Monday, August 18, 2008

Making A Mark...Bringin' Back the Stencil!

Martha knows how to make me happy! With Fall just around the corner, I was so excited to get my September MS Living...and to make it even better, it was a Decorating Issue!

Making a Mark, one of the issue's feature stories, surprised me a little bit. I haven't really seen stenciling in the decorating world since probably the late 80s / early 90s. And at the time, I was consumed with it - I wanted to stencil my room, my desk, my notebooks...anything! In fact, one of my favorite movies at that age was called Back Home about a young girl who had been sent to America from England during WWII so that she would not have to live through the bombings. Once the war was over, she comes back to England only to find that she does not fit in anymore. A great history lesson and message about growing up. Yeah. Except the only thing I really remember about the movie? When she runs off to hide in an old abandoned house and decides to decorate it with a stencil kit she was given as a gift. My decorating obsession started early...can you tell?

So you shouldn't be surprised to hear that I was super excited at some of these fantastic stenciling projects!

Tools and Materials
Table painted with latex paint
Drafting tape
Small sheet of glass (palette)
Palette knife
5 to 7 ounces acrylic paint in green, gray, and white
Floral stencil kit
Natural sea sponges

Stenciled Tabletop How-To
1. For a rough guide, mark a uniform border with drafting tape 3 inches from table's edge.
2. Prepare palette with each paint, blending with palette knife to create additional shades of green and gray if desired. Place large peony stencil 6 inches from table's edge; secure with tape if desired. Use sponge to apply white paint to stencil. Let dry 2 minutes. Stencil 2 more peonies, equidistant from each other and from table's edge.
3. Starting with 1 peony, incorporate leaves and smaller flowers, positioning stencils so stems conform to round garland shape. Using a different sponge for each color, paint according to above procedure. Flip stencil if desired for variety. When using multiple colors with 1 stencil, cover areas not in use with tape.
Faux finish and sealing instructions
Designer Floral Display Stencils: Large flowers, $96; medium flowers, $92; foliage, $80; or $240 for set,

Tools and Materials
Roller shade
Vine stencil
Drafting tape
Small sheet of glass (palette)
Palette knife
5 to 7 ounces acrylic paint in white
Natural sea sponge

To Mark Stencil Spacing
1. Measure widths of roller shade and stencil using ruler. Determine how many stencil repetitions will fit across shade, leaving even spaces between each column and on outer edges.
2. Using strips of drafting tape, block off measured space between each column and on outer edges. The stencil should fit snugly into columns.

To Stencil Vine Pattern
1. Place stencil in far-left column, shifting it 1 to 2 inches below shade's bottom edge for a wraparound effect. Using pencil, mark the registration holes at stencil's top edge (pencil marks can be erased once paint is dry).
2. Prepare palette with paint. Use sponge to apply paint to stencil. Let dry 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Shift stencil up, aligning it with registration holes and marking new ones. Paint as in step 2. Repeat until column is complete.
4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 for remaining columns, flipping stencil over (make sure reverse is dry) so adjacent motifs mirror each other.
4 1/2-by-18-inch Spencer Eddy House vine stencil, $33,

And my very favorite... STENCILED WALL CLOCK
Tools and Materials
6 sheets of 11-by-17-inch vellum, printed with full clock template
Transparent tape
Drafting tape
1 copy each of Roman numeral and dotted-arc templates
2 sheets of 11-by-17-inch waterproof paper
Cutting mat
Craft knife
Japanese hole punch
Small sheet of glass (palette)
Palette knife
5 to 7 ounces acrylic paint in dark green
Natural sea sponge
Arabic numeral stencil
Battery-powered clock mechanism

To Make Vellum Overlay
1. Arrange vellum sheets to create full template, and attach with transparent tape.
2. Affix vellum overlay to wall with drafting tape (making sure the top is secure). Use level to ensure numbers III and IX are aligned.

To Make Stencils
1. Affix Roman numeral templates to a sheet of waterproof paper; secure to cutting mat with drafting tape. Cut out I, V, and X with craft knife, and cut into 3 stencils. Remove template, and discard.

2. Affix dotted-arc template to a sheet of waterproof paper; secure to cutting mat with drafting tape. Use Japanese hole punch to make each perforation. Remove template, and discard.

To Stencil Dotted Arc
1. Align dotted arc stencil under vellum. Secure stencil with drafting tape, and tape vellum out of the way.

Prepare palette with paint. Use sponge to apply paint to stencil. Let dry 3 minutes.

2. Release vellum. Move stencil along arc, until only a few painted dots register on 1 end of stencil. Secure stencil and vellum with tape. Paint as in step 1. Repeat until dotted circles are complete.

To Stencil Numerals
1. Slide Arabic numeral stencil under vellum, and position the 1 stencil for "10." (It's easier to stencil the first number of a pair before adding the second.) Secure stencil and vellum with tape. Use sponge to apply paint to stencil. Let dry 3 minutes.
2. Stencil remaining 1, then stencil numbers 2, 3, 4, and 6, finishing with 5 and 0. Tape and release vellum as needed, leaving top secure.
3. Slide Roman numeral stencil under vellum.

Stencil Xs, then Vs, then Is. Let dry 3 minutes.

To Hang Clock Mechanism
On wall, mark center dot, indicated on vellum. Remove vellum. Follow manufacturer's instructions to hang clock mechanism.
Sheer trace vellum, $13.95 for fifty 14-by-17-inch sheets, by Borden & Riley, from Village Supplies
Japanese paper screw punch with 3 mm tip, $44, plus 1 to 5 mm tips, from $7.60 each,
1 3/4-inch script number stencil, $11,
Galileo 30 clock mechanism, $99,

Now get out there and start stenciling away!

*images & instructions from


Randi said...

I love the clock and would really like to try that on my wall.

Cate said...

Love, love, love the clock!

Liene at Blue Orchid Designs said...

love the roller shade! such a great idea!