could’ve bought a Silhouette or Cricut to make a decal but I don’t have that kind of money and I’m guessing you might not either?

Make your own Decal

Make your own Decal

This  old telephone, that I downloaded from the Graphics Fairy, was made using the reverse stenciling technique where you basically block out or mask off what you don’t want to paint using a decal or a sticker. The total cost to make the decal was R 10, that’s under a dollar.  Here’s how I made it.

Hobby knife and dc fix

Hobby knife and dc fix

All you need is some Transparent DC Fix, a sharp craft knife and a printer (any kind of printer will work). Find a image that you’d like to use as a decal – choose something that’s not too complicated, silhouettes and cameos work really well or you can search for stencil patterns on Google.  Reverse the image using Photoshop, GIMP or Paint.Net or you can do it online using something like LunaPic. To print the image cut the DC Fix into 21 cm x 29.7 cm pieces (8.5 x 11 inches) and insert the DC Fix into the printer’s tray. You’re going to print the image on the back of the DC  Fix so make sure you put it into the printer in the correct way.

Reverse the image and print

Reverse the image and print

Once the image has been printed flip the DC Fix over so the shiny side faces you. You should be able to see the reversed image that’s printed on the back. Using a very sharp hobby knife, trace the outlines of the image. Don’t press too hard and and use a constant pressure.

Use the craft knife to gently lift the sticker

Use the hobby knife to gently lift the decal

When the entire image has been traced use the hobby knife to gently peel the DC FIX decal off and stick it onto whatever you’re going to be painting. Some helpful tips:

  • Make sure the surface is clean and dry and free from dust and grease
  • Press the decal down starting from the top and slowly work your way downwards
  • Try to get it right the first time. I found that DC FIX loses some of it’s stickiness if it gets lifted too often, especially if you’ re sticking it onto wood. If you do make a mistake don’t worry too much, the DC Fix can be re-positioned. Just pull it off gently pull and start again, but you’ll need to press harder to get it to stick.
  • Once you’re happy with the placement use the side of your finger nail or a bank card and gently rub from side to side, starting at the center and moving outwards, to get t rid of any air bubbles.
  • For stubborn bubbles you can use a pin to make a tiny hole in the bubble and then smooth it out.
The sticker on the door

The DC Fix decal

Once the decal has been applied you can start painting, sanding and working your own unique magic.

The transferred image

The transferred image

 

Make your own Decal

I’m saving this decal transfer for something special which I’ll share as soon as it’s done 😎 Happy painting everyone.

A Crafty Mix

 

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Categories:   DIY Tutorials, Home Decor Crafts

Comments

  • Posted: July 6, 2016 02:48

    Laurie Brennan

    I've always wanted to try this technique, but don't have much faith in my ability to cut it out so perfectly. You make it look so easy!
    • Posted: July 7, 2016 07:41

      acraftymix

      I also thought I might struggle but it turned out easier than I thought. The DC Fix slides around so nicely it makes cutting around corners a breeze.
  • Posted: June 21, 2016 16:46

    Michelle - Happy Heart™

    Brilliant…excellent cutting work!!! Definitely going to try this!
    • Posted: June 22, 2016 07:16

      acraftymix

      Stunning, let me know how it turns out.
  • Posted: May 18, 2016 13:27

    Keri

    Michelle, this method of stenciling is sooooo cool! I definitely need to try it out.
    • Posted: May 19, 2016 07:59

      acraftymix

      Oh I'm so glad you like it. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

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