How to Stencil Kids' Decor

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


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: