Negative Stencil: Application

As you’ve read above, each stencil has two parts, a Positive part (the ‘mask’) and a Negative part (the stencil). For this section, we’ll look at using the Negative part of the stencil.

It is likely that you will mostly use the Negative parts of the stencils to begin with in order to create solid, positive impressions of the stencils. The negatives are shown in colour on the stencil diagrams provided in the pack, but not so obvious on the actual stencil sheet. Cross refer the stencil with the design to avoid confusion.

Note: If the stencil you are using has lots of fine lines and intricate detail, it is recommended you use the transfer tape to apply the stencil to the work. See the sections below for two methods of using tape. Also review the sections on ‘Weeding’

Decide which stencils you would like to use and where on your piece they will look best.

The negative part of the stencil in your pack is shown in colour whilst the positive part is black or white.


Carefully remove the stencil from the backing paper ensuring you do not stretch it or tear it, or any part of the stencil not being peeled off.

For intricate designs, you may find it easier to use a weeding tool at this stage.

Evenly lay the stencil down onto your work. Make sure there are no creases or wrinkles.


Press the stencil down firmly.


Stick masking tape all round the stencil, overlapping the edges. Additional masking can be added such as scrap paper to help prevent accidental spillage and overspraying.