Stencil Basics

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By Kid’s Craft Contributor, Gillian from the blog “Dried Figs and Wooden Spools”.

My children, who happily share a room despite being different ages and sexes, also share a useless closet that has, up to now, just been filled with junk. It’s not really tall enough for a true closet, it wraps around in a snail shell shape which makes storage difficult, and it has no light, so it’s pretty dark in there. The only thing that it’s been really handy for is a fort. And periodically they will pull out all the stuff that they have shoved in there when they are supposed to be cleaning their rooms and set up house inside. So we’ve decided to make it official, it is no longer the closet, it’s the fort. And being the children of two parents who are constantly renovating their house, they wanted some improvements. Beginning with the walls. Together they decided it needed to be a cottage, like something out of a story book. After some discussion (“No, I’m not going to wallpaper in there!”) We settled on stenciling. They chose the pattern and colors, I did the work (typical!). I remember stenciling with my mom years ago but hadn’t tackled a true stenciling project since, so if you are like me and needed some tips, here are the basics to stenciling!

You’ll need:

Stencils – there are so many to choose from these days!

Stencil Paint – *Note – craft paint won’t work here, trust me, I found that out the hard way!

Stencil brush or sponge

Masking tape

Pencil

1. Start by marking out your space. For this wall, we wanted to leave an opening in the stencil for a “window” that will be painted on next (with cows out in the grass and curtains it seems). Get a rough idea of how many repeats you’ll need both up and down and side to side so that your pattern is even.

2. Once you know where your pattern is going and what your spacing will be, tape your stencil in place at your starting point . For my spacing, it worked best to start in the center.

3. Tape off the parts of the stencil you are not painting in the first layer. Yes, you can try to avoid them with your brush, but taping off the unused parts makes life easier and the process faster.

4. Dab the end of your brush into the stencil paint. It’s very thick and slightly waxy, almost like lipstick, so you don’t need a lot. Blot as needed on a paper towel.

5. Apply the paint in a swirling motion onto the stencil, turning the brush in small circles to apply the paint evenly.

6. Work the entire surface in one color and then allow the paint to dry overnight before proceeding to the next color, being sure to remove any tape and clean your stencils between layers.

7. Remember that you don’t have to use all parts to the stencils, and you can combine different stencils to make a more complex pattern. Try a few ideas out on paper (or your wall if you’re really bold – or have leftover wall paint) and have fun!

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This entry was posted in Crafts, Home Decor, Kid's Crafts and tagged on by .
Gillian

About Gillian

Gillian Grimm lives in Charlottesville, Virginia where she balances writing, cooking and crafts with eight chickens, two kids, a dog, a cat and a husband. As the daughter of a Journalist, she grew up all over the United States, switching schools, towns and newspapers every few years and loved every minute of it! She now works as a freelance writer, primarily in the craft industry but with a few forays into travel writing, narrative non-fiction and educational matters. Gillian was recently published in the literary journal the “The Northville Review”. You can find more of Gillian’s work at “Dried Figs and Wooden Spools”.

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