How to Stencil Kids' Decor

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: