Monday, 21 November 2016

Decorate Unglazed Ceramics with Stencils

Cut stencils for decorating ceramic blanks with Silhouette Cameo by Janet Packer for Silhouette UK

Hello, Janet here with an idea for decorating unglazed ceramic items (available in some of our craft shops at the moment). I bought a few different blanks including the tea-light set I'm going to decorate in today's post.

I used my Silhouette to make a set of stencils to sponge metallic acrylic paints onto the blank tea-light holder set. This made use of two Silhouette Design Store designs, one of which is Christmas-y, the other useful for any time of the year depending on the paint colours selected


Ceramic Blank
Smooth Matte Vinyl
Transfer Tape
Metallic Acrylic Paints
Sponge Applicator
Tiny Leaves file by Nic Squirrell (#83891)
 Reindeer Party Accordion Card file by Nic Squirrell (#110731)


Open the Tiny Leaves file in the Silhouette Studio® software. Resize the file to fit the stack of blanks. As the dimensions are different from the size of the stack, untick Lock Aspect first. Leave the width long enough to allow the ends to overlap.

Also weld a rectangle on the bottom to overlap over the edge of the bottom blank to keep it free of paint.

(optional) Make a second stencil so that the dots can be added separately (by ungrouping and regrouping selected elements).

Open the Reindeer Party file and resize that to fit the blanks too (this involved removing one of the reindeer with the knife tool - it was hard to decide which one to choose).  I also changed the heights of some of the reindeer, but this isn't strictly necessary.

These are my second and third stencils.


Initially I cut the stencil from stencil vinyl, but found it a little too sticky for the unfinished surface of these blanks as it pulled off some of the white colour. However, I think that the product would be excellent for glazed surfaces or for fabric. Instead I used Silhouette Matte Vinyl which is removable from most surfaces. This seemed to have just the right level of stickiness.

I do recommend doing a test cut with the vinyl before cutting all the stencils as I find for vinyl especially that I need to different cut settings than the default ones.


Once the stencils are cut it is necessary to weed them, removing the excess vinyl. I had to include a photo of this one as it shows all the cute reindeer expressions!

Leave the weeded stencils on their backing paper until you are ready to transfer them to the blank.


Stack the blank pieces together and transfer the stencil to the blank using transfer paper. Then paint each layer in turn. To apply the paint you could use a sponge applicator but I just used a cut up household sponge one piece for each colour. I used a pouncing method, applying a few thin coats, adding  more until the paint layer looked thick enough.

Once the paint is dry remove each stencil and move on to the next stencil.

Here is my finished tea-light holder, ready to be wrapped up as a Christmas present. Of course with other designs it could be used as a gift at any time of year.

I hope you'll have a go at sponge painting items using stencils cut on your Silhouette.

Bye for now,

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