Sharing Zenspirations® Stencil Techniques!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hi Everyone,

My next book, Complete Guide to Bible Journaling: Creative Techniques to Express Your Faith is due in less than a month, and my co-author Regina Yoder and I have a LOT to do if we are going to make the deadline! I spent most of this week working on the cover design, and trying to figure out which techniques are ‘must shares’ in the ‘how-to’ section of the book. Since so many Zenspirations® Color & Creativity enthusiasts have been posting designs they’ve created with one of my new Inspired Journaling Stencils, I wanted to focus this week’s blog on the cool techniques I’ve been seeing. I’d appreciate your leaving a comment to let me know which of these techniques you’d like to see in the book, and which ones you think deserve detailed step-outs.

There are fifteen stencils in the line, and my favorite is the “Tree of Life”. It’s one of Color & Creativity enthusiast Gail Beck’s favorites, too. She did this colorful rendition with Sakura’s Moonlight Gelly Roll® pens on black paper:


Gail also used the stencil on her family photo wall:


But the black & white version below is my absolute favorite of Gail’s ‘Zenspired’ tree designs:


Color & Creativity Enthusiast Toni Popkin used the Tree of Life stencil to create this lovely, ethereal tree. I especially like the touches of glitter she added:


In addition to experimenting with their stencils, I’ve also been playing with The Crafter’s Workshop’s new black gesso, which I used to prep the background of the bible page in the piece below. I asked my daughter Samantha to create a visual with Sakura’s Metallic & Stardust Gelly Roll pens, and was totally delighted when she presented me with this ‘half tree’ design.


One of the cool things about stencils is that you can combine them in different ways. I had the pleasure of speaking with the talented Milagros Rivera today about one of her beautiful images:


Milagros created this design by using parts of four different stencils!!! The leaves are from the Tree of Life Stencil, and below is a photo of the other stencils she used.


Milagros, who has a shop in Puerto Rico where she sells the stencils, told me that if they are well cared for, stencils will last for years. I love the idea that you can combine bits and pieces from different stencils to create a totally new design. Thank you Milagros!


I so appreciate your sharing how you created your lovely design!

In addition to using multiple stencils to create one design, the opposite is also true: you can use the same stencil to create multiple designs. My daughter traced each word on this stencil onto a black tile, and then filled them in with Sakura’s Metallic, Moonlight and Stardust Gelly Roll pens.


She grouped the individual tiles together so she can hang them in her dorm. Best of all, the whole project took less than an hour!


My friend, CZT Dorian Eng, who was kind enough to introduce me to the wonderful world of stencils, has been experimenting with some gold foil techniques. I love the way the word LORD reflects the light.


Color & Creativity enthusiast Kim Flanegin used an airbrush technique to create the background for this Trust Your Heart design:


Color & Creativity enthusiast Mary Anne Fellows used the sun-ray stencil to create two different images in her bible:



And Gail Beck created these two dramatically different designs using the same sun-ray stencil.



WOW! Thank you to everyone who was kind enough to let me share their work in my blog. We can all learn from one another, and I am looking forward to playing with stencils again (as soon as I finish the cover of the book!).

Before closing this week, I wanted to give a shout-out to Color & Creativity enthusiast Jamie Torres, who will be celebrating her birthday September 10th. Since Jamie loves hula hoops, I designed a card for her that included a hoop. Hope you have a Zenspirational birthday Jamie!


I look forward to finding out which stencil techniques you are eager to see included in the book.

Stay Zenspired,


15 thoughts on “Sharing Zenspirations® Stencil Techniques!”

  1. Milagros Rivera your Creacion was very PRETTY. I like it and give me inspiration about Stencils thanks.

  2. Wow!
    So many beautiful interpretations using your stencils. I got mine and have been playing, and I love what you were doing with the gesso!

    Thanks for all the inspiration!


  3. When do you think your book will be avaliable? Amazon has it for pre-order with a release date of March 2017??

    And i have to say how proud I am of all my talented friends!
    Great work, guys!
    I’ve got quite a bit done & a Lot in the process. ..
    Ya know when you want to do This Czech & That. … ?
    Between all the great new stencils, & making stuff for my nephew, I’ve got lots in the making!
    You’ll be bombarded soon enough.
    Kim Flanigan, so happy & proud of you! I know how uncomfortable you were posting. .. Now look where is got you!

    Love this group, and these people so much!

  5. Loved loved Samantha’s half tree with the black gesso – thanks for sharing so many stencil ideas!

  6. Milagros’ post is amazing. I too love the black and white and the gold foil which would be good to include in your book. It is also fun and interesting how to use the stencils in multiple ways. What color technique is used on bible pages, I know most have thinner paper, is it perhaps colored pencils. Thanks for everything you do and share.

  7. HI Joanne!
    Finally getting some time to respond to this blog.
    First, I want to say WOW! and how touched I am by you selecting a lot of my designs that were inspired by your wonderful stencils to be a part of your blog. 🙂 They are so much fun to use and do not take long to complete a project.
    As for picking one thing, it is difficult because I love trying new things all the time.
    Thanks for everything you do to keeping us all Zenspired and going out of our comfort zones. Because it has been a few years for me to draw from scratch in my sketch book journal. Thanks for pulling me back in.
    With love and gratitude, <3

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