There are two forms of doing airbrush art. One way is that you can use stencils or masks to airbrush your artwork on to your project. The other way is that you can freehand the design onto your project without the use of stencils or masks. Most stencils and masks that you purchase are reusable. The stencils are made from different material depending on what the stencil will be used for. But no matter what material your stencils are made from they all have to things in common. One the stencils can start to get expensive purchasing. Secondly you are limited to only creating designs based on the stencils that you can get your hands on. While these stencils can greatly aid you in your airbrush art, they also can hinder your creativity. So the best way to deal with having you use stencils and reduce costs as well as leaving your creativity open is to create your own stencils.
If you can trace you can create your own stencils cheaply. All you need to do is find a design that you like and then trace it out onto paper. Make several copies of the design since you will be cutting on them. Also the airbrush paint will get them wet and they can start to tear. You will need to keep the original design so that you can refer back to it. After you have made copies of your traced design start cutting out the areas that you need to cut out. Then place the home made stencil onto your project and begin to airbrush your project.
If you want to use a more durable material to create your stencils you can use the plastic pocket folders. These can be picked up rather cheaply from the store in the office supply section or hit the back to school supplies. You will need an exacto knife to cut your design out. Depending on the size of your stencil you can probably create more than one stencil from this plastic folder. If you purchase the see through folders then you can use these for stencils even if you are limited to tracing your design onto the plastic folder prior to cutting it into a stencil for your airbrush art.
No matter what material you go with make sure that you remember to cut out your areas slowly. By taking your time you can make sure that everything matches up the way it should. If you are doing a stencil for say a dog then you would want to take your time and make sure that the eyes were the same size, the nostrils were cut out shaped the way they should be and so on. If you rush you could end up messing your stencil all up. The stencil is to aid you in creating your airbrush art and is a big part of the art process. If you have to then practice on a scrap piece of material till you get use to how the knife works and how to properly cut out the areas. This will help to ensure that you create a working stencil for your airbrush art.