I just started my model for my next free building pattern, the last of the castles I am designing for Lucy Foxworth’s Make A Castle Challenge. It has some stonework, and there are several ways I could make the stones, using either my texture folders like I showed you when I made Villa Torre, or using a debossing tip, as I did with Hiorne Tower. I also have the new stencil I cut when I made my version of Lucy’s Chateau. However, I decided it was time that I make and share a new stencil pattern.
Per Encyclopedia Britannica, “bond, in masonry, (is a) systematic arrangement of bricks or other building units composing a wall or structure in such a way as to ensure its stability and strength. The various types of bond may also have a secondary, decorative function.”
Some time ago I found a website which showed the decorative pattern of many different wall patterns or bonds. While they aren’t in a form which I can use to make a stencil, I have slowly been drawing out the patterns for each of the different decorative bonds. Since the castle I am building is in France, today I am going to share the pattern called French Bond. This does not appear to be a commonly used pattern. I tried to find a picture online of a building where they used this bond, and couldn’t find one!
The French Bond is the third stencil I have made and shared. The first was a stretcher bricks pattern or bond, which is the most common of all brick patterns. The second stencil was for a stacked stone chimney.
It is not easy finding stencils that I consider the correct size for my village as most stencils are made for dollhouses (1:12 size) or half inch size dollhouses (1:24). Every once in a while you can find a stencil for quarter inch scale (1:48), but even they can look too big. I make my houses in S Scale, which is the closest scale to the Original Tim Holtz Village, and is 1:64.
Lucy Foxworth of Paper Glitter Glue has three free stencils on her website that I am aware of. These are included in her patterns for the Stone Clockhouse, the Stone House with 3 Gables, and her Make A Castle Chateau. Some of them may be larger that you want, but they are all SVGs and you can change the size to fit what you are making.
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There are also a few commercial stencils that I have purchased that I consider the correct size. These include:
While I lucked out with the size of these stencils, others I have bought have been too large. I have seen that a few Etsy stores have SVGs of patterns for stencils. I haven’t bought any so I can’t recommend one over another. If I was to look on Etsy for an SVG I could use to make a stencil, I would probably look for a seamless pattern and read the the reviews before purchasing.
How To Make Your Own French Bond Stencil
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Materials to Make a Stencil
- My free French Bond Pattern from the A Cottage in the Forest Library. Design #68. Get the password for free by filling out the form at the bottom of this page
- Blank Stencil Sheets for the stencil. These are a 4 mil milky white and are very easy to cut with just a regular fine point blade. Use a new/ sharp blade. I used to buy 12″ x 12″ stencil blanks from this company, but they have been out of stock for a while. This larger size cuts just the same.
- A Cutting Machine like a Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore.
- Sticky Green Mat. It is important that the mat be sticky. If the stencil can lift up from the mat at all it will not cut correctly. It is not enough to just tape down the edges. I have bought several different mats off of Amazon, and I like the quality of this company the best.
How To Make The French Bond Stencil
Download the French Bond Stencil Pattern
Download the French Bond Stencil Pattern from A Cottage in the Forest Library. It is design #68. Don’t forget to unzip it. The pattern is available in three formats – as a SVG (scalable vector graphics), a DXF (drawing eXchange format), and as a Studio3 file. I don’t provide a PDF for this pattern as you would not want to try to cut it out by hand. If there is enough interest, I could add stencils to my shop for people who don’t have a cutting machine.
Import the French Bond Pattern into Design Software. I used to import the stencil ready to cut, and then I realized that limited you to making the stencil the height and width I made it. You may want to make your stencil wider and shorter – as I do for the stencil I am making for the current castle. I walk you through the steps below.
Once the French Bond is uploaded into your software, check to make sure the pink 1″ square equals 1″, then delete it. From your shapes menu, select the square and make it at least 1/2″ taller and wider than you want your stencil. in my case I want a stencil that is 5″ tall x 7 1/2″ wide, so I made my rectangle 5 1/2″ x 8″.
Compare the stencil pattern to your rectangle and decide if you need to make any adjustments. I decided that I wanted the blocks to be taller but not wider, so I made the pattern 6″ tall, then duplicated it. I flipped it horizontally, aligned the two pattern blocks side by side (hint: use your arrow keys instead of your mouse to get it aligned), then highlighted both and clicked COMBINE > WELD.
I made another rectangle that was 5″ tall x 7 1/2″ wide, placed it over my stencil pattern, highlighted both, and clicked SLICE.
Delete all of the excess slice pieces until you get your 5″ x 7.5″ sliced result.
Place the slice result over your original rectangle, highlight both, click ALIGN > CENTER, and then click SLICE. Again, delete all of the excess slice pieces until you have your final stencil. You can now rename your slice result French Bond. If you ever want to make another stencil using the same bond pattern a different size, you have the French Bond pattern in your upload library and can follow the steps to make a new stencil.
For the Stencil:
Cut your stencil out of the stencil material. For my Cricut Maker, I used a sticky green mat, the 4 mil Stencil setting with more pressure, and a newish blade. If you use a duller blade not every piece may cut through completely. Usually if you push a piece with a pin tool towards the back, it will snap out, but you may need to wiggle a few of them several times. Remember, if your machine doesn’t cut through completely on the first pass, do not unload the mat, but instead hit the GO button again and it will cut over the previous cut lines a 2nd time.
Using the Stencil:
I use Ranger Distress Grit Paste for all of my stonework as it gives it a realistic rough stone look. In my next post I will show how I use this stencil to add stonework to my new castle pattern.
That’s it! Enjoy adding this new stone pattern to the buildings in your Holiday Village! I would love to see pictures of your village made using my French Bond stencil. Please share a photo of it with me by emailing me at Jackie@acottageintheforest.com.
FREE CUT FILES & PATTERN FOR THE FRENCH BOND STENCIL
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Get the password for the library with the free French Bond pattern and SVG/DXF/Studio3 files here by filling out this form:
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