Here are some ideas for frugal or free stencils. The round, orange flower one is the base of a paper plate holder. The diamonds are from toy packaging, the plastic wavy lines I cut from a piece of plastic I removed from the toy packaging. The ovals came from an empty tissue box. The silver thing came from some electronics packaging my husband ordered.
You can have many different stencil options if you just look at things differently. When you shop, look at everything with an eye at what else you can do with it. When I buy a box of tissues, I look at the design on the packaging to if I can use it as a stencil. I look at everything to see how I can use it in my art practice. That could be after the original use is over, like pantyhose with runs in them. Or by altering them for a new purpose, like cutting off the edge of a paper plate holder found at Dollar Tree.
Stamps are also easy to make. Here’s how:
Use cardboard and scraps of fun foam. I cut or punched the shapes out and glued them to cardboard with my hot glue. I added stacks of cardboard to the backs for a way to hold the stamps. These are just a few of the ones I’ve made. The beauty of this is they are very simple to make, last for quite awhile and are made from scraps.
Let’s not kid ourselves here; I enjoy buying art materials. It is really the only place I spend any money. However, I prefer to spend the money on things I cannot make myself. So I am always searching for ways to recreate the popular stuff I see.
Here’s another quick and easy DIY, Washi tape. This is one of the easiest things to make. Here’s how I do it:
I buy the cheapest masking tape I can find. It is low-tack, which is what you want. I like to buy it in different widths. I cut strips and attach them to the plastic cutting mats I buy from Dollar Tree. Normally I make two strips of the same pattern. I use paint, ink, markers, whatever I want on the tape. I make the designs on the tape, let them dry completely. I save my dead ink pens. I remove the guts and use the hard plastic exterior as the holder for my washi tape. You can get a few on each pen.
Easy as can be and cost effective. You can get a surprisingly large amount of washi from one roll of masking tape.