Crafters Have Been Stenciling On Stuff For Many Decades. Today, Let’s Try It On Clay:
Do you ever get into a groove where one creative idea just naturally seems to tie in with other techniques you’ve been recently working on? Well this happened for me just the other day. As a result, this post is about using regular parchment paper to make a stencil for applying Pearl Ex Powder to a thin sheet of polymer clay.
While organizing some craft books, I came across an old book on stenciling. Back in the 80’s, folk art stenciling was a very popular thing to do. It was a revival art from the Victorian times done on furniture, walls and decor items.
I loved stenciling and have quite a few cut out designs that I used back then on all sorts of projects. I still have tons of stencil paints and brushes. Even have some tiny “cling stencils” for using on painted glass.
So when I saw this beautiful book, it made me think about combining the art of stenciling with polymer clay.
Flipping through the pages, I came across some small patterns which were meant to be enlarged for home decor projects. However, the small size was perfect for a polymer clay project. So I chose a pretty iris flower stencil pattern to try out.
Having a small strip of parchment paper lying around (trimmed from a larger piece recently used for testing a new image transfer technique), I decided it would work nicely as a stencil paper for the clay.
Being transparent, I used a pencil to trace the stencil design straight from the book onto the craft parchment paper. Next step was to cut out the stencil design with an Xacto knife.
I then rolled out a sheet of polymer clay and laid the stencil directly on top. After some gentle rubbing, the parchment stencil stuck to the clay with just the right amount of cling.
The nice thing about using the parchment paper as a stencil, is that the coating on the paper is nonabsorbent. This allows it to easily peel off from the clay when you’re done stenciling. It also does not absorb or leech out any of the plasticizers from the polymer clay. Plus it is easy to cut and is cheap as heck!
Now, also lying around on my studio work table was the new Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments that I just received as a Christmas stocking stuffer. So that’s what I used as a stenciling medium.
For stenciling on polymer clay, use a Q-Tip to add a very fine layer of the Pearl Ex. Different pigment colors can be used for different sections of the stencil. Be careful not to rub the powder under the edges of the stencil, because the Pearl Ex is kind of tricky to remove once it touches the clay. The best technique to remove excess color is to carefully sand it off after baking, with the folded edge of some fine sandpaper.
Make sure to blow off any excess powder before you lift the stencil or it will smudge. Bake as usual and seal with Future Floor Finish, Varathane Suitable for Polymer Clay, TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey) or Resin.
Gorgeous!! Simply gorgeous! I love it when one idea flows to the next and the result is gorgeous! Whooo Hooo… I get to stencil again!