Add 'Stencil Style' to Clothing and Home Decor

Posted by on Oct 25, 2012

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Author of the new book "Stencil Style 101: More Than 20 Reusable Fashion Stencils with Step-by-Step Project Instructions" Ed Roth believes that wearables and home decor can get new life with stenciled designs. In his previous books, Stencil 101Stencil 201 and Stencil 101: Decor, Ed shares books with build-in stencils for decorating everything from shirts to bags to an ottoman.

Stencil Style book cover
Can you tell us a little bit about your love of stenciling? Where do you find the inspiration for your designs, and how did you get started?

I like stencils because they enable you to recreate an image over and over. They also allow someone who insists they can't draw to be creative. I enjoy seeing what people come up with using my stencils (color choice, pattern making, placement). These are all things that make each person's use of a stencil their own unique experience. 

As for my inspiration, I find it in urban landscape, graffiti, nature, home decor, vintage textiles, African art, Asian art ... it's an endless list, really! I started stenciling as a hobby and doing some stencil graffiti. In 2004, I decided to form Stencil1 and created 50 designs, bound them in a book, and shopped it around to a few publishers. They didn't know how to handle making a book with stencils in it so I just built my website and sold the stencil individually. Stencil was formed. A few years later Chronicle Books and I came together to make books so that book dream happened!
Stencil Tie with Anchor Mens Fashion
Your newest book is all about stenciling clothes. Do you have any tips for someone who is looking to get started with a DIY/stenciled wardrobe?

My tips for stenciling apparel are, if using the classic t-shirt making how-to for example, go lightly with the paint. I always say a little paint goes a long way!  I have also learned to embrace the end result and let go of what you think it will look like as sometimes it has a painterly quality with brush marks or splashed paint on your shirt. I love the "mistakes"! Mostly, I would say have fun, there is no right way!  With the book, I have provided so many ways to use a stencil as the starting point to create apparel so see which chapters and techniques you are drawn to - Painting? Applique? Embroidery? Try them out! has my full line of stencils. The stencils on my site are laser cut Mylar. Think of the books as the starter kit to get you into stenciling, then you can get the washable, reusable stencils on my site in addition to seeing video how-to's and grabbing some supplies as well!
You also do a bit of home decor stenciling. What are your favorite designs or patterns for covering a large wall space?

I do love to paint walls as much as clothes. I am really obsessed with geometric patterns lately to cover a wall and appear like tile. I also love my 7 foot bear stencil which I recently painted at a music production companies office using chalkboard paint so people could write inside the bear in chalk! This bear also was installed at the Ace Hotel in NYC in one of their smaller rooms and I love that. 
As an author of multiple craft/DIY books, what can you share from your experiences? Do you have any advice for aspiring designers/authors?

Yes, Iā€™m fortunate to have my sixth release with Chronicle Books who have become family. I think you have to make sure you are having fun and ask yourself simple questions like "Am I proud of this product?"

I think it's important to stick with your specialty and remember to share the gift you have. Being an author and business owner, well, what grounds me and keeps moving everyday is remembering that I am giving something to people and creating pleasure. Don't focus on dollar signs, enjoy sharing your talent. Success comes from that.

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