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How to Stencil Kids' Rooms

How to Stencil a Zinnia Garden Border

Sweet smiles bloom every day in this blissfully sunny summer garden designed for a princess.

The Zinnia Garden Border makes the floors come alive with flowers.
Stencil the Zinnia Garden Border.

Skill Level: Intermediate
Time: 8 hours per wall
Stencil Design: Download the Zinnia Garden Border as a PDF.

What You'll Need

  • Light Ivory latex wall paint
  • 4-inch sponge roller
  • Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint: Mello Yellow
  • Delta Stencil Paint Crème: Cottage Blue, Navy Blue, Garden Green, Basic Black, Goldenrod Yellow, Amber, Coral, Garnet Red, Amethyst Purple, Paprika
  • 1/2-inch stencil brushes, 6
  • 1/4-inch stencil brushes, 4

Tricks of the Trade

To get the perfect colors for the wall, select your favorite craft paints and take them into a paint store, where you can have latex paint mixed for a perfect match.

To avoid painting a wrong stripe, put a small piece of tape in the stripes you will not paint.


Step One: Basecoat the wall with satin- or eggshell-finish Light Ivory latex wall paint.

Step Two: To create 4-inch stripes around the room, use a plumb line or a level to extend lines from the ceiling to the floor at 4-inch intervals around the room. (Make sure the lines are four inches apart at both the ceiling and the floor.) Mask off both sides of every other stripe with tape.

Paint yellow stripes in between the tape markings, alternating each one.
Paint alternate vertical stripes to create the border.

Step Three: Use the sponge roller to roll Mello Yellow onto every other stripe. Be careful to stay within the taped area. Let dry.

Step Four: Make as many flowers as you like around the base of the wall, stenciling them at different heights and with different colors. Before you begin, plan your design and make a pencil mark to indicate the placement of each flower, varying flower placement so as not to create a pattern.

Step Five: Each flower has three overlays: Work with the overlay with the largest open areas first. Position this stencil on the wall, and tape it to secure. Mark the registration points. Stencil each zinnia in the same manner, referring to the chart on the next page for color. Apply the basecoat first, then shade with a darker value.

Petals: Stencil the basecoat darker toward the center and lighter at the tips with a 1/2-inch brush. Swirl on the darker shading with a 1/4-inch brush.
Center: Stencil color with a 1/2-inch brush, and shade along the left curve with a 1/4-inch brush.

Leaves: Stencil Garden Green with a 1/2-inch brush, making the color darker where each leaf emerges from the stem and along the bottom. Add a tiny bit of Basic Black shading with a 1/4-inch brush. Apply light tints of Paprika (1/2-inch brush) and Garnet Red (1/4-inch brush).

Step Six: Position the second overlay by matching the registration points. Tape it down securely, then stencil the petals as you did in step five. Stencil the stem Garden Green, adding a little Garnet Red at the point where the flower touches the stem.

If you've positioned the flower particularly high on the wall, the stem will not reach the baseboard. If this is the case, just slide the stencil down to fill the gap.

Step Seven: Position and tape the third overlay in place, and stencil the petals in the same manner as before. Stencil the vein lines Garden Green, and darken slightly with Garnet Red.

Step Eight: Before stenciling the bumblebees, decide where they will go and make a light pencil mark at each position. Vary their placement throughout the zinnias.

Step Nine: Adhere the first overlay (the one without wings) to the wall, and mark the registration points. Stencil with Basic Black.

Step Ten: Position and tape down the bumblebee overlay. Stencil the stripes Goldenrod Yellow (1/2-inch brush) and the wings, legs, and antennae Basic Black (1/2-inch brush). Apply paint sparingly to the wings so they look soft and a bit transparent. Shade the edges of the stripes with a small amount of Basic Black on a 1/4-inch brush. Repeat steps nine and ten for all bumblebees.

Flowers and bees line the walls, making a summery border.
The flowers and bees make a lively decoration.

Zinnia Color Palette

Blue Zinnia
Basecoat: Cottage Blue
Shading: Navy Blue
Center: Goldenrod Yellow
Center shading: Amber

Pink Zinnia
Basecoat: Coral
Shading: Garnet Red
Center: Goldenrod Yellow
Center shading: Amber
Yellow Zinnia
Basecoat: Goldenrod Yellow
Shading: Amber
Center: Garden Green
Center shading: Garnet Red

Purple Zinnia
Basecoat: Amethyst Purple
Shading: Basic Black
Center: Goldenrod Yellow
Center shading: Amber
Green Zinnia
Basecoat: Garden Green
Shading: Basic Black
Center: Coral
Center shading: Garnet Red
Orange Zinnia
Basecoat: Paprika
Shading: Amber
Center: Goldenrod Yellow
Center shading: Amber

Zinnia Garden Border Variations

Get out your paint set, because zinnias come in any color. And since they're the hardy variety, they bloom almost anywhere! Picture them on toy boxes, dresser drawers, or jewelry boxes.

Stencil just the petals on pine floors, or make a border of leaves along the edge of the ceiling. Try the bees and little button flowers in smaller places. Create borders and stripes to turn the room into a field of dreams.

Overlapping stems make a unique floral plaid print.
Overlapping stems make a unique floral plaid print.

Start your engines and race to the next project, the Zoom Around the Room Border. It's in the next section.

Looking for another stenciling project? See: