I am a great fan of making your own stencils. I'm not into stamping, so they replace that for me as the effects can be similar.
So what are Bar Stencils? Not stencils of alcoholic drinks, that's for sure! No, they are stencils that are designed to add a bar of pattern or sentiment to a card or other pre made design.
They can be used to add an occasion to a card, to jazz up a plain card or even used in a repeat pattern.
Stencils can be used in conjunction with pens, paints, air brushes, texture and embossing pastes, glue and glitter and no doubt a myriad of other things. They are truly versatile craft items.
If you don't have a cutting machine or a steady hand with a scalpel, you could use punches to make some.
Start off with a bar the size you want your design. I usually do cards in A5 size, so mine are 148x30mm. Copy that a few times and keep to one side. One of the copies can be lengthened to give you some room to tape it down, this is your finished stencil size. When you have your design finished in the smaller length, group it and place it into the longer rectangle. Centre it and group again.
You can mix and match shapes, do flowers, leaves, any small shape that is not too complicated, or you can choose a stencil font to make sentiments. If you wanted, you could even make crosshatch patterns or wavy lines, anything you like. Here we have simple dots, but flourishes make nice bar stencils too.
See the video here and the file (with a couple more) here
Of course you can make them any size you like. It's a good idea to have several size versions of the same thing. Tip - With stencilling, it is better to go over it a couple of times with a thin coat of paint than to try to get too much on in one go. Not so bad if you are using thick paste, but if your paint is runny it will find a way to run under your stencil!