Contrary to popular believe, graffiti doesn’t have to be ugly or offensive—it can be thought-provoking, challenging, and perhaps most importantly, temporary. Jesse Graves, an artist based in Milwaukee Wisconsin, has harnessed mud as an artistic medium to take his green graffiti to the streets, and he encourages others to do the same. Making mud graffiti stencils is fun and easy, and since the designs will wash away during the next rain shower, you can beautify your neighborhood without worrying that you’ll get in trouble for doing so.

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Graves’ graffiti, which includes images of bicycles, bottles of oil, and cows, uses mud stencils to promote messages of social justice. Why mud? According to Graves, “I use mud or earth because it is a fundamental life-giving substance, logical for my messages.

What You’ll Need:

  • Transparent Mylar
  • Tape
  • A design of your choice (thick lines and silhouettes are best)
  • X-acto knife
  • Mud (soil + water), held in a bucket or paint tray
  • Paint roller brush or sponge

The process to make this kind of artwork is simple: tape a stencil design behind transparent Mylar, cut the picture out with an X-Acto knife, tape the stencil to a surface, dab mud on the stencil with a sponge, and remove both the tape and the Mylar. It’s so simple, in fact, that budding graffiti artists should have no problem going out and plastering their cities with green messages.

So what are you waiting for? Get muddy and creative!

+ Mud Stencils