Creative Prayer Book: Letter Stencils


Welcome to the 7th lesson of the Creative Prayer Book. This lesson is all about using letter stencils to begin adding text to some of the pages. I’ve decided to use my book as a book of affirmations, and I’m using a series of phrases, quotes, words, and ideas to create reminders about my creative journey. Several years ago, I wrote a bunch of these affirmations on index cards with the notion of using them in my journal or my art, but they have been sitting around my studio all this time. The Creative Prayer Book is a perfect use for them.

CPB Stencil 3.jpeg

As I begin adding words to my book, I want to use letter stencils for some of the affirmations, especially since I don’t have the best handwriting. I could just use the stencils plain, and trace the letters with a pen, pencil, or marker, but it can be hard to read the words sometimes. So, I want to use a couple of techniques to make the words “pop.”


I can use one of my favorite materials, Derwent Inktense pencils, to create some contrast around the letters so that the words stand out from the page. I trace the letters first with my black uni-ball Vision pen, and then shade a dark Inktense pencil around the letters and spread it with plain water. This makes the words stand out a bit from background. If the color isn’t dark enough, I can add a darker color later.


Another technique for making the words stand out is to fill them with color, and I could simply fill them in with solid color. But I like to fill them in a slightly more creative way. I like using my uni-ball Vision pens and leave a white line around the edge of the letters giving the letters a bit of a sophisticated look. By drawing a shape inside of the letters that runs parallel to the edge of the letters, I can then fill the shape to create a two-tone letter. I really like the look of this technique.

Think about using stencils in your book since their are a quick and easy way to add text and word. If you want to add a bit of flair and make the words stand out, try using a little ink or Inktense pencil to add some visual interest to the letters and make them “pop.” Try experimenting with letter stencils, but don’t fill all of your pages because we’ll tackle some other lettering techniques in lessons to come.

Happy Creating!