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Author Topic: Cricut to make symbol stencils?  (Read 2270 times)

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Offline LadyAmalthea

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Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« on: February 15, 2021, 01:45:04 PM »
After watching me struggle through a few attempts to get a symbol to look the same multiple times (it was a restoration on a Bowtie), my husband asked me if using a Cricut to make a stencil would work. I said I wasn't sure; I didn't know much about the Cricut, only that its supplies take up an entire aisle at the craft store. So I went to the website to look it up and was a bit blown away by how expensive even the little one was. In a surprising and generous offer, he said he would buy me one if I thought it would help me. I'm not sure what else I would/could use it for; in addition to ponies I am into dollhouses/miniatures, and I have a school-age child (and eventually will have 3 school-age children!) who may have projects coming up in the future...I don't want to make a big investment in another appliance if it's just going to sit around, but I admit that I'm intrigued by it.

I made an attempt at using a stencil out of paper to do Bowtie's bows, and the trial attempt on paper looked great, then the first attempt on Bowtie's rump looked...acceptable...but then they got progressively worse as the edges of the paper stencil deteriorated with use until I wiped it all off and put her aside. :argh:

Has anyone tried using a Cricut to do this? Have you used a Cricut for other things and did you like it? Or have you used stencils in general to do symbols? Tell me about your experience!
Thanks,
Lady A

Offline banditpony

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2021, 06:19:24 PM »
I'm probably not going to be super helpful with what I use it for. I use it as a workhorse making vinyl stickers, and buttons which I sell at conventions. (and now that I googled it, I could also potentially use it for cutting fabric and felt, which also would be useful for con stuff. lol)

*thinks*
I think the best thing to do is try to see how it could help you with your hobbies, rather then trying to shoe horn it in your life.

Since you like dollhouses... it could be the perfect tool for you.

https://www.bybrittanygoldwyn.com/diy-dollhouse-miniatures-cricut/
https://liagriffith.com/give-a-home-make-your-own-dollhouse/
http://1inchminisbykris.blogspot.com/2019/02/lynns-cricut-maker-tutorial.html

for the stencil... What if you used thin plastic so it could hold up to multiple uses. like plastic sleeves ? or maybe a transparency sheet if you need something thicker.

This would be my first thought of what to try to use if I was making a stencil. But if you aren't good at free-handing tiny details with a exacto blade, a cricut could be the way to go.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 06:21:59 PM by banditpony »
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Offline SunPony

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2021, 08:06:10 PM »
I once tried using a stencil I made out of plastic sold specifically for stencil making.  Like you, my trial on paper worked well.  But I had trouble using it on the pony due to the rounded shape of her hip.  For a really small symbol like Bowtie's bows I could see it working better, though. If it were me I would try making one with plastic using an xacto knife first just to see if stenciling works for you in general.  If so then...a cricut could be really helpful!  Cutting out tiny designs with an xacto knife is hard!
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Offline LadyAmalthea

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2021, 11:02:48 PM »
@banditpony: Thank you, thank you!! I really enjoyed reading these links, it's so incredible that it's possible to make all this stuff at home nowadays. Where was the Cricut when I was in junior high when I was at the height of my creative genius years and had all the time in the world?! I'm starting to wonder if there's hope for doing a restoration on my childhood dollhouse that fell apart during my last cross-country move. I suppose that would involve a higher-end model than I was thinking I'd need for pony symbols, but it all gives me a lot to think about. There's always the far-off future...start small and work my way up!

The plastic sheets were kind of what I had in mind to use as stencil material.

Post Merge: February 15, 2021, 11:05:45 PM

@SunPony: Hmmm...I wonder if an adhesive material would work? Something that would take to the curve of the pony's rump and stick there? That's a good idea to try a plastic stencil with the xacto knife first, I think I will give that a try.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 11:05:45 PM by LadyAmalthea »

Offline SunPony

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2021, 12:40:31 AM »
@SunPony: Hmmm...I wonder if an adhesive material would work? Something that would take to the curve of the pony's rump and stick there? That's a good idea to try a plastic stencil with the xacto knife first, I think I will give that a try.

Oh that's an interesting idea.  Some kind of flexible plastic with adhesive backing.  I'll have a think about what that could be.
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Offline Pokeyonekenobie

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2021, 06:21:15 PM »
@SunPony: Hmmm...I wonder if an adhesive material would work? Something that would take to the curve of the pony's rump and stick there? That's a good idea to try a plastic stencil with the xacto knife first, I think I will give that a try.

Oh that's an interesting idea.  Some kind of flexible plastic with adhesive backing.  I'll have a think about what that could be.

You could try Contact Paper--it's used to line kitchen drawers but it's sticky plastic.  It comes in rolls but then you can cut it to whatever size you need.  It can be cheap or expensive depending on brand, whether you want it to have a design and how much you buy.  I've just picked it up at Walmart when I've needed it.  It's in the Home/Kitchen area usually.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/EasyLiner-12-in-x-36-ft-Clear-Adhesive-Laminate-Shelf-Liner/16224481

Offline LadyAmalthea

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2021, 08:18:06 PM »
@SunPony: Hmmm...I wonder if an adhesive material would work? Something that would take to the curve of the pony's rump and stick there? That's a good idea to try a plastic stencil with the xacto knife first, I think I will give that a try.

Oh that's an interesting idea.  Some kind of flexible plastic with adhesive backing.  I'll have a think about what that could be.

You could try Contact Paper--it's used to line kitchen drawers but it's sticky plastic.  It comes in rolls but then you can cut it to whatever size you need.  It can be cheap or expensive depending on brand, whether you want it to have a design and how much you buy.  I've just picked it up at Walmart when I've needed it.  It's in the Home/Kitchen area usually.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/EasyLiner-12-in-x-36-ft-Clear-Adhesive-Laminate-Shelf-Liner/16224481

That's an interesting idea! I actually have some of that laying around. It's several years old, so I don't know how great the adhesive still is on it, but it is worth a try! Thanks for the suggestion.

Offline Purpleglasses

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2021, 08:12:05 AM »
I have in fact heard of people using printable heat transfer vinyl and a cricut to make decals for plastic. I hear you can use a small https://www.amazon.com/Clover-NR-632-inThe-Adapters-Setin/dp/B001BLU4SA/ref=asc_df_B001BLU4SA/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=416944445647&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4718096825406635830&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1024479&hvtargid=pla-409360406834&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=96811480951&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=416944445647&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4718096825406635830&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1024479&hvtargid=pla-409360406834 iron to heat the vinyl transfer and apply the design to the plastic. I’ve never tried it - it requires an ink jet printer, I believe, which I don’t have - but honestly the restorations that would be possible if the MLP community adopted this technique would be impressive!

Offline LadyAmalthea

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2021, 01:56:31 PM »
I have in fact heard of people using printable heat transfer vinyl and a cricut to make decals for plastic. I hear you can use a small https://www.amazon.com/Clover-NR-632-inThe-Adapters-Setin/dp/B001BLU4SA/ref=asc_df_B001BLU4SA/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=416944445647&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4718096825406635830&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1024479&hvtargid=pla-409360406834&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=96811480951&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=416944445647&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4718096825406635830&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1024479&hvtargid=pla-409360406834 iron to heat the vinyl transfer and apply the design to the plastic. I’ve never tried it - it requires an ink jet printer, I believe, which I don’t have - but honestly the restorations that would be possible if the MLP community adopted this technique would be impressive!

Thanks for sharing this! That's an interesting tool...I can think of a few things I could use that for other than pony-related stuff, actually. I added it to my amazon list to save it, and I'll do some research on making the decals with heat-transfer vinyl.

Offline Purpleglasses

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2021, 07:45:35 AM »
I have in fact heard of people using printable heat transfer vinyl and a cricut to make decals for plastic. I hear you can use a small https://www.amazon.com/Clover-NR-632-inThe-Adapters-Setin/dp/B001BLU4SA/ref=asc_df_B001BLU4SA/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=416944445647&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4718096825406635830&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1024479&hvtargid=pla-409360406834&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=96811480951&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=416944445647&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4718096825406635830&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1024479&hvtargid=pla-409360406834 iron to heat the vinyl transfer and apply the design to the plastic. I’ve never tried it - it requires an ink jet printer, I believe, which I don’t have - but honestly the restorations that would be possible if the MLP community adopted this technique would be impressive!

Thanks for sharing this! That's an interesting tool...I can think of a few things I could use that for other than pony-related stuff, actually. I added it to my amazon list to save it, and I'll do some research on making the decals with heat-transfer vinyl.

Glad to hear it helped! I can’t wait to see what you do, and I agree that it’s a method with a lot of potential non-pony applications.

Offline Snapdragon

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2021, 06:34:27 PM »
So I think the concept of symbol stencils is great! But in practice, like you said, it's a little tricky - the curvature of a pony body is tricky to work around.

I did experiment with this a little bit, but I didn't have a Cricut! I had painter's tape, and paper punchers! They worked surprisingly well, although I did have the same issue with the body curvature. The stencils got a little warped in places, or didn't lie flat enough and so the stencil got blobby. I also had the issue with peeling the tape off, and the stencil taking the paint with it! :yikes:

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But they turned out okay in the end!

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Offline glitterball

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2021, 09:20:00 PM »
Looking good, snapdragon!

I don't use cricut, it's a Sissix Big Shot for me!

Suggestion:
exacto knife / surgical scalpel knife
eraser

trace your design, in reverse, on to your eraser, cut out the excess with your knife to make an ink stamp of your design. Might work?  :)
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Offline LadyAmalthea

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2021, 11:58:46 PM »
Oh Snapdragon, those turned out cute! Thanks for sharing your experiment. I know what you mean, about painter's tape taking the paint with it. I've always had that problem with painter's tape, even on walls, to the point where I never use it to trim out walls; I'm just better off free-handing it. Someone told me the best kind to get is the FrogTape brand, and I bought some to do a rather intimidating project of painting an argyle wall in my daughters' room, but I've been procrastinating on that! :pout:

Post Merge: May 04, 2021, 12:00:29 AM

Looking good, snapdragon!

I don't use cricut, it's a Sissix Big Shot for me!

Suggestion:
exacto knife / surgical scalpel knife
eraser

trace your design, in reverse, on to your eraser, cut out the excess with your knife to make an ink stamp of your design. Might work?  :)

So basically you make your own stamp...this sounds like it could be interesting! I'm intrigued enough to try it...what kind of eraser do you use?
« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 12:00:29 AM by LadyAmalthea »

Offline Pokeyonekenobie

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2021, 05:09:55 AM »
I would guess you could use any soft eraser. 

You could also try something like these
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https://www.amazon.com/SGHUO-Rubber-Carving-Blocks-Crafts/dp/B07V5D4JSC/ref=pd_bxgy_2/138-6283607-1303863?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07V5D4JSC&pd_rd_r=ae4d3d07-bd23-4394-82fd-e2edda3ba3b1&pd_rd_w=yl8k2&pd_rd_wg=b27Im&pf_rd_p=fd3ebcd0-c1a2-44cf-aba2-bbf4810b3732&pf_rd_r=Q8T2SZTAVZ9SKSJQ49CF&psc=1&refRID=Q8T2SZTAVZ9SKSJQ49CF

We used something similar in my print making class.  A Speedball Block Cutter might also be good for carving out your designs if you decide you want to do a lot of them.  I like mine better than Xacto knives for that kind of thing (I even use it to carve designs in pumpkins at Halloween).

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https://www.amazon.com/Speedball-4131-Linoleum-Assorted-Cutters/dp/B0017D8W5E/ref=pd_bxgy_2/138-6283607-1303863?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0017D8W5E&pd_rd_r=564ea6b0-862d-400f-835b-eaf5b8e441b9&pd_rd_w=omO0y&pd_rd_wg=ulBQX&pf_rd_p=fd3ebcd0-c1a2-44cf-aba2-bbf4810b3732&pf_rd_r=F5MKCX6VYGJ07P9J5M0D&psc=1&refRID=F5MKCX6VYGJ07P9J5M0D

You can also usually find these things at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and JoAnn's if you don't want to order them online.

Offline Snapdragon

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Re: Cricut to make symbol stencils?
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2021, 07:19:56 AM »
Looking good, snapdragon!

I don't use cricut, it's a Sissix Big Shot for me!

Suggestion:
exacto knife / surgical scalpel knife
eraser

trace your design, in reverse, on to your eraser, cut out the excess with your knife to make an ink stamp of your design. Might work?  :)

Thank you so much! I've wanted to make a custom stamp SO BAD, but I tried it on a really crusty old eraser I had from middle school ... it did not end well for me. :lmao: So it sorta dimmed my desire for that craft! But that list of supplies Pokeyonekenobie linked make it look so much easier! It's tempting me to try again ... no! I must be strong! I'm already drowning in craft supplies! :lmao:

Oh Snapdragon, those turned out cute! Thanks for sharing your experiment. I know what you mean, about painter's tape taking the paint with it. I've always had that problem with painter's tape, even on walls, to the point where I never use it to trim out walls; I'm just better off free-handing it. Someone told me the best kind to get is the FrogTape brand, and I bought some to do a rather intimidating project of painting an argyle wall in my daughters' room, but I've been procrastinating on that! :pout:


Yeah, I suspect that's why more folks don't do stencils with a Cricut! It's a lot of work, and sometimes it just doesn't come out! Like for my stencils, almost all of the mini stars that I punched out came right back up with the painter's tape. :( Only the larger stars survived. But maybe a Cricut would work better, idk! You can use it for a ton of stuff, if you do any other crafts!
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