Die Cut Stencils

by Korin Sutherland

Use die cuts for masking and stencil effects.



  1. Step 1

    Create a stencil out of cardstock or acetate using dies. Here, a single border die was cut several times to create a pattern.

  2. Step 2

    Position the stencil over a cardstock panel, and hold it in place using repositionable tape. Mask off any areas you don't want to be inked.

  3. Step 3

    Sponge ink through the stencil openings.

  4. If desired, use two or more colors to create a gradient or ombre effect.

  5. Step 4

    Remove the stencil to reveal the sponged pattern.

  6. Step 5 (Optional)

    Some dies have coordinating stamps. These can be used to enhance the pattern.

  7. Step 6 (Optional)

    Sponge additional color into the pattern.

  8. Step 7

    Stamp any additional images or sentiments.

  9. Step 8

    Embellish and complete the card.



  1. Instead of stenciling a pattern, use a variety of die cut stencils to create a scene. Die cuts can also be used for masking areas of the scene, like the fence in this sample.

  2. Sponge inks through die cut stencils, then stamp a coordinating image in the sponged area. Move and/or rotate the stencil to create a pattern or a progression of color.

    For a collaged look, try stamping a different pattern inside the opening.

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Die Cut Stencils. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

I love this Korin. Thanks so much for showing us another way to make more use of our 'toys'. I can't wait to try it.
Annette  |  Wed May 28, 2014 at 4:56 AM
Great ideas for your technique and the tutorial easy to follow. Thanks a bunch Korin!
Chris Domino  |  Wed May 28, 2014 at 5:42 AM
Awesome, Korin!
Bev Rousch  |  Wed May 28, 2014 at 5:44 AM
thanks for opening my eyes to another use for the dies we all have. this is such a simple but effective use for them.
janice hafemeister  |  Wed May 28, 2014 at 8:05 AM
Terrific technique. I love finding new ways to use my tools!!!
angela bode  |  Wed May 28, 2014 at 8:57 AM
LOVE this tutorial! Takes what I've done & adds so much-gotta try it! All these cards are wonderful!
Greta Hess  |  Wed May 28, 2014 at 9:43 AM
I truly likes this tutorial as well as all the examples of modifications. Thanks.
Diane Stevens  |  Wed May 28, 2014 at 5:12 PM
What a practical tutorial. I have lots of diecuts and now know a new way to use them for even more unique card/scrapbooking designs. Directions easy to understand. Thank you.
hopemitchell  |  Wed May 28, 2014 at 8:45 PM
I like this idea very much and it's simplicity makes it more desirable to want to make a few. Thank you for the inspiration .
Ana Whitty  |  Thu May 29, 2014 at 11:28 AM
I love these simple tutorials that have fantastic results! Too often I get sidetracked with embellishments replacing my love of stamping. So it is refreshing to see a project like this turn out awesome! Thanks Korin for making these cards for us to see as well. I look forward to more of this type of tutorial if your up to it!
Dottie  |  Thu May 29, 2014 at 4:57 PM
Love the idea of making stencils out of dies.
Margarita Navarro-Rivera  |  Thu May 29, 2014 at 5:24 PM
WOW...great idea..thanx for the tutorial..Luv the butterflies too !!
kathy dumais  |  Fri May 30, 2014 at 4:39 PM
very informative , great idea, thank you for sharing
Surrereys DeMoss  |  Thu Jul 3, 2014 at 6:57 PM
Wow, a brilliant idea, im quite new to cardmaking so this is another way to get more use from my dies smile
Joanne Mays  |  Wed Sep 24, 2014 at 7:26 PM
Love this, but am totally confused as to how the stencil is made. I just can't rap my mind around it, no matter how many time I look at it. Can anyone help me visualize this?
Jeanne Johannes  |  Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 7:39 PM
Do you have a recommended method to clean the dies after using as stencils? When I tried this, and then cleaned my dies with soap and water, my dies seemed not to cut as well, or maybe, I should say, it was harder to pick out the little pieces of my die cut.
Letitia MacFarlane  |  Fri Mar 25, 2016 at 10:55 AM

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