What are stencils?

Stencils are basically a "template" with a design cut from it. They're used to paint a design onto a surface (such as wood, fabric, walls, etc). This is done by applying paint (stenciling) through the cut-out holes in the stencil. After applying paint, you lift the stencil and the design is on the surface.

What are our stencils made of?
The Stencilsmith uses the highest quality materials available. All of our stencils are precisely cut with a laser, using professional-grade, 7 mil (.007"), transparent blue polyester (Mylar) plastic. 

What's Mylar?
Mylar is often used to generically refer to polyester film or plastic sheet.

What does the term "7mil" mean?
This is its thickness. Here are some additional definitions of commonly used thickness terms: 

Gauge: Refers to the thickness of the film
Mils: A standard term used to measure the thickness of the plastic in thousands of an inch

In reference to thickness or gauge, is "mils" the same as millimeters or microns?
No. The gauge or thickness of our plastic is expressed in thousands of an inch, said as "mils". For example, .007" is said "7mil". 
Our stencils are flexible, durable and re-usable. They are transparent, which help make alignment much easier. Our stencils can be used on both flat and curved surfaces, perfect for painting on wood, canvas, walls, fabric, furniture, shaker boxes and so much more! 
Once you've had the chance to paint with our stencils, you will appreciate the added strength and attention to detail, we put into each and every stencil.

What are "bridges"?
Bridges are designed to hold the middle of the letter in place. Without them, the middle of letters like 'A', 'O', 'D', etc would fall out. The middles (also known as 'islands') need to be fastened to the rest of the stencil, thus 'bridges' are worked into the design. 
We take a lot of time and effort designing our bridges in the correct spots to make them strong and visually appealing.

What's the difference between "stencil size" and "image size"?
The STENCIL SIZE is the measurement of the entire stencil. The ACTUAL IMAGE SIZE is the measurement of the design itself. Please pay close attention to sizes listed in the description (stencil vs. image size). The descriptions can vary by stencil.