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How to Make a Reverse Stencil in Silhouette Studio

You can turn pretty much any SVG into a stencil by creating a reverse stencil. 

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What is a reverse stencil? A reverse stencil is where you change the part of your design that will be painted or etched. 

With a reverse stencil, also called a mask, you are creating a stencil where you are painting/etching the area outside and around the SVG design - not the design itself.  This tutorial will explain how to create a reverse stencil in Silhouette Studio.

First, open Silhouette Studio and the design you wish to turn into a reverse stencil.  

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The No Wine Left Behind design we are using is from So Fontsy's Stencil and Sign Bundle.

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Once you have the design in a Silhouette Studio work area, use the Draw a Rectangle tool to draw a rectangle (or other shape you like) large enough to fit around the design...

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 ... and center it around the design.

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Draw a second larger rectangle around everything (the design and first rectangle/shape). 

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This is your reverse stencil! Size it appropriately for your project, then cut it out of either vinyl or stencil material.

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How to Weed a Reverse Vinyl Stencil 

To weed the stencil - you are going to weed out the inner rectangle/shape - everything around the SVG design but not the SVG design itself.

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Don't forget the inner parts of the letters as well.

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Then, weed the excess material around the largest rectangle.

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And here's your reverse stencil!


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Use transfer tape to apply the stencil to the desired surface.  

If you're applying your reverse stencil to a round object - like a wine glass for glass etching - a stencil like this may be hard to fit around the round shape.

Instead, just transfer the weeded design and mask off a rectangle outside the vinyl design. You can use blue painter's tape to do this. 


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Apply the product - glass etching cream in this example - to the inner rectangle/shape. 

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With glass etching, you'll let the cream sit, then rinse it off. If using paint, let the paint dry. Then, remove the stencil and reveal the project. What you get is an etched/painted area around the design/text, and the design/text itself is left unpainted/unetched.

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You don't have to make the shape of the stencil rectangular. You could draw a circle, oval, star or any shape you like to create your reverse stencil.

Reversing stencil is just another option for you how you can use your SVG designs and be as creative a as possible with your projects.

We then added some color to this etched wine glass design!

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To see how to color etched glass, check out the tutorial over at the So Fontsy blog.

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You'll also find the designs used on these wine glasses in the Stencil and Sign Design Bundle at So Fontsy.

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Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!


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