How to Stencil Kids' Decor


Organize clutter with these great-looking Creepy-Crawly Nesting Boxes.
Organize clutter with these great-looking Creepy-Crawly Nesting Boxes.

Decorating with stencils is one of the quickest and easiest ways to transform your home.

In the following pages, we have gathered some of the best stencils for kids' rooms.

These kids' decor stencils will take your ordinary objects -- tables, storage bins, shelves, walls -- and make them into bright and stimulating furnishings that children will enjoy.

Learn how to complete each stencil project with step-by-step instructions, stencils that you can download, plenty of creative tips, and lots of photos.

It's easy to get started. Once you do, you'll see opportunities to apply your creativity everywhere.

Crooked House Storage Bins are cute containers for a child's toys.Sheepish Shelf makes a safe and comforting storage spot for baby's treasures.Sports Fan Chalkboard is perfect for young athletes.Creepy-Crawly Nesting Boxes keep clutter under control.Nursery Display Shelf is a charming and useful detail that will fit in any nursery.Pocket Pals Organizer will keep those lovable stuffed animals close at hand.

Butterfly Bulletin Board is a classy and stylish way to store memorabilia.

Noah's Ark Toy Chest is bright and cheerful, making playtime clean-up that much easier.

Toy Train Table turns an average table into a fantastic play area.

You can go straight to the stencil project that intrigues you most, or start by learning how to stencil the Crooked House Storage Bins on the next page.

Want to find another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil Crooked House Storage Bins

Stencil the Crooked House Storage Bins.
Stencil the Crooked House Storage Bins.

Learn how to create this great stencil design. The Crooked House Storage Bins are cute containers that keep clutter under control and help organize your child's treasures.

Skill level: Beginner

Time needed: 4 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Crooked House Storage Bins Stencil Design as a PDF.

Instructions

Step One: Whether you use wood or metal bins, you'll need to prep them before beginning. If using metal, wash all boxes with detergent or a household cleaner. Let dry, then lightly sand the surface with fine-grade sandpaper.

Apply an even coat of metal primer with a foam brush, and let dry completely. For wood boxes, sand and tack all boxes. Apply a thick, even coat of all-purpose sealer with a foam brush. Let dry.

Step Two: Basecoat the boxes any light color. Repeat if necessary for complete, even coverage.

Step Three: Stencil the tree in the center of one side of the box and then position the houses evenly on either side of the tree. Have fun mixing up the colors to create an original look.

Step Four: To paint the grass, lay a straight edge at the horizon line and paint green down into the lawn. For added interest, use the tree foliage stencil to add grass tufts to the horizon line.

Step Five: Stencil border checks all the way around the bin or just across the front.

Stencil Variations

Want to mix up what you put on the storage bins? Look at these stencil design variations for inspiration:

Stencil Variation
Stencil Border Variation
Stencil Variation
Stencil Border Variation
Stencil Border Variation

No need to feel shy about stenciling. Learn how to make a Sheepish Shelf in the next section.

Want to find another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil a Sheepish Shelf

Stencil a Sheepish Shelf.
Stencil a Sheepish Shelf.

This darling sheep brings extra charm to baby's room. You can count on it to keep treasures safe and secure.

Skill level: Beginner

Time needed: 3 hours

Stencil design: Download the Sheepish Shelf Stencil Design as a PDF.

Instructions

Step One: Sand and tack the surface of the shelf. Apply a thick, even coat of all-purpose sealer with a foam brush, and let dry. Even if you don't want to basecoat the shelf (for instance, if it's already the color you want it to be), lightly sand the surface before stenciling to make sure the stencil paint will bond.

Step Two: It's a good idea to stencil the border first so you can better position the sheep and the fence. To get the stripe stencil as close as possible to the corners of the shelf, you may need to trim the outside edge of the stencil. Mask the outer edge with tape if you need to give yourself a bigger outer margin.

Step Three: Position and stencil the shelf details in this order: fence, sheep, moon, and stars.

Step Four: Seal the entire shelf with 2 or 3 coats of satin-finish varnish to protect your work.

Stencil Variations

Want to add some extra decoration to your shelves? Try these stencil variations:

Stencil variation
Stencil variation

Need to keep track of baseball tryouts, soccer practice, and football scrimmage? Learn how to make a Sports Fan Chalkboard in the next section.

Want to find another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil a Sports Fan Chalkboard

Learn how to stencil the Sports Fan Chalkboard.
Learn how to stencil the Sports Fan Chalkboard.

Stencil these easy baseballs, basketballs, and footballs on a homemade chalkboard for a sporty project that's sure to be a hit.

Skill level: Beginner

Time: 3 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Sports Fan Chalkboard as a PDF.

What You'll Need

  • Precut masonite, 20x20 inches
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • All-purpose sealer
  • 1-inch foam brushes, 4
  • Painter's tape
  • Tape measure
  • Chalkboard paint
  • DecoArt Americana acrylic paint: Mistletoe, Lamp Black, Snow White, True Red
  • Plaid FolkArt acrylic paint: Sap Green
  • Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint: Poppy Orange, Burnt Sienna
  • 3/4-inch stencil brushes, 3
  • 1/2-inch stencil brushes, 3
  • Satin-finish spray varnish

Instructions

Step One: Prepare the masonite for painting by lightly sanding it and applying an all-purpose sealer.

Step Two: Use tape to mask off a 3-1/2-inch border around the board, leaving a 13-inch square in the center of the board. Follow manufacturer's instructions to paint this square with chalkboard paint. Let dry completely; remove tape.

Remove the masking tape when the paint is dry.

Step Three: Carefully re-mask the square, taping on the chalkboard side this time so the border can be painted. Make sure the tape placement is exact so you're left with a nice, clean line of paint between the border and the center of the board.

Basecoat border Mistletoe with a foam brush; let dry. Repeat if needed for complete coverage. Do not remove tape yet.

Step Four: Measure and mask off a 3-1/2-inch square in all four corners of Sports Fan Chalkboard the border. Basecoat the corner squares Sap Green with a foam brush. Repeat for complete coverage. Let dry; remove all tape.

Paint the corners with a foam brush.

Step Five: Position the basketball stencil 1/2 to 3/4 inch to the right of one of the Sap Green squares. Stencil Poppy Orange with a 3/4-inch brush, applying two coats if needed. Repeat on the remaining three sides of the board.

Step Six: Position the basketball overlay; stencil the ball detail Lamp Black with a 1/2-inch brush. Repeat on all basketballs. Trick of the Trade: Position the balls at different angles to add visual interest to the border.

Add decorative stencils to the borders.

Step Seven: Position the football stencil 1/2 to 3/4 inch to the right of the basketball. Stencil Burnt Sienna with a 3/4-inch brush, applying two coats if needed. Repeat on the remaining three sides of the board.

Step Eight: Position the football overlay; stencil the ball detail Snow White with a 1/2-inch brush. Repeat on all footballs.

Step Nine: Position the baseball stencil 1/2 to 3/4 inch to the right of the football. Stencil Snow White with a 3/4-inch brush, applying 2 coats if needed. Repeat on the remaining three sides of the board.

Step Ten: Position the baseball overlay; stencil the ball detail True Red with a 1/2-inch brush. Repeat on all baseballs.

Step Eleven: Let dry completely, then mask the chalkboard center. Mist only the border of the board with at least two coats of satin-finish spray varnish. Let dry between coats.

Bright Ideas

  • Bounce these balls across a wall in a playful border, stenciling some balls high and some low within the playing field.
Add your own touch with stencil variations.
  • If your child prefers one sport over all others, choose just one of these stencil designs for this project or throughout the room.
  • In sports, refs are usually associated with stripes. Why not stripe up a little fun by stenciling vertical stripes of each ball across the room for a faux wallpaper look?
  • Stencil balls randomly across the surface of a sisal rug. To finish it off, tape off stripes around the border and paint them black and white.

In the next section we'll add style to stodgy storage, with stencils for Creepy-Crawly Nesting Boxes.

Want to find another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil Creepy-Crawly Nesting Boxes

Stencil the Creepy-Crawly Nesting Boxes.
Stencil the Creepy-Crawly Nesting Boxes.

Keep your clutter from crawling out of control by storing toys and more in these spiffy nesting boxes.

Skill level: Beginner

Time: 3 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Creepy-Crawly Nesting Boxes as a PDF.

What You'll Need

  • 3 wood nesting boxes
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • All-purpose sealer
  • 2-inch foam brush
  • 2-inch flat brushes, 4
  • DecoArt Americana acrylic paint: Primary Yellow, Tangelo Orange
  • Plaid Apple Barrel Colors acrylic paint: Kiwi Green, Royal Violet
  • 3/4-inch stencil brushes, 3
  • Stencil spray adhesive
  • Satin-finish spray varnish

InstructionsStep One: Sand and tack all boxes. Apply a thick, even coat of all-purpose sealer with a foam brush. Let dry. Basecoat the boxes in the following colors, using a different flat brush for each color.

Small box: outside Primary Yellow, inside Tangelo Orange. Medium box: outside Tangelo Orange, inside Kiwi Green.

Large box: outside Kiwi Green, inside Primary Yellow. Let dry; repeat.Step Two: Position the decorative border stencil at the top edge of the box. Using a different 3/4-inch brush for each color, stencil the large box's border Royal Violet, the medium box's border Primary Yellow, and the small box's border Kiwi Green. Repeat around all sides.

Stencil the border with a small brush.

Step Three: Position stencil D1 on the front of the large box, leaving enough room for three dragonflies. Mark registration points. Stencil Primary Yellow. Repeat on all sides of the box, angling the stencil in different directions for each repeat.Step Four: Align stencil D2 on the dragonfly wings; stencil Royal Violet. Repeat for all dragonflies.Step Five: Position stencil F1 on the front of the medium box, positioning so three will fit. Mark registration points; stencil Kiwi. Repeat around the box, angling the stencil in different directions for each repeat.Step Six: Align stencil F2 on the frog's body; stencil the spots, hands, and feet Primary Yellow. Stencil the eyes Royal Violet. Repeat for all frogs.Step Seven: Position stencil L1 on the front of the small box, positioning so two will fit. Mark registration points. Stencil Royal Violet. Repeat around the box.

Step Eight: Align stencil L2 on the lizard's body. Stencil Kiwi; repeat if needed for complete coverage. Repeat for all lizards.

Step Nine: To protect your work, mist the boxes with at least three coats of spray varnish, letting dry between each coat.

Bright Ideas

As is the case with many other stencils, a simple color change is enough to make you look at these designs in a whole new light. Right now, they're bold and fun, but picture them done in browns, greens, taupes, and tans.

Eeeeewww...just what your favorite little bug collector would love to see climbing, hopping, and flying all over the walls -- or, even better, on the sheets and pillowcases!

Try it with these stencil variations:

Stencil variations give you design flexibility.

The next project is perfect for the youngster in your family. Learn how to stencil a Nursery Display Shelf in the next section.

Looking for another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil a Nursery Display Shelf

Stencil the Nursery Display Shelf.
Stencil the Nursery Display Shelf.

Diaper pins and baby carriages brighten a plain shelf, bringing charm and lively detail to your baby's nursery.

Skill level: Beginner

Time: 2 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Nursery Display Shelf as a PDF.

What You'll Need

  • Wood display shelf with hooks
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • All-purpose sealer
  • 2-inch foam brushes, 3
  • 1-inch flat brush
  • Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint: Cornsilk Yellow, Coral, Wedgwood Blue
  • Plaid FolkArt acrylic paint: Bayberry
  • 1/2-inch stencil brushes, 4
  • 3/4-inch stencil brush
  • Stencil spray adhesive
  • Satin-finish spray varnish

Instructions

Step One: Sand and tack the surface of the shelf. Apply a thick, even coat of all-purpose sealer with a 2-inch foam brush. Let dry. Basecoat all surfaces of the shelf Cornsilk Yellow with a foam brush. Let dry; repeat. Carefully paint the edging Wedgwood Blue with a flat brush. Step Two: To create the diaper pin border, you will stencil the pin vertically on the sides and horizontally across the top of the shelf. Position the diaper pin stencil 1/2 to 1/4 inch in from the edge of the shelf, and stencil Bayberry with a 1/2-inch brush. Repeat around the shelf, flipping the stencil so that some of the pins face one direction and some face the other.

Step Three: Align the diaper pin overlay; stencil Wedgwood Blue or Coral using a different 1/2-inch brush for each color and alternating colors every other pin.

Step Four: Position stencil C1 at the left side of the shelf. Stencil the carriage hood Coral with a 1/2-inch brush and the handle and wheels Bayberry, also with a 1/2-inch brush. Repeat three more times across shelf, flipping the stencil over so every carriage faces the opposite direction of the one before it.

Stencil the baby carriage.

­

Step Five: Align stencil C2; stencil Wedgwood Blue with a 3/4-inch brush. Repeat on each carriage.

Step Six: Align stencil C3; stencil Cornsilk Yellow with a 1/2-inch brush. Repeat on each carriage.

Step Seven: To protect your work, mist the entire shelf with at least two coats of spray varnish, letting dry between coats.

Bright Ideas

A baby's room has plenty of surfaces that practically cry out for adornment. Try the following ideas.

  • These adorable stencils would add just the right tiny touch to dress up a chest of drawers, the hem of a plain pair of curtains, or the top or sides of a set of baby-supply boxes.
  • The carriages would look just as cute without polka dots, and the carriage could also work without a row of swirls.
  • This shelf was designed to be gender neutral. Feel free to choose pinks or blues to suit your nursery, or liven up the palette with bolder hues.
  • Make your own new and unique designs using these stencil variations.
Stencil variations add a personal touch.

If you have trouble keeping all those stuffed animals corralled, take a look at the next section to learn stencils for the Pocket Pals Organizer.

Want to find another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil a Pocket Pals Organizer

The Pocket Pals Organizer hangs anywhere.
The Pocket Pals Organizer hangs anywhere.

The picture-perfect pockets on this hanging organizer provide a clever home for stuffed animals and more.

Skill level: Advanced beginner

Time: 3 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Pocket Pals Organizer as a PDF.

What You'll Need

  • Fabric medium
  • Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint: Deep Lilac, Periwinkle Blue, Pumpkin, Black
  • Plaid FolkArt acrylic paint: Hot Pink, Fresh Foliage, Poppy Red, Tapioca
  • Canvas pocket organizer
  • Scrap cardboard or tagboard
  • 3/8-inch stencil brushes, 6
  • 1/4-inch stencil brushes, 2
  • Black fabric pen
  • Soft, clean cloth
  • Iron and ironing board

InstructionsStep One: Before stenciling, follow the manufacturer's instructions to add fabric medium to the paint.Step Two: You'll use the same body stencil for each animal, stenciling each a different color. Position the animal body stencil 3-1/2 inches from the top of the first pocket; mark registration points. Using a different 3/8-inch brush for each color, stencil 1 body per pocket as follows: pig, Deep Lilac; bunny, Hot Pink; cat, Fresh Foliage; dog, Poppy Red; lamb, Periwinkle Blue; teddy, Pumpkin.

Pounce color more heavily around the outer edges and at the base of the arms and legs, leaving the center of each animal much lighter to provide dimension. Cut a curve from the edge of an index card, and hold it between the neck and head of each animal to get crisper definition between these areas. Note: Leave the center of the pig and teddy face unpainted.

Stencil the faces on the animals.

Step Three: Align the different animal overlays on each body. Stencil the ears the same color as the bodies, shading the insides with a touch of Hot Pink if desired. Stencil the pig's snout Hot Pink and the teddy's muzzle Pumpkin.

Stencil the nose and mouth on each animal Black with a 1/4-inch brush. (The extra nose and mouth stencil is for the teddy. Position that stencil after stenciling the teddy's muzzle.)Step Four: Position the heart stencil on the right side of each animal's chest; stencil Poppy Red with a 1/4-inch brush.

Stencil a heart on each animal with a 1/4-inch brush.

Step Five: Center the animal's name stencil about 2-1/2 inches from the top of the pocket. Stencil any color, using a different 3/8-inch brush for each color.

Stencil the animal names on each pocket.

Step Six: Position and stencil the borders around the pockets as follows, repeating around all sides of the pocket: pig, Fresh Foliage fencing; bunny, Fresh Foliage/Pumpkin carrots; cat, Periwinkle Blue fish; dog, Deep Lilac dog bones; lamb, Hot Pink/Fresh Foliage flowers; teddy, Fresh Foliage/Poppy Red/Periwinkle Blue/Pumpkin buttons.

Step Seven: Use a fabric pen to draw detailing such as faux stitching on all the animals, whiskers on the cat and bunny, dots on the dog's muzzle, and nostrils on the pig's snout. In the borders, draw a dot in the center of each flower, a small "x" on each button, and a tiny eye on each fish.

Step Eight: Let dry completely, then place a soft, clean cloth over the design and run an iron over the cloth to heat-set the paint.

Bright Ideas

  • This project is a perfect place to experiment with color. The bold colors featured here brighten up a child's room nicely, but this pocket organizer also looks stunning executed in natural hues -- try browns, tans, and creamy whites to make the animals look real. (You may choose to eliminate the faux stitching on this version.)
  • For a wild and crazy variation, try stenciling the border images right on top of the animals -- they'll look like they're made out of quilting fabric.

Need to keep track of photos, notes, and calendars? Take a look at the next section to learn stencils for the Butterfly Bulletin Board.

Want to find another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil a Butterfly Bulletin Board

Stencil the Butterfly Bulletin Board.
Stencil the Butterfly Bulletin Board.

A French memo board undergoes a dazzling metamorphosis of color and style with help from these easy-to-stencil butterflies.

Skill level: Beginner

Time: 2 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Butterfly Bulletin Board as a PDF.

What You'll Need

  • French memo board
  • Fabric medium
  • Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint: Fuchsia, Lilac Dusk
  • Plaid FolkArt acrylic paint: Medium Yellow
  • Plaid Apple Barrel Colors acrylic paint: Kiwi
  • DecoArt Americana acrylic paint: Graphite
  • 1-inch flat brushes, 2
  • 3/4-inch stencil brushes, 2
  • 5/8-inch stencil brush­

Instructions

Step One: Before stenciling, follow manufacturer's instructions to add fabric medium to the paint.Step Two: The ribbon divides the bulletin board into diamond-shape blocks. Using 1-inch flat brushes, paint the diamonds Fuchsia and Medium Yellow, creating stripes of diamonds across the board in a harlequin pattern. Move the ribbon out of the way as you work, being careful not to get any paint on it. Let dry.Step Three: Position stencil A in the center of a Fuchsia diamond, with the top pointed in any direction. Mark registration points; stencil Kiwi with a 3/4-inch brush. Let dry; repeat for complete coverage.

Stencil kiwi-colored butterflies on the fuchsia diamonds.

Step Four: Repeat step 3 in all Fuchsia diamonds, rotating the direction of the butterfly randomly for greater visual interest.Step Five: Repeat steps 3 and 4 in all Medium Yellow diamonds, using Lilac Dusk instead of Kiwi paint.Step Six: Align stencil B on a butterfly; stencil Graphite with a 5/8-inch brush. Repeat on all butterflies.

Stencil graphite outlines on all the butterflies.

The next project will turn an ordinary toy box into a treasure. Learn how to make the Noah's Ark Toy Chest in the next section.

Want to find another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil a Noah's Ark Toy Chest

The Noah's Ark Toy Chest is colorful and useful, too.
The Noah's Ark Toy Chest is colorful and useful, too.

Spruce up a toy box with these Noah's Ark stencils. The animals and bright colors look terrific in any playroom.

Skill level: Intermediate

Time: 6-8 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Noah's Ark Toy Chest as a PDF.

What You'll Need

  • Wooden toy chest
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • All-purpose sealer
  • 2-inch foam brushes, 4
  • Flat or semi-gloss white latex paint
  • 1-inch flat brush
  • Painter's tape
  • Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint: Periwinkle
  • Plaid FolkArt acrylic paint: Midnight, Fresh Foliage, Camel, Lemon Custard, Lipstick Red, Coffee Bean, True Blue, Evergreen, Wicker White, Yellow Ochre
  • 5/8-inch stencil brushes, 2
  • 1/2-inch stencil brushes, 5
  • 3/8-inch stencil brushes, 3
  • Index card
  • Black fine-point permanent marker
  • Artist's brush
  • Satin-finish spray varnish

Instructions

Step One: Prepare the wood for painting by lightly sanding it with fine-grade sandpaper, applying a thick, even coat of sealer with a foam brush, and applying a white basecoat with the flat brush. Let dry.

Step Two: Mask off a 3/4-inch border along the top of the front and sides of the toy box, and mask off a 3/4-inch border along the front and side edges of the lid as well. (Leave tape in place until step 18.) Using a foam brush, paint the lid and the molding above the base of the box Periwinkle. Paint the base of the box and the front edge of the lid Midnight.

Step Three: To create a horizon line, apply painter's tape in an irregular, bumpy line across the middle of the box, carrying the line all the way around the box onto both sides as well as the front. The irregularities in the line will give the illusion of slight hills and valleys. Press firmly on the edges of the tape so paint does not seep underneath.

Using a foam brush, paint the box above the line Periwinkle. Let dry; remove tape. Re-mask above the horizon line, and paint the area below the tape Fresh Foliage.

Step Four: Center stencil A on the front of the toy box; mark registration points. Stencil the ark, the giraffe, and Noah's face Camel. Stencil the dove Lemon Custard, and stencil Noah's robe Lipstick Red. Mask the left side of the ark with an index card held perpendicular to the roof, and lightly shade along the vertical edge with Coffee Bean to add dimension.

Stencil the ark, the giraffe, and Noah with the same color.

Step Five: Align stencil B. Stencil the hull True Blue, using two coats if needed for complete coverage. Stencil all windows and the lower roof Midnight. Stencil the top roof Lipstick Red, the olive branch Evergreen, the giraffe's spots and facial features Coffee Bean, Noah's beard and the whites of his eyes Wicker White, and Noah's hands Camel.

Step Six: Use a black permanent marker to dot a pupil in both of Noah's eyes and to dot a tiny eye on the dove.

Step Seven: Position Noah's staff in his hand with the end resting on the hull of the ark; stencil Coffee Bean.

Step Eight: Center the large porthole stencil on the hull of the ark; mark registration points. Stencil Lipstick Red. Reposition the stencil an inch away on both sides and repeat, creating three portholes.

Stencil the portholes with red and black.

Step Nine: Align the small porthole stencil. Stencil the inside of the portholes Midnight, using 2 coats for complete coverage. Repeat for all portholes.

Step Ten: Position lions stencil to the right of the ark; mark registration points. Stencil Camel, and add Coffee Bean shading around the edges of the male lion's face. Let dry.

Step Eleven: Align the lion overlay, and stencil the mane and female lion's back leg and face Camel. Shade around the outer edges of the mane with Coffee Bean, and stencil tail, lioness's facial features, and line details Coffee Bean as well.

Step Twelve: With stencil still in place, cover the lion's mane with its dropout. Stencil the facial features Coffee Bean.

Step Thirteen: Use an artist's brush and Coffee Bean to freehand the lion's whiskers.

Step Fourteen: Position large giraffe stencil to the left of the ark with face almost touching small giraffe's face; mark registration points. Stencil Camel. Remove stencil. Align the giraffe overlay; stencil all details Coffee Bean.

Step Fifteen: Position alligator stencil at bottom right of ark; mark registration points. Stencil Evergreen. Align alligator overlay; stencil face details Coffee Bean.

Step Sixteen: Repeat steps 10-15 to stencil a few animals on the side panels of the toy chest. We suggest two lions and two alligators on the right panel, and two gators and the large giraffe on the left.

Step Seventeen: Once the ark and animals are complete, position the grass tuft stencil as desired around the landscape; stencil Evergreen. Position the two cloud stencils randomly throughout the sky; stencil Wicker White. Apply two coats for complete coverage.

Step Eighteen: Remove tape from step two. Working on one corner of the top of the toy chest at a time, place a square from the border stencil in each corner, and stencil True Blue. Stencil Yellow Ochre squares onto the white borders. Repeat around all borders.

Personalize the top of the toy chest.

Step Nineteen: To protect your work, mist the entire chest with at least three coats of satin-finish spray varnish, letting dry between coats.

In the next section, get on track to learn how to stencil a Toy Train Table.

Want to find another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil a Toy Train Table

Stencil the Toy Train Table.
Stencil the Toy Train Table.

There's no limit to the fun your kids will have with this terrific train table. Best of all, you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on a pre-made table when this one is so easy to make!

Skill level: Intermediate

Time: 8 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Toy Train Table as a PDF.

What You'll Need

  • Inexpensive wood table
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • Water-based primer
  • 7-inch foam roller
  • Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint: Cornsilk Yellow
  • 2-inch foam brush
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Plaid FolkArt acrylic paint: Licorice, Lipstick Red, White, Butter Pecan, Asphaltum, Evergreen, Blue Ribbon
  • 1/2-inch stencil brushes, 4
  • Painter's tape
  • Artist's brush
  • 3/8-inch stencil brushes, 6
  • Toothpick
  • Matte brush-on varnish
  • 2-inch flat brush

Instructions

Step One: Sand and prime the table. Let dry. Basecoat the table Cornsilk Yellow with a roller brush. Let dry.Step Two: Plan your layout before beginning to stencil the table. Using tracing paper, graph paper, or Mylar, trace and cut out multiple templates of the track pieces. Arrange the pieces on the table surface to create your track, repositioning until you have a track that works in the space. Trace outside edges lightly with a pencil to create a guide; remove template pieces.

Use the stencil to paint the track pieces onto the table.

Step Three: Position track stencils 1 at a time on the penciled outline; stencil Licorice with a 1/2-inch brush, working in order so all the pieces align. Use painter's tape to mask off the stencil when creating areas where the tracks will cross over each other, and use the square connector stencil in the center of crossovers. Fill in breaks in the sides of the track with an artist's brush as needed.

Stencil the tracks carefully.

Step Four: To stencil the depot, position stencil D1. (Make sure to leave enough room below for the foundation and the platform.) Mark registration points. Stencil the depot Lipstick Red with a 1/2-inch brush. Remove stencil; let dry. Align stencil D2; stencil the foundation and windows White with a 1/2-inch brush. Let dry.

Stencil over the White paint with Butter Pecan on a 1/2-inch brush. Remove stencil; let dry. Align stencil D3; stencil door Butter Pecan, dormer Lipstick Red, and all other openings Licorice with 1/2-inch brushes. Create a doorknob by stenciling 1 of the small circle registration marks Licorice.

Step Five: To stencil the stone walkway, position the stone stencil and, using 3/8-inch brushes, randomly stencil the stones Licorice, Butter Pecan, and Asphaltum, overlapping and mixing the colors to create a realistic look. Move stencil; repeat until the walkway is as long as you desire.

Use the door from stencil D3 and Butter Pecan to stencil a solid path any place the path crosses over the track. Repeat for complete coverage.

Step Six: Use stencil D1 and Butter Pecan on a 1/2-inch brush to stencil platforms near the station.

Step Seven: Stencil railroad crossing gates near major intersections of the tracks. Position stencil G1; mark registration points. Stencil Licorice with a 3/8-inch brush. Remove stencil; align stencil G2. Stencil Lipstick Red with a 3/8-inch brush; repeat for complete coverage.

Step Eight: Trees, grass, fencing, pathways, flowers, and cow stencils are included for you to customize your scene. (We used Evergreen and Asphaltum and 3/8-inch brushes for the foliage.) Create small ponds with Blue Ribbon and an artist's brush, and use a toothpick or the end of an artist's brush to dot Licorice eyes on the cow.

Paint the table to add lakes, trees, and other natural elements.

Step Nine: Using a 2-inch flat brush, seal the table with 3 coats of matte varnish. Let dry between coats.

Bright Ideas

You're picking up steam with these clever ideas!

  • This train table can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Experiment with the layout until you're satisfied.
  • If you like the idea but just don't have room for another piece of furniture, try stenciling this terrific train layout onto a floorcloth, which can be rolled up for easy storage!
  • Or, better yet, stencil this design directly onto a wooden floor for permanent display. Seal with varnish, and your kids are ready to play.

Want to find another stencil project? See:

ABOUT THE CRAFT DESIGNERS

Crooked House Storage Bins by Nancy TriboletSheepish Shelf by Nancy TriboletSports Fan Chalkboard by Chris BjorkesonCreepy-Crawly Nesting Boxes by Chris BjorkesonNursery Display Shelf by Chris BjorkesonPocket Pals Organizer by Merilee SawuschButterfly Bulletin Board by Chris BjorkesonNoah's Ark Toy Chest by Carol W. BovaToy Train Table by Carol W. Bova