I’ve been requested to write a tutorial by a wonderful friend on How to Center a Stencil Before Applying, and of course I gladly said yes to the request. I actually use 2 different ways that stencils can be centered before paint hits the canvas.
The first way is super technical, are you ready? I eye ball it and if it looks centered that’s where it gets stenciled. I know sounds complicated, lol, but if it looks good and centered, it probably is pretty close. I especially do this on projects that are personal projects or floral stencils like the one pictured below. Flowers seem to be forgiving if they’re not centered just right, so I usually just try to make them look good and don’t worry too much if it’s off centered by a half inch or so.
The second way I center a stencil is to get my handy dandy tape measure out and measure both vertically and horizontally from the very far edges of the stencil, whether that be a letter or a graphic, to the edge of the project piece.
For instance when centering this stencil I would measure from the letter that is the highest on the top row, which is the T in Thou, to the frame.
Then I would measure from the letter that is the lowest on the bottom row, which is the f in of, to make sure the same amount of space is between the edge of the canvas/frame and the bottom most and top most part of the stencil.
Then I would measure from the left and right ends to make sure the space is the same on each side from the furthest part of the stencil, which in this case would be the furthest part of each flower. Once I’ve measured and the stencil is in place, I measure one more time just to make sure everything is centered horizontally and vertically, and then the stencil is taped down to ensure it won’t move.
I probably use the first method about half the time and the second method the other half. It more depends on the project and the design and whether it’ll look bad if it’s off centered, like a sign. Floral designs are usually a bit more forgiving than a word design. I almost always measure if the stenciled project is not a personal project.
I know this probably isn’t the most technical way to center a stencil, but it’s the way I’ve found to be effective and easy. I hope this helps you next time you are stenciling a project.
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