How to Stencil Lamp and Window Shades

Learn how to stencil this Geranium Window Shade in this article.
Learn how to stencil this Geranium Window Shade in this article.

Anyone can stencil, and that's why it's so popular. You can apply a few stencil techniques in hundreds of ways throughout your home, harmonizing the details or reinventing new themes and fresh designs.

In this article we 'll show you several stencils to add hand-crafted charm to lamp and window shades. You'll find that just a few easy steps will transform your living spaces -- inexpensively.

On each page, we give you step-by-step instructions. Each project also comes with stencils that you can download, creative tips, and sample photographs. Once you get started, you'll see opportunities to apply your creativity everywhere.

Rustic Moose Lampshade is a rustic design perfect for the outdoorsy home. Learn how to stencil this shade.

Lovely Lampshades features a combination of soft stripes and floral borders that will brighten any home. We'll show you how to add this special touch to your home.

Bucking Bronco Lampshade adds an energetic western touch. Show off your cowboy stenciling with this design.

Geranium Window Shade brings the summery warmth of the flower patch inside your home. Learn how to create this soft floral touch.

You can begin with whatever stencil project catches your attention. Or, start in the next section to learn how to stencil a Rustic Moose Lampshade.

How to Stencil a Rustic Moose Lampshade

A Rustic Moose Lampshade is rustic, yet genteel.
A Rustic Moose Lampshade is rustic, yet genteel.

This delightful lampshade brings the charm of rustic cabin style home. Its bold, graphic design will light up the room.

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 2 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Rustic Moose Lampshade as a PDF.


  • Paper lampshade
  • Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint: Brown Iron Oxide
  • Folk Art acrylic paint: Licorice
  • 1-inch stencil brush
  • 5/8-inch stencil brush


  1. To create the "ground" along the bottom edge of the lampshade, apply low-adhesive tape all around the bottom edge. Next, apply another piece of tape above the first one in an irregular, bumpy line, leaving about 1/4 to one inch of space between the two strips as you move around the shade.This will give the illusion of slight hills and valleys across the landscape. Press firmly on the edges of the tape to make a seal so paint does not seep underneath.
  2. With the 1-inch stencil brush, apply a solid coat of Brown Iron Oxide to the entire ground area. Use the 1/2-inch stencil brush to shade the top and bottom edges (along the tape lines) with Licorice. Remove the tape, and let dry.
Paint the ground area between the tape borders.
  1. Position the moose stencil so the hooves touch the ground. Tape in place. Stencil with Brown Iron Oxide using the 1-inch brush. Shade the edges of the moose with Licorice, using the 5/8-inch brush.
  2. Adhere the moon stencil above the moose. Stencil the moon with Licorice paint using the 5/8-inch brush.
  3. Continue the "landscape" by stenciling trees and grass around the shade. Position the stencils along the ground line, and stencil all of the landscaping with Licorice. For visual interest, make the trees different heights by shortening the trunks of some when you place them along the ground line.
Stencil the rest of the landscape.

Rustic Moose Lampshade Variations

A single moose makes a strong, graphic statement, and the rust and black shades work well with the wrought-iron base, but why stop there? Change your palette to rich greens and browns for a subtle change. Work the moose and landscape elements together to dress up a fireplace screen, window shades, or even the back of a jean jacket.

For a simpler project, consider just the trees and grasses as repeat designs on muslin curtains or throw pillows for a family room.

Use the stencils creatively for other projects.

In the next project, you'll learn to brighten up any room with a Lovely Lampshade.

How to Stencil a Lovely Lampshade

The Lovely Lampshade has light, summery charm.
The Lovely Lampshade has light, summery charm.

Light up the room with a garden of stenciled flowers. A dash of plaid ties the shade in with the rest of the room.

Skill level: Intermediate

Time needed: 3 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Lovely Lampshade as a PDF.


  1. When choosing a lampshade, make sure you pick one that is either straight or only very slightly tapered. It's much easier to stencil straight lines on a pure cylindrical shape than on a shade with a decided cone shape.
  2. Measure and mark the portion of the shade that will be stenciled plaid. Mask this section off with painter's tape.
  3. Repeat Step three from the Nightstand Makeover project to stencil the plaid. Make sure to complete the plaid on the back seam of the shade in case the lines don't meet perfectly.
  4. Finish the shade by stenciling a border of flowers in the unpainted area.
These bright flowers make a cheery border.

Color Chat

Color says it all! If you can't find the perfect hue for your room, mix it yourself. The green in this plaid was made by combining two Plaid Apple Barrel paints: one part Meadow Green to four parts Light Leaf Green.

The yellow stripes are Delta Ceramcoat Pale Yellow. Create a luscious garden of flowers with Delta Stencil Paint Crème in Luscious Lemon, Yellow Ochre, Cottage Blue, Lavender, and Bright Green.

Make intricate edge-work like these small flowers.

Gallop ahead to the next project: the Bucking Bronco Lampshade.

How to Stencil a Bucking Bronco Lampshade

The Bucking Bronco Lampshade adds giddy-up to your home.
The Bucking Bronco Lampshade adds giddy-up to your home.

To blaze a trail with this Western-style lampshade, all you need is a store-bought shade, these easy stencils, and a few paints.

Skill level: Beginner

Time: 1 hour

Stencil Design: Download the Bucking Bronco Lampshade as a PDF.


  • Square paper lampshade
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Stencil spray adhesive
  • Plaid FolkArt acrylic paint: School Bus Yellow, Blue Ribbon, Asphaltum, Licorice, Lipstick Red, Skintone
  • DecoArt Americana acrylic paint: Peach Sherbert
  • 1/2-inch stencil brushes, 3
  • 1/4-inch stencil brushes, 2
  • 3/8-inch stencil brushes, 4
  • Painter's tape


  1. Measure and mark the center point of the shade, 3/4 inch down from the top edge. Position the star stencil here. Stencil School Bus Yellow with a 1/2-inch brush, repeating if needed for complete coverage. Repeat on the other three sides of the shade.
  2. Center the star stencil on a bent corner of the shade, 3/4 inch down from the top edge. (Make sure one of the star's points is pointing up.) Follow the stencil instructions to paint an outside corner to stencil the star School Bus Yellow, applying two coats as needed. Repeat on the other three top corners.
Use the stencil to make stars around the edges.
  1. Still working on the top band, center the stripe stencil between two stars; stencil Blue Ribbon with a 1/2-inch brush. Repeat to complete the top border.
  2. Repeat step two on the bottom four corners of the shade.
  3. Measure the bottom of the lampshade to determine the number of star/stripe repeats that will fit on each side. Make a pencil mark around the shade everywhere a star will be placed; stencil stars School Bus Yellow. Center stripe stencil between stars; stencil Blue Ribbon.
  1. Position stencil C1 in the center of one side of the shade. Tape in place; mark registration points. Mask the cowpoke's arm with painter's tape to avoid getting brown paint on the sleeve. Stencil the horse and hat Asphaltum with a 1/2-inch brush. Shade the hooves with Licorice on a 1/4-inch brush. Remove the tape and mask off the hat; stencil the shirt Blue Ribbon with a 3/8-inch brush. Remove tape and stencil.
  2. Align stencil C2, and stencil the lasso Asphaltum with a 1/2-inch brush and the chaps Lipstick Red with a 3/8-inch brush. Stencil all other openings Licorice with a 3/8-inch brush.
Stencil the rider above the horse.
  1. Align stencil C3, and stencil the cowboy's face and hands Skintone with a 3/8-inch brush. Shade with Peach Sherbert on a 1/4-inch brush.
  2. Repeat steps six through eight on all sides of the shade.

Bright Ideas

Let loose the reins of your imagination!

  • This is a perfect design in which to experiment with colors. Try a dark, monochromatic palette for a dramatic silhouette on the lampshade, or see how the stars and stripes look executed in patriotic red, white, and blue.
  • Add a circle of stars around the bucking bronco for a sensational look. Hey, this ranch hand could even be lassoing a passel of stars.
  • Repeat the design along the wall at chair-rail height, changing the color of the horse or the cowpoke's clothes on each repeat.

In the final section, you can learn how to bring your garden inside the house by making the Geranium Window Shade.

How to Stencil a Geranium Window Shade

The Geranium Window Shade adds life to any room.
The Geranium Window Shade adds life to any room.

Add a splash of color to a workaday room with this design. Whether tumbling across a roller shade or sprucing up a box, these geraniums will be a perennial favorite.

Skill Level: Advanced beginner

Time: 2 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Geranium Window Shade as a PDF.


  • Window shade
  • Delta Stencil Paint Crème: Garnet Red, Garden Green, Basic Black, Christmas Green, Black Cherry
  • 1/2-inch stencil brushes, 3
  • 3/8-inch stencil brushes, 2
  • Satin-finish spray varnish


  1. Draw a soft pencil line about six inches from the bottom of the shade, making sure the line is level. Measure and mark the center of this line to determine where to start stenciling.
  2. Position the geranium stencil so that the mark you made is in the center of the round blossom marked "center." Tape in place, and mark the registration points. (Note: The stencil provided is only half the image. After stenciling the first half, you will flip the stencil over and stencil the other half.)
Mark the shade to keep track of your design.
  1. Stencil all the flowers Garnet Red with a 1/2-inch brush, keeping the paint application light. Then stencil the leaves and stems Garden Green.Don't worry if some of the Garnet Red gets on the geranium leaves: This helps to tint the leaves, which adds depth to your painting. You may even tint other parts of the leaves with the Garnet Red brush.
  2. Shade the geranium leaves with Basic Black and a 3/8-inch brush. Focus on areas where the leaves emerge from a stem or come from behind another leaf or flower. Remove the stencil, and wipe it clean.
  3. Position and tape down the leaf detail overlay. Stencil the detail Christmas Green, and shade with a tiny bit of Basic Black and the 3/8-inch brush. Remove the overlay, and wipe it clean. Let the stencil crèmes dry completely.
  4. To execute the second half of the image, flip the geranium stencil over and position the center blossom on top of the already-stenciled center blossom. Do not re-stencil this flower or the one below it. They are strictly for registration. If you'd like, mask these flowers with an index card. Tape the stencil in place.
  5. Repeat steps three through five to stencil the second half of the geranium pattern.
  6. If you need to stretch the design to fit the width of your shade, mask everything on the geranium stencil except the last four leaves. Position these leaves at both ends of the design, adhere, and stencil.Don't forget the leaf detail! When the design is as long as you desire, add more flowers wherever you want using the individual blossom stencil.
  7. Use the small petal stencil and Black Cherry paint to define each flower. Stencil these petals (or parts of them) in several places on each blossom, letting the petals extend beyond the edges of the blossom as well.
Define the petals using the small petal stencil.
  1. Finish by misting the stenciled area with at least two coats of spray varnish, letting it dry between coats.

Geranium Window Shade Variations

These geraniums can be bold and bright or soft and subtle. Work the stencil as much or as little as you like to create a rambling window "garden" or single flower motif. Create stripes of flowers, with or without the leaves, vertically or horizontally.

A long row of flowers makes a great border print.

Consider stenciling all or parts of the image on a floormat, picture frame, or towel hems. Brighten up any room in the house with this cheery design.

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