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How to Stencil Kids' Rooms

How to Stencil a Garden Wall Border

Stencil a bright and whimsical garden on your walls, complete with beautiful birds and buzzing bees. Creating a field of dreams is easier than you think!

The Garden Wall Border features dozens of flowers and birds.
Stencil the Garden Wall Border.

Skill level: Intermediate
Time: 6-8 hours
Stencil design: Download the Garden Wall Border as a PDF.

What You'll Need

  • Yardstick
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • 1-inch-wide painter's tape
  • 4-inch sponge roller
  • Flat or semigloss white latex paint
  • DecoArt Americana acrylic paint: Hauser Light Green, True Red, True Blue, Burnt UmberDelta Ceramcoat acrylic paint: Medium Foliage Green, Blue Jay
  • Plaid Apple Barrel Colors acrylic paint: King's Gold
  • Plaid FolkArt acrylic paint: Barnwood
  • 1/4-inch stencil brushes, 7
  • 1/8-inch stencil brush


Step One: Measure and mark a horizontal pencil line on the wall for the top edge of the border, locating it at whatever height you prefer. Measure down 8-1/2 inches from this line, and mark another pencil line to hold the border. (Check both lines with a level.)

Mask the outside edges of the border with painter's tape, then use a sponge roller to apply an even coat of white latex wall paint to the border. Leave tape in place.

Step Two: Center the large stencil vertically in the border at the left edge of the wall. Tape in place; mark registration points. Beginning at the left-hand side of the stencil, stencil the leaves and stems Hauser Light Green with a 1/4-inch brush.

Shade the tips and ends of the leaves and the tops and bottoms of the stems Medium Foliage Green with a 1/8-inch brush. Using the same brush and paint, stencil the dotted line at the bottom.

Stencil the stems of the flowers in green paint.
Stencil the stems of the flowers in green paint.

Step Three: Stencil the tulips True Red with a 1/4-inch brush, applying only a very light coat.

Step Four: Stencil the daisy, bird's legs, and bee's body King's Gold with a 1/4-inch brush.

Step Five: Stencil the remaining flower and the bee's wings Blue Jay with a 1/4-inch brush. (Apply paint sparingly so both the petals and wings look soft and a bit transparent.) Lightly shade around the edges of the bird's body with Barnwood on a 1/4-inch brush to give the bird a more dimensional look.

Step Six: With the first stencil still in place, position the stripe stencil over the first red tulip with the stripes pointing in the same direction as the tulip. Stencil stripes True Red with a 1/4-inch brush. Repeat on the second tulip. While you have True Red on the brush, add a touch of red shading on the base and tips of the daisy petals.

Use multiple shades of color on the flowers for a better look.
Add red to the tulips for a more deep, natural look.

Step Seven: Position the stripe stencil on the bird. Using a 1/4-inch brush, stencil stripes True Blue. Remove stripe stencil; leave the first stencil in place.

Step Eight: Center the checkerboard stencil over the blue flower. Stencil checkerboard True Blue. Remove checkerboard stencil; leave the first stencil in place.

Step Nine: Center the small circle stencil on the blue flower. Stencil King's Gold with a 1/4-inch brush; repeat for complete coverage.

Step Ten: Align the bee overlay, and stencil the bee's stripe, head, and antennae Burnt Umber with a 1/4-inch brush. Remove overlay.

Step Eleven: Align the bird's eye stencil. Stencil Burnt Umber with a 1/4-inch brush. Remove overlay.

Step Twelve: Remove the first stencil, and reposition it to the right of the first repeat with about one inch between the flowers just stenciled and the next one to be painted.

Step Thirteen: Repeat steps two through twelve across the border. Remove tape masking border.

Trick of the Trade
This stencil measures approximately 12 inches for each repeat, including about 3/4 inch on either side for spacing. Before you begin, figure out how many repeats will fit on your wall. Measure the wall, subtracting any space for doors and windows. If you have 120 inches, there will be ten repeats.

If you come up with a number that isn't divisible by 12, however, don't worry. Add or take away extra space between the repeats to make up the difference. There's enough space between the elements on this stencil to break up the design and go around corners or windows. Just stop, and continue on the other side.

Bright Ideas

Birds of a feather don't always flock together! There's no limit to the number of different designs you can make with this stencil.

  • For a more realistic, natural look, leave the striped and checked patterns off the birds and flowers and switch to a more subdued color palette.
  • Use the fabulous checkered and striped patterns as a background stencil for just about anything, or use them alone to add texture to a dresser drawer, a light-switch plate, or the edge of a cabinet.
  • This stencil has many fabulous elements. Any one of them singled out would make a fabulous focal point on its own. Try 1 or more of the flowers on a flowerpot; stencil a bird on the wall overlooking a window; add a cluster of cute little bumblebees encircling a ceiling fan; or trim the baseboard with a row of flowers.

You can stencil different patterns on the flowers and birds.
Stencil different patterns
to add a personal touch.

Get your feet wet in the next section, and learn how to stencil the Rubber Duckie Shower Curtain.

Looking for another stenciling project? See: