Ikonart® Stencil Film is photosensitive and should remain in the packaging it comes in until you are ready to expose it. The unexposed film has a shelf life of at least one year from the date of manufacture if stored and handled properly.
For storage of the Ikonart® Stencil Film before it is exposed, we recommend storing in a cool, dry place. Temperatures should not be below freezing or above 85°F. After the film is exposed, your finished stencils should be stored flat in a dry area.
Important Note: Ikonart® Stencil Film is LIGHT SENSITIVE. It must stay out of the sunlight and bright lights before exposure and during washout. If you are washing out in your kitchen sink in front of a window, we recommend closing the blinds during washout.
Ikonart® Stencil Film comes in a resealable package of either 5 or 10 sheets. You would remove one sheet at a time, then reseal the package. You do not need to use all 5 (or 10) sheets at once.
In addition, you do not need to use a full sheet of Ikonart® if your artwork size doesn't require it. You can remove one sheet from the package, cut a piece of film that is the size you need, then return the remaining film to the package to be used at a later date.
There is a wide variety of paint and ink available on the market. Water-based paints and inks are recommended. We have tested our stencils with acrylic paint, chalkboard paint, glass paint, screen printing inks and more, and all have worked great! Do not use oil-based paints with Ikonart Stencils. We put together this blog post on the best paints, inks and pastes to use based on what surface you are working with.
We have done testing with Etchall Etching Crème on glass and have gotten great results. Please note that the etching cream will break down the stencil faster than regular paint, so you may not get as many uses out of your stencil. Other brands we tested seeped underneath the stencil creating a haze effect around the image, so you may need to test different brands to achieve the look you want.
We have tested Ikonart® Stencils on a variety of surfaces - glass, whiteboard, chalkboard, wood, fabric, clay, leather, canvas, stone, metal, and burlap - and they have all worked great! We look forward to seeing what you come up with!
Food Safety Note: We have received questions about using these stencils to decorate cookies and cakes. We have not tested our product as a food stencil, nor do we recommend it. There is a light adhesive on the backside of the stencil and we have not gotten it approved for food safety by the FDA.
Glitter Tumblers: Ikonart® Stencils work great on top of glitter as long as you put a coat of epoxy over the glitter first (or seal the glitter in some way).
Although Ikonart® Stencils do work on fabric, they were not designed for high-production screen printing runs. The adhesive on the back of the stencil was designed to be used with a wide variety of surfaces, and is not aggressive enough to stick to fabric on its own. You may need to use double sided fabric tape to keep your shirt secure and tape the stencil on the shirt to keep it from moving around. Using a squeegee designed for screen printing can also help.
You can also remove the mesh from a wooden screen printing frame and replace it with your imaged Ikonart® Stencil. We have customers who have made up to 100 shirts using this method!
Check out our resources page for more information on products that make screen printing t-shirts easier.
The stickiness of the adhesive can be increased by gently dabbing the adhesive side with a slightly damp paper towel or fiber-free rag. Only a little water is needed. This will increase the tack level. But be sure to not over-do it as this will also make the stencil more difficult to remove depending on your surface.
There are a number of factors that affect how long a stencil will last. These include storage, how you wash out the film, what type of paints you use, etc. We generally state that you can reuse a stencil up to 10 times before the details on the stencil will start to break down.
The UV LED Light included in the Ikonart® Custom Stencil Kit has the same ultraviolet wavelength (395 nm) as a black light that is sold for home decor, party decorations and aquariums. It is safe for in-home use and repeated use when used according to the instructions. Our product is recommended for ages 12 and up. Do not look or stare directly into the UV Light. We do not recommend the light for people who are highly sensitive to UV light.
You can turn the light on or off by plugging the cord in or out. We recommend plugging the light into an outlet power strip and using the on/off switch on the power strip. The light will last over 50,000 hours.
Our stencil films are made in the USA at our headquarters in Duluth, Minnesota. They have been independently tested by InfoTox International to ensure they are safe when used as directed. They meet all health requirements of the Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA) and conform to ASTM D-4236. We do not use formaldehyde in our stencil films. Safety Data Sheet (SDS) available upon request.