Stencil art is a design or drawing that is cut on a paper, plastic sheet, or even on a metal. It is used to spray paint or to paint over it. How does it work? The sheet is placed on a surface, canvass, T-shirt or any other surface. Then paint is sprayed or brushed over the stencil art. This way the same design can be transferred to many different surfaces. Here is how to make your own stencil art design for free.

What you need? A normal computer, a surface (metal, paper or plastic) and an image.

Get the image you want on your computer. If you do not have an image, you can go to different websites to get free images which have been released. Go to Flicr ( or to Wikipedia Commons ( Make sure the images you use have been released for public use.

Once you have your image you will need to open it with your image editing software. You can use Photoshop, Macromedia Fireworks or any other photography editing software.

Step One: Background. Remove the background of your image. All images have a background colour. Whether it is a sky or a black background, you can use a tool to select the background and remove it.

Step Two: Add brightness and contrast. How much? Depends on you. The idea is for the object in the image to be composed of two colours. Adding contrast and brightness will help you get the grey scales out.

Step Three: Find a tool in Photoshop called Cut-Out Filter. Play with the features until you get a two colour image.

Step Four: Print the image.

Step Five Cut it: You should now have an image composed of two colours. You should cut one colour out. When you spray paint over it, the image will appear. Make sure you are cutting the correct part out.

Step Six: You can use the paper you have cut or you can transfer the image to another surface. When doing stencil art, the more you spray over the stencil the more it wears out. You might want to decide to use plastic or metal or solid materials.

Step Seven: Place your stencil art over the surface you want to paint. Hold it in place. Spray paint over.

You can repeat the process as many times as you want. Stencil art can be used for graffiti, tribal painting, t-shirts and many other designs.