Using a Vinyl Cutout as a Stencil

Stencil from Vinyl Cutout (1)
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Have you ever tried to use a stencil to paint a sign and wound up with a hot mess? Every attempt I’ve made has been a disaster. So much so that I’ve just painted over the sign and used a vinyl cutout. But, I’ve found that as far as making signs for others, people prefer a “painted” sign over a vinyl application. I’ve seen a couple of ways people used their Silhouette or Cricut to make stencils that seemed to turn out much better than a traditional stencil. Here’s an easy technique.

How to Do It

The first step is to paint your the entire surface of your board with the color you want your letters to be. In my case; I used Dixie Belle Fluff.

 Next, cut your saying out using your cutter, in my case a Silhouette. You’re basically going to proceed as though you were just going to put vinyl on the sign as normal. Use cheap removable vinyl for this.


Here’s Where it Gets Different 

Now you’ll paint over the entire board using the color you want to be the background of your letters. In my case, Dixie Belle Bunker Hill Blue.  Be sure your letters are all pressed onto the board securely. Any place where the letters may be lifted will allow the paint over color to bleed through.

Let the paint dry. I’ve seen some tutorials that say to lift the vinyl while the top coat of paint is wet. This is a sure way to get the top color to mess up your letters. Just be patient. When the top coat is dry, carefully lift an edge of your letters and gently pull them off.


Should there be any bleed through of the top coat onto your letter. Just use a small artist brush with your letter color to cover the bleed through.

Add a frame and any other embellishments you’d like. I intend to do a tutorial on how to make the frames. I have two different methods for this. But that’s for another time.

This is such an easy way to get a “hand painted” wood sign. For me it’s a much more successful technique than traditional stencils.

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  1. Martha Andreoli
    June 9, 2020 @ 4:00 pm

    did u make the stencil or purchase it , if purchased i would like to know where
    a great video
    Thank you


    • Kelly
      June 11, 2020 @ 10:56 am

      Martha- I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the stencil out of vinyl. I downloaded the design from the Silhouette Studio store. This is the best way I’ve found to make clean signs. Thanks so much for stopping by. Blessings- Kelly


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