Writing Words with Negative Stencils and Transfer Tape

Writing words is an advanced technique and requires one of our lettering stencil packs, a sharp craft knife a weeding tool, vinyl backing paper or stiff plastic, masking tape, precision cutting and a bit of patience!


Take a look at your font reference sheet and you will see that each letter (the same as the other stencils) has a positive and negative stencil. For this example, we will look at writing letters with the Negative part of each to produce solid coloured writing.

Our message will be a simple one – ‘Thank You’.


Here’s the finished message.


On a piece of backing paper, or stiff plastic, draw a pencil line if you would like your letters written formally.


Taking each letter in turn, cut it to fit the next letter in the word. This will also help with attractive letter spacing, bringing them closer together.

Keep in mind that lowercase letters that follow an uppercase letter will often sit beneath part of the first letter.


Using a craft knife, cut round part of the uppercase ‘T’ so the next letter can sit under it slightly, and bring the letters closer together.

Use a weeding tool or the blade of the knife to lift it from its backing paper.


Lay the first letter down on the pencil line. Press it down.


For the next letter, cut it round and lay it, slightly overlapping the previous letter. This will help reduce fiddly masking when the words are complete.


For letters like ‘a’, b’, ‘p’, etc you will need to weed the middle of the letter off the backing paper and place it into position.

Complete all the letters for your word as detailed above.


If you are writing two lines, overlap the second line a little to avoid fiddly masking.


Grab your transfer tape and press it firmly down over your message.


As previously described in the Trasnfer Tape section, press the tape and vinyl down onto your work surface. Press firmly and carefully peel off the transfer tape.

Be careful not to pull off any small part of the detail such as the middle of letters. If you need, weed it off the transfer tape and place it down where it should be.


Mask your message making sure there are no gaps where you don’t want them and you’re ready to apply the colour or other media.


When you’re done, peel the masking tape and vinyl off to reveal your message rendered beautifully.

It is unlikely you will be able to use the vinyl again, but if you feel you can, lay it back onto its backing paper.