Easy Crafts Wiki

Ed Roth of Stencil 1

We're so excited to feature this Q&A with one of our favorite designers, Ed Roth whose company Stencil1 makes some of the most unique and versatile stencils available today. By founding Stencil1 in 2004 Ed made cool stencils available to the masses. Ed has been featured on The Martha Stewart Show, in The New York Times, ReadyMade, and Country Living. Be sure to check out the great collection of stencils and paint on Ed's site. And remember if you enter our Spring Craft Contest and add a project to the wiki during the month of May you have a chance to win a prize pack from Stencil1.

What inspired you to start your company, Stencil1?

I started Stencil1 in 2004 as a project. I was running an art gallery in Williamsburg Brooklyn focused on affordable street art, buying a lot of design and graffiti books, then I thought "I want to design a book too". I made a mock stencil graffiti book with 50 stencils in it and shopped it around to publishers. After just one or two said no, I decided to sell the stencils I designed online (I have a background in web design). I built a site and started selling stencils. Weeks later, Cool Hunting wrote me up and then the NY Times! The books with Chronicle Books came later. The titles to date are Stencil 101, Stencil 101 Decor, The Stencil1 Journal, The Stencil 101 Stationery Set, and releasing in Fall is Stencil 201! I am writing another book as well that will be out in 2012 focusing on apparel. I love creating the books and I love my publisher. They have the best designers who take my stencils, photos, and words and turn them into beautiful books. It's so collaborative and pleasant!

What's your favorite crafting tool?

My favorite crafting tools lately are a hot knife. It's used for cutting Mylar stencils, it just melts through the Mylar, it's addictive! I also love a foam dense roller. I just completed a 100 room hotel project where all rooms were stenciled with stencils over 8 feet tall and 8 feet wide and that roller got a lot of use! I also prefer Benjamin Moore paints, quality in quality out! Any secret stenciling tips you want to share?

As for secret stenciling tips, I always say a dry brush is key. You need so little paint to stencil. After you dip your brush in paint, brush off the excess on a paint tray or even a paper towel. Trust me!

Craziest thing you've ever stenciled?

I try not to go too crazy with stenciling but I have stenciled my bike helmet. A lime green chimp on an army green helmet. I love it.

What's next?

So much! I am creating a lot of inspirational, how-to videos, developing a lot of new product- entertaining some fun licensing deals, writing the new book for Chronicle Books, doing the NY Stationery Show. More I can't talk about but it should be a busy year!

Good luck to everyone in the contest!