I used acrylic white paint for the base and a metallic acrylic in red for the candy cane stripes. Sealed with Mod Podge.
2. Securely tape the print out over the cardboard.
3. Slice along the pattern, essentially gives you two stencils, one of paper and one on the cardboard. The paper may tear a bit if your knife is dull.
I don't anticipate using this stencil often so the fact that it is made of cardboard won't matter too much. I have made stencils from cereal boxes in the past and have yet to have one fall apart on me, but these are always minimally used stencils.
The nativity and reindeer though are sliced into an old lampshade found in a "treasure hunt," it had a small hole punched into one side but the rest was usable real estate.
1. Print out design onto paper.
2. On these stencils I cut the pattern out of the paper first with the exacto knife so I have a paper stencil.
3. Then, traced the stencil design onto the styrene with a sharpie.
4. Cut along the sharpie line with the exacto knife.
I recommend using a very sharp exacto knife for this approach. The lampshade styrene is very thick and took f.o.r.e.v.e.r to cut through, but now I have durable, long-lasting stencils that I know I will use for other projects. A plus to using the styrene stencil over a cardboard stencil is that you don't have to wait for it to dry before stenciling more pieces. I'm more cautious with my cereal box stencils so the paint doesn't saturate and cause tears.
This one is a hybrid between the two designs that I'm keeping for myself.