Stenciling can add an entirely different look to your embroidery design. In this blog, we will talk about some unique methods for stenciling embroidery with machines. Let’s get started.


Stenciling requires two basic tools: a stencil and a coloring media. There are numerous options for each tool, making a combination that will work for the project.



Stencils come in various ranges. From the simple opening, paper cuts to metal plates with details. The design size and the number of times the stencil will be used will determine which stencil suits best for a particular project.


Paper pencils don’t last long. But they are easy to cut and utilize that makes them worthy. You can use heavy card stock. It will give the stencil more body, and it won’t come apart when paint or brush strokes are applied to its edge.


Freezer paper is another good stencilling material. You can iron it to the background fabric for stencilling. It has a great advantage if the stencil includes small areas. You can use multiple layers of freezer paper with an iron for a sturdier stencil.


A large number of stencils are cut from plastic sheets. Plastic stencils are waterproof, more durable, and resistant to tears. You can find pre-cut stencils and plastic sheets at craft stores. Draw or trace the stencil design onto the plastic with the help of a pencil or pen. You can cut the plastic sheets with scissors and a craft knife or a burning tool to cut the small areas for fine details.


Metal stencils are durable and expensive. You can use reuse them without any worries. They are usually smaller than precut plastic stencils. You can only use them on flat surfaces. You will find them with card-making supplies. But you can use them for traditional stenciling as well.


When stenciling, make sure that the design doesn’t have areas that float within the larger cut-away areas. You can experience this during stenciling when the letter “O” becomes two semicircles, not meeting the top and bottom. When making original stencil designs, minimize the bridge numbers, and make them as small as possible for better results.


Colour Selection

The color selection for stencils ranges from pen and ink and paint and dye. The color selection determines the final outcome. The final output also depends on the material being stenciled. Some color combinations are opaque enough to use even on darker fabric material.


Acrylic paint is easy for stenciling on fabric and paper. The paint is compounded for use on fabric. You can add a textile medium to regular acrylic paint to make it adaptable for fabric use. Always read the manual before using any material. You need to heat set some paints before they get permanent on the fabric.


Acrylic paints are easy to clean and can be cleaned up with soap and water. Make sure to clean the brush and stencil between colors. You can use separate tools to use with each paint color.


You can also use inks for coloring stenciled designs. Choose permanent inks for the fabrics. Stamp pads are the most reliable method for the convenient distribution of stenciling ink. To apply the ink to the bristles, tap the brush on the inkpad.


Oil crayons and paint sticks are other great options to apply a smooth color layer to the stencil. Unlike acrylics, oils dry slowly. Therefore, they must be cleaned up with paint thinner or turpentine. Make sure you have all the necessary tools before stenciling. Drying can take up to 48 to 72 hours, so allow some time for adding embroidery to the project.


Other Notions to Keep in Mind

Freezer paper can stabilize the fabric during ink or paint application if you iron it to the wrong side. It also serves as a barrier and prevents bleedthrough onto the work surface or fabric layers. You can use an iron-on stabilizer instead and leave it in place during embroidery.


A blue painter’s tape or masking tape is perfect for holding a stencil in place temporarily. The tape prevents the stencil from shifting between different colors or when you are working with a large complex design.


Apply a stencil adhesive, temporary spray adhesive, or a basting glue stick to the stencil’s wrong side to keep it flat against the decorated surface. Unlike masking tape, the adhesive will attach the stenciled parts to the surface without interfering with the coloring process.


You can chalk or temporary marking tools to make registration marks. It is required when the stencil should be moved or creating a continuous border.



These are some of the main factors that you may need to consider for stenciling with machine embroidery. If you still have any doubts or questions about logo digitizing services, please reach out to us on our website Migdigitizing. We will be happy to assist you.

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