Thursday, 2 October 2014

Plastic stencils...

If you have kids you'll know that these days the toys they all want for birthdays and Christmas all seem to come covered in plastic,I know the reason is most likely because the toys stand out when kids see them,then they'll plague their parents to buy them,but what to do with it?

When I was kid most toys came in boxes with nice pictures on them,seems they don't make packaging like they used,as well as everything else.

I'm not entirely sure you can recycle the stuff,although our local council have recently changed the rules as to what you can put in the recycling,but I've discovered it's quite useful.

This stuff -

I've got quite a stash of it.
I'm a hoarder of stuff,you know how it is,you look at something and think I’ll keep that because it'll come in useful,then you forget about it for a while,and then when you need something you'll come across it and think why did I keep that? I do this a lot (too much if you ask my wife)

As it turns out I've found a use for it,I had thought we'd use it for crafting in some way,but we haven't as yet and I needed a way of making some patterns (stencils) for various wood based projects,and this stuff is good for that,I'm sure I'm not the first person to figure this out.

What I did was to draw up the designs I wanted on graph paper,I was making some art deco type picture frames and wanted a quick way of replicating the patterns without having to measure them out every time.

So once I'd got my patterns worked out on paper I stuck them to the plastic with a bit of pva glue,and once it had dried I cut the patterns out,simple really don't know why I've never thought of doing this before.

Glued down and ready for cutting -

Just need a sharp knife and a ruler.

To cut them out I used craft knife (it has a very sharp blade) and a ruler to make sure I got the lines straight,the knife does need to be sharp,you can also use scissors,again as long as they are sharp,make sure you use a piece of wood or some kind of board to protect any surfaces,I use our wood chopping board for this type of thing.

I made a few and they all seem to be very good,the plastic is thick enough to give a good edge you can follow with a pencil,and as they are plastic they last a while,obviously the more they get used the quicker they'll wear out.

Simple to use - 

It means I get the same shape every time.

Here's one of the picture frames I made using a different stencil - 

Meet my wife's great grandparents.

I also had some wood turning to do,I've been making spools and again using these little stencils I can quickly mark up the wood and I'll get consistent results,it's not perfect,but it does save time.

Spool patterns cut out - 

These where little bit fiddly to cut out.

The idea is I can offer up the stencil to the wood and easily mark where I need to cut with a pencil,as I said it's not perfect,there are slight differences from spool to spool,but for the most part they are the same.

Marking out - 

The patterns are numbered as I made different sizes.

The end result - 

They turned out quite well,good job really I have a load more to make.

There's no reason you couldn't use this plastic to make stencils for painting on walls,furniture or just pictures of what ever takes you,Halloween is coming up,you could make a couple of pumpkin shaped ones for easy replication,I have plans for some more creative picture frames and making patterns from this will help a lot as the designs aren't something that's easily drawn onto wood.

I might have a root around to see what else I've kept,you never know I might actually find a use for it.

Thanks for reading.

Homemade Thursday


  1. What a great way to put the plastic to use. Love the picture frame a lovely way to display your ancestors, and what fabulous hats they are both wearing!

    Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me

    1. People really had a sense of style back then,thanks for reading.

  2. Oh my goodness! What an excellent use for the packaging! We usually recycle loads of it! I adore your frame - it's beautiful; perfect for such a precious photo.

    As for the spools - you are SO clever!

    Thank you so much for linking up to Homemade Thursday :)

    1. It's a good job I've found a use for it,with Christmas coming up I'll probably end up with a load more to find a use for,thanks for reading.