Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Stencil Art

Stencil Art

From the editors at Klutz
Craft Kit
For ages 8 to 12
Klutz, 2007   ISBN: 978-1570542459

For hundreds of years people have been using stencils to decorate paper, fabric, furniture, and even on walls. Stencils make it possible for artists to “make perfectly shaped shapes every time,” and with a little imagination those shapes can be used to create gorgeous works of art.

In this wonderful craftsy, artsy kit young artists will find everything they need to create some wonderful stencil art. There are four plastic sheets of stencils to use, an eight-color pigment ink pad, eight foam-tipped dabbers, a black felt-tip pen to add little touches, and a book full of how to tips and tricks, blanks pages to fill with stencil art, and pages with art prompts and backgrounds. Artists will also need to find some old newspapers, paper towels, removable tape, scratch paper, and an eraser.

In the book we are first shown how to use the tools included in the kit and then two pages of tips and tricks show us how to get the most of those tools. We are then invited, on a “free play” page, to try using the dabbers to see how to get different effects when we use them. Then we get to try the stencils to give them “a test run.” A how-to page comes up next where we learn how to blend colors to that we can take our color adventures to the next level.

The next page is a prompted stenciling page. We are asked to fill a double page spread with “a meadow of blended blossoms.” To create our flowers and their leaves we can use the shapes stencil sheet in the back of the book. The interesting thing about this sheet is that it offers the creative artist the opportunity to create truly unique artwork. Simple shapes can be combined to create gorgeous images of flowers, insects, and more.

When we are ready, we can start layering shapes, and filling in blank spaces between the layers with color. The effect of layering is that you create images that don’t look stenciled at all! Artists can also use an effect called masking to add complexity to their artwork.

Other tips and tricks pages show us how to use stencils to create mandalas, how to stencil gift tags and wrapping paper, and how to combine stenciled images and doodles. Other prompted art pages include an underwater scene, a jungle world, out in space, a doodle page, a city scape, an outdoor scene, and a page where we are invited to create faces.

This kit will delight young crafters and artists who like to use their imagination to take a skill that they are taught to new heights.