Dimensional stencil picture

DIY Dimensional Stencil Picture – Give it depth

Welcome to my Blog, the DIY part of Kylie.T. Interiors. Today I’m going to show you how to make a dimensional stencil picture.

I started out thinking my Dimensional Stencil Picture was a simple project. I’ve made them in the past right? However, it kept developing and before I  knew it I was there playing and experimenting with different techniques for varying effects. In short it wasn’t turning out so I kept trying to add to it for a better result. My art teacher in school, Mr Carroll,  never let us throw a started piece of artwork out, he used to tell us to put it aside if we were lacking direction and continue it later. Whenever I did this it usually turned into something I was pretty happy with. SO, this is what I did here, only the kids were due off the school bus at 3pm so I didn’t have time to put it aside. I didn’t have the luxury of that part of Mr Carrolls teachings but I DID continue with it and am pretty happy with the results. Being a perfectionist (so I’ve been told) I wish, after all that effort I’d mounted it a little straighter.  I guess my imperfections make it more original ??? (ha!). So if you’ve got time give it a go. Be prepared, this ones a long one.

Before you keep reading there are three improvements I’d make If I were making this again:

  • Use wooden plaques instead of matting board for your stencil bases. Perhaps have Home Depot or Bunnings cut some MDF to size for you. If you do this you won’t need the cork.
  • Use Spakfilla instead of Plaster of Paris – it’s easier to work with.
  • Use white matting board instead of white cardboard to mount your stencil bases onto – it adds more dimension.

So enjoy following my tutorial turned experiment and keep the above in mind!


1 – Stencil of choice (craft stores)

2 – Matting board (improve results with MDF)

3 – Plaster of Paris or ‘Spakfilla’ for filling up holes in walls

4 – Paint (wall paint, craft paint, acrylics)

5 – Plastic card (old rewards card, expired credit card, putty knife)

6 – Tape or reposition-able stencil glue

7 – Cork (not if using MDF)

8 – Plate

9 – Roller

10 – Paper towel

11- Pencil

12 – Hot Glue gun

13 – Scrap  paper x 6

14 : White card x 6 (improve results with matting board)

Dimensional Stencil Picture
cork from Ikea approx $4
Relief stencil picture: give it depth...

IMG_4056Relief stencil picture: give it depth...IMG_3966

IMG_4031IMG_3961Relief stencil picture: give it depth...

How do we make it?

Step 1: There are 2 kinds of bases in this project the picture base and the stencil bases. Choose a picture frame the shape and size of the picture you want to make.  The picture frame backing is your picture base.

Your stencil bases are the shapes you will apply your stencilled image onto. Decide what size you want your stencil bases and cut some scrap paper to those measurements.  Lay these out on your picture base (it’s a dummy run for the real thing, you can skip this part if you’re sure of your measurements). Once your happy with the size and layout of your dummy stencil bases, measure out and cut your matt board to those measurements.The matt board cuts are now your real stencil bases, I have 6. My dimensions are 9” x 8” (approx 23cm x 21cm)

Dimensional stencil picture  IMG_3969IMG_3972

Step 2:  Since some stencils are repeatable it’s best to plan your pattern first so you know where it will start and finish. As an idea you may  want to repeat, layer, mirror or reverse your pattern.

Step 3: Tape or glue your stencil into place onto one of your stencil bases.

dimensional stencil picture : give it depth...
Stencil with repositionable stencil glue

Step 4: Mix your plaster of paris to a peanut butter consistency. TIP: If using Plaster of Paris you need to work fast as it sets quick. I’ve used ‘Spakfilla’ and “Wood Filler”  and found them slower drying. This is an easier option in my opinion.

3bbea03c-6ecf-4a7b-ac44-b4e6405e4248_400spak filler

Step 5: Take your plastic card and blob the plaster in a few places on the stencil near the edges of the opening .

Dimensional stencil picture : give it depth..

Step 6: Next work the plaster toward the centre. You’ll need to even up the surface but be careful not to press too hard or go over it too many times

Dimensional stencil picture: give it depth..

step 7: Peeling in an upward motion, carefully and slowly remove your stencil.

Dimensional stencil picture: give it depth..

step 8: Allow picture to dry.

Relief stencil picture: give it depth..
Imperfections are ok for this project so no need to worry if the plaster bleeds as it did here.

Step 9: Wipe the excess plaster off your stencil with your plastic scraper and  paper towel. You don’t want blocked water pipes from washing it down the sink.step 8 : Allow picture to dry.

Step 10: Repeat step 4-9 for all stencil bases.

Step 11: Allow to dry.

Step 12: Add extra plaster here and there to the stencil bases. This adds a little more texture to help incorporate the imperfections  into your picture.

Relief stencil picture: give it depth...Relief stencil picture: give it depth...

Step 13: Allow to dry

Step 14: Mix up you color and paint the stencil bases with a roller.

Wipe away any plaster residue left on the stencil before it dries.Relief stencil picture: give it depth...

Step 15: Allow to dry

Step 16: In random circular movements apply the shoe polish to your stencil bases making sure to concentrate the plastered area.

IMG_4040 IMG_4038

Step 17: In random circular movements, sparingly apply the picture base paint to the   plastered area ONLY on your stencil bases


Step 18: Cut your cork an inch smaller than the stencil bases, mine are 8” x 7” (21cm x 19cm) in size

stencil bases concentrating on the

Step 19: Glue the cork to the underside of your stencil bases with the hot glue gun, make sure it’s centred.

Dimensional stencil picture

Step 20: Cut your white card an inch larger than the stencil bases mine are 10” x 9” (25cm x 23cm) in size. Centre the Stencil bases on top of the card and glue down with the hot glue gun

Dimensional stencil picture

Step 21: Layout on your picture base and glue down with the hot glue gun. Make sure it’s straight (wish I had done this better)

IMG_4050 relief stencil picture

Step 22: Attach the front of the frame


…and you’re done! You have a  Dimensional Stencil Picture all of yout own.


Here is another one of mine similar to the above without the shoe polish and using metallic paint. Metallic paint enhances texture really well.



Sources of inspiration: http://www.cuttingedgestencils.com/dimensional-stencil-instructions-raised-plaster.html