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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.
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.
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: