How to Stencil Decorative Items


Learn how to make the Wilderness Painting stencil project.
Learn how to make the Wilderness Painting stencil project.

Take a plain picture frame, a blank canvas, an everyday bucket. Add a hand-painted stencil design, and your run-of-the-mill decorative item has turned into something truly special.

The following pages take you to simple stencil projects you can do to create your own unique decorative items. Each article includes simple step-by-step instructions, colorful photos, and a stencil design you can download and print.

Stretch your creativity and explore these stencil projects.

How to Stencil Seed-Packet Pots. Gardening fans will love these adorable pots, each depicting a stenciled picture of a vegetable.How to Stencil a Wilderness Painting. A bear is the focus of this beautiful stencil nature scene.

How to Stencil a Dreamland Picture Frame. Lovely, fluffy clouds surround your favorite photos in this stencil project.

Colorful vegetables make plain pots pop in the Seed-Packet Pots stencil project. Learn how to create this stencil project in the next section.

Excited about stenciling? See:

How to Stencil Seed-Packet Pots

Stencil Seed-Packet Pots.
Stencil Seed-Packet Pots.

Enliven ordinary clay pots with these nostalgic stencil seed-packet designs. Indoors or out, your vegetable garden never looked so appealing. Our simple step-by-step instructions will help you complete this delightful stencil project.

Skill level: Intermediate

Time needed: Two hours per pot

Stencil Design: Download the Seed-Packet Pots Stencil Design as a PDF.

Instructions

Step One: Cut a 4x3-inch rectangle out of heavyweight paper. This will be your template for the blank seed packet.

Step Two: Center this paper rectangle vertically on the clay pot, and trace around it with a pencil. Remove the paper. Affix low-adhesive tape around the outer edges of the penciled rectangle, leaving a 4x3-inch open space.

Affix low-adhesive tape around the outer edges of the rectangle.

Step Three: Using a one-inch stencil brush, base-coat the rectangle White. Let dry. Repeat.

Step Four: With the tape still in place, pounce Ivory around the edge of the rectangle with a one-inch brush. Fade this color into the center, leaving the center area white. Let dry.

Fade the ivory color into the center.

Step Five: Stencil each seed packet as follows, using a 3/8-inch brush unless otherwise indicated.

Stencil each seed packet in the center.

Tomato: Position and tape down the large tomato stencil. Stencil the tomato Adobe with a 5/8-inch brush, concentrating the color on the edges and leaving the center light. Shade around the edges with Tomato Spice. Fill in the lettering with Raw Umber. Position and tape down the tomato overlay. Stencil the leaves Hauser Medium Green, and shade with Hauser Dark Green.

Carrot: Position and tape down the carrot stencil. Base-coat the carrot Poppy Orange. Shade around the edges with Hauser Dark Green. Stencil the leaf Hauser Dark Green. Stencil the letters Raw Umber. Position and tape down the carrot overlay. Base-coat the leaves Hauser Medium Green, and shade with Hauser Dark Green. Stencil the carrot's detail lines Hauser Dark Green.

Radish: Position and tape down the radish stencil. Base-coat the radish Bright Pink. Shade around the edges with Tomato Spice, fading into the center and leaving a highlight. Stencil the leaves Hauser Medium Green.

Position and tape down the radish overlay. Stencil the leaf detail Hauser Dark Green and the letters Raw Umber.

Step Six: At each corner of the seed packet, measure in 5/8-inch both horizontally and vertically along the taped edges. Make a pencil mark on the tape (not on the pot itself) at these measurements.

Connect the pencil marks at each corner with a piece of tape placed toward the inside of the seed packet. Stencil these taped-off areas Hauser Medium Green, and add shading around the edges of the triangles with Hauser Dark Green. Let dry, then remove the diagonal pieces of tape.

Carefully remove the tape from the pot.

Step Seven: Shade around the edges of the entire seed packet in Dark Burnt Umber with a one-inch brush. Let dry. Carefully remove the tape from the pot.

Step Eight: Center the border stencil vertically on the rim of the pot. Tape in place. Stencil the leaves Hauser Medium Green, and shade with Hauser Dark Green. Use a 5/8-inch brush to stencil the border flowers: On the carrot pot, use Poppy Orange; on the tomato and radish pots, use Tomato Spice. Repeat around the rim.

Stencil Variations

This versatile stencil design offers endless possibilities for your seed-packet pot project -- and other projects in and out of the garden. Check out these stencil design variations for inspiration:

Stencil variation
Stencil variation
Stencil variation
Stencil variation
Stencil border variation
Stencil border variation
Stencil variation

A single bear strikes a pose in the Wilderness Painting stencil project. Learn to make this stencil project in the next section.

Want to find another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil a Wilderness Painting

Stencil a Wilderness Painting.
Stencil a Wilderness Painting.

This wilderness-themed stencil project is great for nature and animal lovers alike. Create a design based on a repeated pattern, or showcase a single image. Your friends will hardly believe you painted this bold, professional-looking artwork yourself.

Skill level: Beginner

Time needed: One hour

Stencil Design: Download the Wilderness Painting Stencil Design as a PDF.

Instructions

Step One: Before you begin, determine the size you want the finished picture to be. It's best to choose a standard frame size, such as 4x6, 8x10, or 11x14 inches. If your picture ends up being a different size, that's okay. You can always have a frame custom-made. For this project, artist's canvas is an ideal surface on which to stencil.

Step Two: Stencil the animals one at a time, using 1/2-inch stencil brushes for the larger shapes and 1/4-inch stencil brushes for the smaller shapes. (Use a different brush for each color.) Apply paint sparingly, as you can always go back and put more on.

Step Three: To achieve a realistic, professional-looking "painting," always blend the darker paint softly over a lighter color when mixing shades. Shade the outer edges of all the stencils with a darker color to create a natural rounded or shadowed effect.

Make a treasured photo special by framing it in a hand-painted stenciled picture frame. Learn how to create the Dreamland Picture Frame in the next section.

Want to find another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil a Dreamland Picture Frame

Stencil the Dreamland Picture Frame.
Stencil the Dreamland Picture Frame.

Nothing is as precious as a photo of your child, but this gorgeous frame comes close. This stencil's soft, fluffy clouds and sparkling stars come together to create a picture frame worthy of your favorite photos.

Skill level: Beginner

Time needed: Four hours

Stencil Design: Download the Dreamland Picture Frame Stencil Design as a PDF.

Instructions

Step One: Sand and tack the frame, and apply a thick, even coat of all-purpose sealer with a foam brush. Let dry.

Step Two: Using a flat paintbrush, paint the entire frame and all edges Blue Mist.

Step Three: Repeat Step Two of the Baby Bear Border to stencil the striped border. For this project, however, first stencil overlay one Seashell White, and then stencil the overlay two stripes green. When the stripes are dry, shade the inner edge of the border green.

Step Four: Stencil clouds all over the frame. To make some of the clouds appear to be in front of others, cover an already-stenciled cloud with its dropout, and then stencil the cloud behind it. This protects the previously stenciled cloud and gives you an edge to shade against.

Step Five: Seal the frame with two or three coats of satin-finish varnish, letting dry between coats.

Stencils transform plain objects into special treasures. With a little bit of practice and a lot of heart, you can use these stencil project ideas to turn everyday home accessories into truly special objects you'll love.

ABOUT THE CRAFT DESIGNERS

Seed-Packet Pots by The Robins & Willoughby Collection at L.A. Stencilwork

Wilderness Painting by Bonnie Yowler & Lori Shepps, Yowler and Shepps Stencils, Inc.

Dreamland Picture Frame by Nancy Tribolet, Stencils by Nancy

Want to find another stencil project? See: