First things first...The pictures suck I know that my camera is being fixed and so I had to use the little snappy so as soon as my other camera gets back I will retake the pictures!
Now gather your supplies, you will need:
a permanent marker
a piece of acetate (I use left over pieces of transparency paper from work)
a piercing tool (a push pin will work just fine)
a mouse pad or piece of cardboard
the design you would like to stitch (this could be a print out, a piece of chipboard, a stamp...)
Needle and thread
Start with your acetate over your desired design and grab your marker.
Trace your design like in the picture below with the marker.
Once the whole thing is traced use your piercing tool to punch holes in the acetate. It doesn't have to be perfect that is part of the charm. Remember to put a mouse pad or piece of cardboard underneath first. You are done creating your template. It will look like this.
Place your layout on top of the mouse pad or piece of cardboard then place your template on top of that in the area you want your stitching. Hold down with one hand firmly while you punch holes with the other. Make sure to go in the holes you created when making your template and you may need to push the piercing tool a little harder depending on the # of layers you are going through.
Once your holes are in the layout thread your needle and go to town! Here is a layout using this template.
For my smile page I traced one of the flowers from the red pattern paper to create the template for the red flower on the bottom right corner.
Finally, here is an example of a very detailed template. I got the tree body from a 2 piece foam tree stamp.
I hope you enjoy creating your own templates! Please feel free to ask questions or ask for clarification or better examples. I would also love to see what you come up with so share your pages with me and a picture of your template inspiration piece. There might just be an RAK for one lucky follower :)