‘Weeding’ Multi-Part Stencils

Generally, in our level 2 and 3 stencil packs, some of the designs are in multiple parts, ie you need to apply the one stencil in two or more separate pieces to the work to complete the design. This is where a ‘weeding’ tool comes in very helpful.


Illustration of a Multi-Part Stencil

To the top left, you will see how the symbol should look when finished. The larger green image shows how the stencil looks on the sheet.

In order for the stencil to look right when it is applied, the ‘windows’ in the top section need to ‘weeded’ out and applied to the work separately from the rest as they are not attached to the main part of the stencil.


To achieve the symbol, we need to remove the Negative part of the stencil shown here in blue so the colour is applied into the white space. However, just removing the blue part will leave behind the ‘windows’ shown in purple as they are not attached to the main part of the stencil.

The windows will need to be ‘weeded’ off the sheet and applied independently to the work in the correct position.


When the Dream symbol stencil is applied correctly to your piece and masked around the edges, and the windows have been stuck into their correct positions, you can then apply the colour into the white space.

In Practice . . .

Here’s the Kanji symbol for Happiness. You can see just above the centre, there is a white ‘window’ similar to those described above.

In order to achieve this stencil, the negative part needs to be removed first, applied, and then the ‘window’ applied after. Here’s how to do it . . .


For ease, slide the blade of a craft knife, or other weeding tool under the corner of the stencil and carefully peel it off.

Lay the stencil down evenly on your work piece.


Looking back at the stencil sheet, you will notice that after the stencil has been removed and applied to the work, the window mentioned above is still on the backing paper.


Using your weeding tool, tease the missing piece off the backing paper. Make sure it is stuck to the tool.


Lay the window down in the correct position within the stencil and press into place.


Here’s the completed stencil on the piece with the masking tape securely in place.

You are now ready to fill in the stencil with your medium of choice.

Some stencils have more than one element to it that need weeding out, such as the Mandalas. Make sure you cross refer the stencil to your reference sheet when weeding the stencil.