Fabric Stenciling and Cricut Stencil Projects

Fabric stenciling, particularly Cricut stenciling, is a rapidly growing craft. Fabric stenciling itself has been a fun craft for quite some time, but with the advent of the new Cricut machines, stenciling has reached greater heights.

What is stenciling?

A stencil is a thin sheet of plastic or heavy paper that has a design cut from it.  Adhesive is applied to the stencil, which is then applied to the fabric.

To stencil, the artist paints on the fabric with a stencil brush, using the stencil where it is open.  Once the stencil is removed, the design will remain on the fabric.

Stencils can be purchased at any craft store, and it is even possible to create your own stencils. 

How do you paint fabric without bleeding?

To keep the integrity of the design both while painting and after, it is important to prepare the fabric. If the fabric being used is prone to wrinkles, be sure to iron it first after pre-washing to keep the design looking nice.

Applying spray adhesive to the stencil before placing it on the fabric is helpful as well.  This will keep the stencil openings close to the fabric, which will prevent bleeding of paint.

What is the best paint for painting on fabric?

When stenciling fabric, there are specific fabric paints such as Jacquard textile paint or regular craft acrylic paints to use.  Acrylic paint is a popular option to use when fabric stenciling. Most artists prefer to use this paint because it is easy to work with, adheres well to most fabrics, and is inexpensive to purchase.

However, when using craft acrylics, it is best to add a bit of fabric medium to the paint to make it softer and easier to apply.  This also helps prevent paint from seeping under the stencil.

There is no need to add fabric medium to textile paints as they have it already mixed in.

What items can be fabric stenciled?

When learning how to stencil fabric, a new world opens up to transform so many different items. Fabric items to stencil include

  • Pillows
  • Baby onesies
  • Curtains
  • T-Shirts
  • Pillowcases
  • Aprons
  • Totes and bags
  • Denim
  • And more!

Cricut stenciling is very popular. It is possible to make one-of-a-kind stencils with a Cricut machine.  Learn more on our Cricut topic page.

Cricut has a special stencil vinyl that makes fabric stenciling so much easier. The color of the vinyl doesn’t matter since the fabric stenciling will be done and then the stencil is thrown away.

These types of Cricut stencils are not the kind that can be reused over and over.

In order to make a stencil for Cricut stenciling that could be used time and again, a special stencil film must be purchased to use with the Cricut.  The stencils made with this film are just like any stencil that can be purchased. 

Just like other stencils, spray adhesive on the back will help ensure a neat finish. Be sure to use a good quality spray adhesive that is repositionable. Always use the adhesive in a well ventilated area, just like paint or varnish.

Simply mist the back of the stencil and allow it to dry a bit so the adhesive gets sticky.  This is important to prevent any of the spray adhesive from transferring to the fabric.

The adhesive can be reapplied as needed while working on the project.

Look below for tutorials on projects, basic fabric stenciling directions, and special fabric stenciling tips.

Scroll on down and get ready to start stenciling!

Fabric Stenciling and Cricut Stencil Projects

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Ampersand Throw Pillow

Ampersand Throw Pillow

Check out this simple tutorial! Stencil an ampersand on fabric and make it into a throw pillow. Lovely Indeed

Baby Onesie

Use basic freezer paper and fabric paint to create an original stencil on a baby onesie. Learn here! HGTV

Baby Onesie Tutorial

Make your own custom baby onesies with freezer paper and this tutorial Mom Makes Joy

Bean Bags

A tutorial on how to make stenciled bean bags. Crafting A Green World

Curtain Stenciling

Curtain Stenciling

Design your own personalized curtains with easy stenciled curtains. Organized 31

Curtain Stenciling Tutorial

Turn inexpensive white curtains into customized panels by stenciling and reading this tutorial. Mabey She Made It

Eagle Stencil

This is a really attractive eagle stencil that looks equally great on any piece of clothing you choose - jeans, jackets, blouses, and of course, t-shirts. Free Craft Unlimited

Fabric Pillow Cover

In this stencil tutorial, learn to stencil a fabric pillow cover in seven simple steps. My Family Thyme

Fabric Stenciling

Here is some basic information and a start-up checklist for fabric stenciling. Treasurie

Fabric Stenciling How-To

Learn how to stencil on fabric to create custom textiles. Cutting Edge Stencils

Fabric Stencils

In this post learn how to make your own fabric stencils step-by-step. Sewing Parts Online

Firework T-Shirt

Firework T-Shirt

Learn how to make a DIY Firework t-shirt with Plush fabric paint and a firework stencil and this tutorial. Heather Handmade

Freezer Paper Stenciled Drawstring Bag

With this tutorial learn how to make your own large drawstring bags with a stenciled name on it. Crafting a Green World

Freezer Paper Stenciling - A Tutorial

A step-by-step tutorial on how to use freezer paper to stencil on fabric. I'm Feelin' Crafty

Freezer Paper Stenciling on Fabric

Customize your own fabric with freezer paper stencils. This post explains the process. Sew Daily

How to Stencil on Fabric

Here are instructions on how to customize fabric to your taste with paint and a stencil. The Spruce Crafts

Lazy Daisy Pillowcase

Add sweet daisies to a plain pillowcase by stenciling. The Long Thread

Manly Grill Apron

Manly Grill Apron

This DIY Father’s Day gift of an apron is perfect for your husband or dad, especially if he loves grilling. Learn how to make it!!! Lovely Indeed

Modern Table Runner

Modern Table Runner

Have you ever tried painting fabric? Try it out by making this modern painted table runner. Sustain My Craft Habit

Napkin Pillows

Tatertots & Jello explains how to stencil some fun pillows with purchased napkins. Tatertots and Jello


Personalize napkins for any holiday or occasion with these instructions. Sustain My Craft Habit

Nesting Canvas Valet Trays

Nesting Canvas Valet Trays

Wish somewhere to put your stuff when you walked in the door? Then you need to make these super simple canvas stenciled valet trays! Three sizes. Easy Things to Sew

Ombre Heart Tee Shirt

This stenciling tutorial is a very simple freezer paper stencil shirt – just a heart with the word “love” in the middle. It's Always Autumn

Pillow Cover

Stenciled pillows are an easy project that can dress up a room. Here is how to stencil a pillow cover. Create Whimsy

Polka Dot and Leather Fold Over Clutch

Such a cute clutch tutorial with custom stenciled fabric. Polka Dot Chair

Scallop Pattern Throw Pillow

Customize stenciled throw pillow. Plaid

Stencil Painted Christmas Towel & Trivet

Stencil Painted Christmas Towel & Trivet

A step-by-step tutorial on how to make a stencil-painted Christmas tea towel. Purchase a stencil or make your own with a Cricut. The perfect gift for friends, neighbors and teachers! Handmade in the Heartland

Stencil Tote Bag Tutorial

Dress up a plain tote bag with fabric paint and stencils and this free tutorial. Adventures of A DIY Mom

Stenciling On Fabric

Stenciling on fabric is easier than you think. Get started here! Stencil Revolution

Summer Tote Bag

This colorful tote bag is made with neon fabric markers and a stencil. The Craft Patch

Super Hero T-Shirt

This tutorial is a two-part-er. First, learn how to use a freezer paper stencil to create the super hero icon on the shirt and then how to make the cape. I'm Feelin' Crafty

Throw Pillow Cover

In this stencil tutorial, Oak Lane Studio shows you how to decorate a fabric throw pillow cover. Oak Lane Studio

Tote Bag Stenciling - Four Ways

Stenciling a tote bag is a fun and fast project ideal to customize for birthday party gift bags, wedding gift bags, green grocery bags, book bags and more. Here is a tutorial. Cutting Edge Stencils

TP Tube Stamped Clutch

TP Tube Stamped Clutch

This is an easy-to-make gift idea and it is cute too - A stamped clutch using a toilet paper tube. Reuse Grow Enjoy

Valentine T-Shirts for Kids

Valentine T-Shirts for Kids

Make some simple DIY Valentine t-shirts for your kids by upcycling adult t-shirts using some freezer paper stencils to add the graphic. Heather Handmade

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