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Thread: Ideas on Tools to Make a Stencil

  1. #1
    Senior Member grocifer's Avatar
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    Ideas on Tools to Make a Stencil

    I want to cut my own stencil but have discovered that olfa no longer makes a cutting knife. Have read that xacto has a knife with a double blade but unable to locate same at AC Moore's or online. Does anyone have a idea of what I could try?

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    for a while, you could buy the cutters here http://quiltingstencils.com/olfadoub...etailonly.aspx They had purchased the entire available stock. Now, however, they have a note on the page that the mfg discontinued making them and they are no longer available. I have heard that some folks use a woodburning iron to cut the plastic. i've never done that, though. The last couple of times, I just cut my template out of paper and it worked for the quilt I was doing at the time. I doubt that it would last for too long. But I usually customize my designs for each quilt, so that's not a problem.
    Nancy in western NY

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dandish's Avatar
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    I found a stencil burner at JoAnn for about $14 - if i remember correctly it was by the woodworking stuff. It has different tips of difference sizes. I've used it once and it takes a little practice, but worked well.

    Here a bunch of examples from amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&rh=i...0Burner&page=1
    Last edited by Dandish; 02-21-2012 at 10:31 AM. Reason: add link

  4. #4
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    I've tried it with the exacto knives, even have the one with the head that turns, supposedly for marking circles/wavy lines...hate it. I think the burner would be the way to go, although I've never tried it.

  5. #5
    Super Member suebee's Avatar
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    Whatever you do, dont buy the eletric stencil cutters!!! IMHO, takes too long and stencils are cheap to begin with (for the most part). I just HAD to have one, such a pain.
    SUEB

  6. #6
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    I use a pair of small craft scissors. I use a RADA knife sharpener when I have to.
    don't stop!just keep trying and something usable will turn out!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    for a while, you could buy the cutters here http://quiltingstencils.com/olfadoub...etailonly.aspx They had purchased the entire available stock. Now, however, they have a note on the page that the mfg discontinued making them and they are no longer available. I have heard that some folks use a woodburning iron to cut the plastic. i've never done that, though. The last couple of times, I just cut my template out of paper and it worked for the quilt I was doing at the time. I doubt that it would last for too long. But I usually customize my designs for each quilt, so that's not a problem.
    The Stencil Co has one left if you are interested. They are correct in that the Olfa is no longer being made as is the double blade Xacto.
    I have found that the double blade knif is the easist to use. That along with the blue flexible plastic.
    Folks who have the burning tool either like it or hat it. Some have reported a long learning period to use it successfully. I found that it melts and puttles melted plastic underneigh that must be sanded off.
    You can make them with one blade knife but takes some care in order to get the double lines. I was given a sample one time fome a student who had made one out of freezer paper and used the single blade knife. Pepper Cory demonstrates making with the v shape gouging wood working knife with the plastic on a sheet of glass.
    Now having said all this....depending on the design and how detailed it is, you can use a series of templates made from stiff plastic and draw around the shapes.
    It would be helpful to know the design you want to make. I might be able to be more helpful.
    Guess I should figure out some other tools to use.

  8. #8
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    I just saw a "stencil cutting pen" in the most recent "Connecting Threads" catalogue. It's on page 40 and only costs $14.39. It says it heats up and comes with 2 different tips. It seems that the cutters are still available.
    Sue

  9. #9
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    I use my wood burner to make stencils. It works well and leaves the edges very smooth. The smell of burnt plastic does smell so I make them in the garage or out side of the house.

  10. #10
    Senior Member grocifer's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Holice;4995279]The Stencil Co has one left if you are interested. They are correct in that the Olfa is no longer being made as is the double blade Xacto.
    I have found that the double blade knif is the easist to use. That along with the blue flexible plastic.
    You can make them with one blade knife but takes some care in order to get the double lines.

    Holice, Thank you so much for the information. I went immediately to The Stencil Co. site and they had the olfa cutter listed as being discontinued so was unable to load it into my cart. I called the number and left a message and lo & behold, four hours later I got a call back and they did indeed have one left. It must be the last in captivity!!
    Also I appreciate the offer to make a stencil for me -- I've never made one so will try this first. Thanks again.........

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