Do it Yourself: Tools
What I love about spray stenciling is how easy it is to get started. There aren't any expensive gadgets or materials that you need to invest in before you jump on in. Of course nicer quality (and more expensive) equipment exists, but I'll be focusing on basic supplies that you can find around the house and use.
The first item you'll need is the material that the stencil will be cut out of. A good medium for beginners is card stock, which is a type of thick and sturdy paper. For our example, I'll be using cardboard; I'm reusing it, it's free- why not? If you choose to use cardboard, make sure it's very thin, one ply cardboard (like a cereal box). Don't use anything thicker (like the two-ply panel pictured to the left) or you'll have to cut through two layers.
Next, you'll need some cutting utensils. An X-Acto knife always does the trick. I used an X-Acto as well as a razor used for drafting design projects.
Equally as important as the cutting blade is what you put underneath it. It's a good idea to invest in a rubber cutting mat if you don't want to carve your stencil into your dining room table. If you're on a budget, try using a plastic or rubber place mat, like I did.
Finally, the paint itself. I prefer Krylon paint, which runs at around four to six dollars per can according to Krylon's website, but going with the generic Walmart brand will only set you back 99 cents. The differences in paint quality or consistency are truly miniscule enough that any brand of paint will suffice.