How to Make a Makeup Stencil

by Melissa J. Bell

A fierce, flawless face without the fuss is forthcoming -- amp up your application arsenal with the tidy technique of a homemade makeup stencil. Sometimes called shields for their sublime skin protection, stencils secure a set cosmetic design without the spills, smudges and speckling from your brushes -- whether traditional or air-powered -- and sponges. Pamper yourself with precision and get your eyebrow or lip shape looking perfect, or play artist with your appearance for divine, daring details.

Draw your design onto a sheet of acetate paper or cardstock with a marker, or tape a paper printout of the design directly onto the edges of the sheet with masking tape. Leave a 1-inch-wide border around the edges of the design.

Hold the design against your face to compare the size and shape. Make any necessary corrections.

Lay the design atop a cutting mat. Tape all edges of the design to the edges of the mat to hold it still while you work.

Insert the tip of a craft scalpel into a design line and pull the scalpel along the line to copy it precisely.

Rotate the mat as you work to get the most comfortable cutting angle for each line. Gently pull the scalpel along each line until all lines are cut.

Draw the scalpel along the edges of any rough or jagged lines to smooth them. Secure any tears in the paper with a small piece of masking tape.

Items you will need

  • Acetate paper or cardstock
  • Marker or design printout
  • Masking tape
  • Cutting mat
  • Craft scalpel


  • If working with a heat cutter on acetate instead of a scalpel, place the acetate over a piece of safety glass. Touch the tip of the cutter to the acetate and move it steadily over each line to melt the material.
  • Experiment with alternate stencil materials, such as lace or feathers, to get a variety of effects.

About the Author

A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.

Photo Credits

  • Image Source/Digital Vision/Getty Images