Zentangles and Stencil Cutting

I don't know how I stumbled upon it, but I somehow found this Flickr site about Zentangles. I thought they look so FASCINATING and fun, and I really am trying to think outside the box and try and expand my creativity. I have been working on them at work (shhh!!) and at home, and it is addicting. I love how they turn out, and so far it has been harder than I had imagined to just think of random doodles. I don't doodle, and I never really have. I've always just randomly colored things. I like color! I can't draw, outside of triangles, hearts and stars. I have looked at many Zentangles from this flickr site, have written down ideas, but I hope that one day I can do one all from my brain. Here are some I have done. I also tried to do one completely in black and white, but it is too tempting to add in color. The last one I really like so far...even if  I just started it. (click to enlarge) I use different sized Sakura Micron pens for these, and watercolor (Prismacolor) pencils for the color.

I just have started out playing with stencils and spray paint on my journals. Constantly searching for stencils you want and buying them is difficult and expensive, so naturally I want to make my own! I first found this on Michelle Ward's Blog. She does monthly Crusades, a challenge to anyone who wants to participate. I think I am going to work through most of them even if they are over. Some are so awesome! Here are some photos of my beginning stenciling crusades.

As you an see, its a little rough around the edges. It is MUCH easier using a heating tool (found at Michael's) than an exacto knife...but harder than I thought. Any tips on how to make pretty stencils?


  1. Hey Dawn! Good for you tyring out the stencil cutting! You asked if I ever check the old crusades - all comments get emailed to me so it doesn't matter where you post, I'll get it. I'm going to add your link to the new crusade listing with a (C19) after it. Thanks for sharing your work - it's always fun to revisit a past challenge and see how it is interpreted.

    Here's a tip: the burner is a great tool but it works even better on regular acetate or transparency - like the kind you run through your printer or copier. It's thinner and cuts with less melty threads.

  2. Very cool! Obviously you DO doodle! I still haven't tried cutting a stencil that way...I use an old exacto knife, it is a major pain! Welcome to the crusades!

  3. Hey good on you for having a go at your own stencils. It's great having your own tools huh? Now I have to go look up Zentangles :-)

  4. oooohhh... i LOVE Zentangling!!! Have been doing so for about 2 years. Do you get Rick and Maria's emails? SKADS of inspiration!!

  5. These zentangles are really good! Do you keep a Doodle dictionary? I just started one and it really helps! I'm like you and want to color mine in too! Also, I really should make my own stencils too! You've inspired me! Thanks :D