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Making a Stencil with Cricut Design Space

I had a fellow crafter ask me how to make a stencil of the American flag with the Cricut.  I said I had never done that before, but I was more than happy to try and figure out the steps and put together something that would help to guide her.

Cricut makes a stencil material.  If you Shop Cricut and click on Materials, then Vinyl, then Specialty you will find the rolls of stencil vinyl.

Now how to make the American flag stencils in Cricut Design Space™

First I am going to search for an image of the American flag in Design Space.  I want one that just has the three colors, with no black outline separating them.  Start off by going to the Images button on the left of the screen, then use the search bar and type in flag.  Scroll through and find a flag you like.  The one I decided to use is the American flag from the International Winter Sports Cricut cartridge.

Since this image has three colors, we really are going to need three separate stencils . . . one for each color . . . and then when you go to use the stencils you will do one color at a time and layer the colors of paint over each other.

I am going to make three squares, all the same size.  To do this go to the shapes button on the left hand side of the screen in Design Space.  Insert one square and then stretch it to make it bigger than the size of the flag.  This square represents the stencil material you will be cutting.  Now right click on that square and duplicate it twice.  You now have three squares that will become the three sections of your stencil.

Now click on the American flag, and in the upper right corner of the screen you will see a button called Ungroup.  Click that and it will let you move and work with each colored layer of the flag separately.

Now I need to cut each of those color layers out of the sections of the stencil material.  For this image I am going to start with the red section and slice the white and red layers.  Now I am left with just the red stripes.

Next let’s do the white section and deal with all of those little stars.  If you select the white and blue sections at the same time, and then in the lower right corner of the screen click the slice button.  You just sliced the stars from the blue section out of the white section!

For the blue section of the stencil, I am thinking that I will paint a whole rectangle of blue, and then I will just layer the white with the stars over the top of that.  Click on the blue layer, and look in the lower right corner of the screen and you will see the contour button . . . click that . . . this opens up a new little screen that allows you to turn part of the cut/layer/design on and off.  Click on each star in this contour window.  This will turn them off or hide them.  When you are done you will have a solid blue rectangle

So now if I place each one of these colors over the squares I made at the beginning it will look like this . . .

Now we have to slice each of these colors out of the square sections.  You can only slice two things at a time, so start with the blue and select the square and the blue, then go to the lower right corner of the screen and click slice.  Do the same for the white and the red.

Here is what all of the pieces will look like when you are done.

Do you want to see how all of this happens in a video?  Here you go!

Now, when you go to stencil the actual image onto the finish project, place the stencil for the blue down first, and paint the blue rectangle.  Once that is dry, place the stencil for the white sections down next.  The hardest part of this is getting things to line up with the blue.  Use the edge of the blue section and where it will hit the white stripe as a guide.  Once you have it placed, fill in the white section.  Last but not least place the stencil for the red sections over this and fill those in.

This method could be used with fabric paint to create your own shirt designs, or painted on wood for a home decor item.

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