A huge portion of my UI/UX design time is spent in the sketching phase. I don't rely completely on stencils, but when I need one I like having it. The other day I realized that, for a long time, I'd been doing something that I wish I had a stencil for. I was sure such a stencil existed, but I did a Google search, asked around on Twitter, and turned up absolutely nothing. Completely surprised by this, I decided that it's not hard to make my own -- after all, I'd done it for quilting way back in the day, when I was into that sort of thing. stencil

But there's a difference between quilting and UI work...as if that wasn't obvious. The stencil I need needs to be a little bit more precise. I drew out what I needed this weekend, got some report cover plastic that turns out to feel exactly like stencil plastic, and found my Exacto-blade. I got roughly what I wanted. And I literally mean "roughly." I can't quite get the cuts as straight and as narrow as I'd like.

My husband had a good idea, though, and he ordered some 1/16th size routing bits for his Dremel tool. He's pretty sure that he can set a jig up for me that, combined with a more precise tool than my ruler and an Exacto-blade, can probably make something that's pretty straight and exact.

When I'd described my idea for this stencil to one of my UI/UX coworkers, her eyes lit up. "Make two!" She exclaimed. She's going to help me test out my prototype, and -- just as in my UX work -- I'll make changes accordingly, and then see if this is something worth having manufactured in any decent quantity. I'm kind of excited.