How to Stencil Lamp and Window Shades

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.