Understanding Stencils in Screen Printing

Using Yupo Paper & Freezer Paper!

Where it all starts ✨

If you're starting out in Screen Printing, then creating and using stencils is a great place to begin! In this blog, we will cover what a stencil is and the numerous ways you can create perfect print-ready stencils. We will cover using Freezer Paper, Yupo Paper and a method using a cutting machine.

What's a stencil?✨

A stencil refers to a physical or digital template that acts as a barrier, allowing ink to pass through only specific areas onto the printing surface. The stencil defines the design or pattern that will be printed by blocking ink flow to unwanted areas.

Just Getting Started? 👀

At Hunt The Moon, we have Stencil Kits for printing T-Shirts & Fabric and also Paper & Card - making it super easy to start! Stencil Screen Printing is easily one of the most simple and effective routes into Screen Printing. If you haven't already, be sure to check out these kits and tools below!

In the kit, we include Reynolds Freezer Paper, which you guessed it...is great for creating stencils.

Start Screen Printing with Stencils today!

View all
Paper & Card - Screen Printing Stencil Kit - A4 or A3Paper & Card - Screen Printing Stencil Kit - A4 or A3
T-Shirts & Fabric - Screen Printing Stencil Kit - A4 or A3T-Shirts & Fabric - Screen Printing Stencil Kit - A4 or A3
Yupo Paper - Deluxe Stencil Making PaperYupo Paper - Deluxe Stencil Making Paper
Yupo Paper - Deluxe Stencil Making Paper
Sale priceFrom £6.99
In stock
Choose options
Deluxe Craft Knife w/ Safety CapDeluxe Craft Knife w/ Safety Cap
Deluxe Craft Knife w/ Safety Cap
Sale price£5.95
In stock

Freezer Paper

Freezer Paper is great for Screen Printing because it has a plastic coating that adheres to the fabric, creating a barrier that prevents the ink from bleeding and producing crisp, clean edges. Freezer Paper is better suited than say, plain paper for Screen Printing because it can be easily removed from whatever you are printing onto, whereas plain paper may tear or stick.

For low cost and large quantities, this is great for experimenting with different concepts and designs. Looking for repeat screen prints from the same stencil? Yupo Paper is your answer.

Yupo Paper

Want a stencil that can last across several prints? Yupo Paper is your answer. Let's say you're an Etsy Artist creating T-Shirts for sale and you are printing a batch of graphic tees; you are going to want a stencil that can last and not break apart.

Because of its synthetic composition, Yupo paper has some distinct advantages over other types of paper when it comes to screen printing.

One of the key benefits of Yupo paper is its smooth surface. Yupo paper is very smooth and slick. This makes it perfect for screen printing because it allows for very fine details and crisp lines. You can also print on either side unlike Freezer Paper!

Stencil Design ✨

First, it's time to think of an idea! Sketch out some designs, think about the size and what you are printing onto and most importantly, keep it simple.

A key phrase here is bridges. Bridges in a stencil design refer to creating connections within the design to support isolated or delicate parts. They prevent parts from falling out during cutting and maintain the stencil's structure.

Remember, the stencil is not the cutout shape itself, but rather the remaining piece of freezer paper that acts as a barrier, allowing the ink to pass through. So before drawing onto the Freezer / Yupo Paper, make sure your design follow will work as a stencil.

Need Inspiration? Check out our free stencil designs.

Stencil Cutting & Taping

Now you have your design, it's time to draw/trace onto your Freezer Paper / Yupo Paper followed by cutting with your Craft Knife. Pro tip: Take it slow! Rushing can cause the stencil to look untidy or even bleed when screen printing.

Once cut, you will want to tape the stencil to the back of the screen (aka, not the squeegee printing side). We'd recommend using our Blue Roll Tape.

The Yupo Paper benefit:

With Freezer Paper when you are taping it to the screen, you will have to use a specific side - the shiny side. Make sure it's face down.

Whereas with Yupo Paper, either side will work, so it makes it a lot easier designing-wise, especially if you plan on using text - no need for mirroring.

Try it out for yourself! 🎨

The best way to see the process and results is to experiment and learn along the way! If you're a budding Screen Printer, be sure to check out our Screen Printing Kits, using the supplied Freezer Paper.

Once you're happy with the process or feel you need more durability, grab some Yupo Paper ✨

Beginner Screen Printing Kits

View all
T-Shirts & Fabric - Screen Printing Stencil Kit - A4 or A3T-Shirts & Fabric - Screen Printing Stencil Kit - A4 or A3
Paper & Card - Screen Printing Stencil Kit - A4 or A3Paper & Card - Screen Printing Stencil Kit - A4 or A3

Have a cutting machine? Create Stencils effortlessly ✨

Love working with stencils and own a cutting machine? Then this is a great way to step up your stencil game. We've got a blog covering this step by step which you can read here.