Learn how to stencil this Sunflower Pillow in this article.
Learn how to stencil this Sunflower Pillow in this article.

Before you consider a total home makeover, consider trying a stencil design. You can apply a few stencil techniques in hundreds of way throughout your home, harmonizing the details throughout your home or reinventing with new themes and fresh designs.

It's those details that really pull the room together. This article highlights several stencil designs to bring hand-crafted charm to the pillows in your home.

On each page, we give you step-by-step guidance. Learn how to stencil with downloadable designs, creative tips, and sample photographs. Use these projects to express your stenciling style.

Sunflower Pillows are perfect for the summertime. Learn how to make these pillows.

Perfectly Plaid Pillow is a light and cheerful complement to any bright decor. We'll show you how to add plaid to your home.

Teddy Bear Pillow is a heart-warming design that you'll enjoy, rain or shine. Use this stencil to add even more comfort to your favorite pillow.

Sweet Seat Cushion adds a refined country style to any chair. Learn how to stencil it in this section.

You can start at the beginning with the Sunflower Pillows stencil design, or leap to the project in which you're the most interested.

Want to look at another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil Sunflower Pillows

Sunflower Pillows are bright and cheerful.
Sunflower Pillows are bright and cheerful.

Cheery sunflowers and country checks grace these inviting toss pillows. They offer country comfort along with casual elegance.

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 2 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Stencil Sunflower Pillows as a PDF.

What You'll Need

  • Cardboard, 12 inches square
  • Repositionable stencil adhesive
  • 11-inch-square prewashed muslin
  • Cardstock or heavyweight paper
  • Scissors
  • Delta Stencil Paint Crème: Sunflower Yellow, Amber, Bark Brown, Garden Green, Jungle Green, Basic Black, Sandstone, Colonial Green
  • 5/8-inch stencil brushes, 2
  • 3/8-inch stencil brushes, 6
  • Disappearing-ink marking pen
  • Iron-on adhesive
  • Pillow, 12- to 14-inches square
  • Brown fine-point permanent marker, optional

Instructions

Step One: Mist the cardboard square with repositionable stencil adhesive. Lay the muslin on the cardboard, and smooth it onto the sticky surface so the fabric will not move while stenciling. Step Two: Before you begin stenciling, you'll need to make a simple shield to protect the sunflower petals while you're stenciling the leaves. To do this, trace or stencil the outline of the sunflower onto a piece of cardstock or heavyweight paper. Lightly stencil the leaves as well, if you wish. Cut out the flower shield, and set it aside.

Step Three: Position and adhere the large sunflower stencil in the center of the muslin square. Swirl Sunflower Yellow onto the petals, and stencil the center of the flower Amber with a 5/8-inch brush. Don't worry if some of the Amber gets on the petals; this will provide nice shading. Shade to the lower left and center of the petals with Bark Brown.

Step Four: To stencil the leaves, first place the flower cutout from step two over the already-stenciled flower petals. Then use Garden Green and a 5/8-inch brush to fill in the leaves. Shade with Jungle Green and then very lightly with Basic Black. Remove the stencil and the flower cutout, and let dry.

Cover the flower while you paint the leaves. Cover the flower while you paint the leaves.
Cover the flower while you paint the leaves.

Step Five: Tape the small checkerboard stencil along one edge of the muslin square. Stencil the first row of checks along the edge of the muslin Basic Black, then lift the stencil and move it one square over and one row up to stencil the inside row of checks. Be sure the corners of the checks touch. Repeat until the checkerboard is stenciled all the way around the muslin.

Step Six: Divide the muslin square into four squares of roughly the same size, marking the lines lightly with a pencil and ruler. (Make sure you don't mark over the stenciled sunflower or the checked border.) Mask the flower and leaves with their dropouts. Mask off the upper left and lower right squares with tape, and stencil the remaining two squares Sandstone with a 5/8-inch brush. Let dry.

Step Seven: Remove the tape, and mask the Sandstone squares. Stencil the other two squares Colonial Green with a 5/8-inch brush, using a light, swirling motion to achieve a textured effect. Let dry.

Step Eight: Iron the stenciled muslin square onto a square of iron-on adhesive. Follow the manufacturer's directions to iron the muslin onto the pillow.

Sunflower Pillows Variations

Who says a sunflower has to be yellow? Change the palette to decorate walls for a teenager who loves candy-colored daisies.

Use them to make a swag along the edge of a bed skirt, curtains, or perhaps a bed canopy with stenciled flowers scattered on sheer fabric.

Checkerboards of all sizes mix and match with this design, whether creating quilt patterns or connecting the flowers in a border of blooms.

Stencil variations can be used elsewhere in the house. Stencil variations can be used elsewhere in the house.
Stencil variations can be used elsewhere in the house.

If you want another bright and cheery stencil design, check out our next project, the Perfectly Plaid Pillow.

Want to look at another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil a Perfectly Plaid Pillow

The Perfectly Plaid Pillow brings personality wherever it goes.
The Perfectly Plaid Pillow brings personality wherever it goes.

This isn't your garden-variety pillow! Cheery flowers bloom brightly on an inviting toss pillow.

Skill Level: Beginner

Time Needed: 4 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Perfectly Plaid Pillow as a PDF.

Instructions

Step One: Stencil this design on a square of muslin rather than on the pillow itself. Stenciling on fabric is made easier if you mist a piece of cardboard with stencil adhesive spray and then smooth the fabric over it. The sticky surface of the cardboard will hold the fabric securely while you stencil.

Step Two: Measure and mark the plaid border areas, and tape them off with painter's tape. Repeat Step three from the Nightstand Makeover to stencil these sections plaid.

Step Three: Stencil a ­garden of flowers between the two bands of plaid.

Stencil the flowers in the center of the pillow. Stencil the flowers in the center of the pillow.
Stencil the flowers in the center of the pillow.

Step Four: When all paint is completely dry, follow the manufacturer's instructions to iron the stenciled muslin onto a square of iron-on adhesive and then attach the muslin to a pillow.

These flower stencils can be used in a variety of projects. These flower stencils can be used in a variety of projects.
These flower stencils can be used in a variety of projects.

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 2 Plaid Apple Barrel paints: 1 part Meadow Green to 4 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.

The next project is the super-huggable Teddy Bear Pillow. Learn how to stencil it on the next page.

Want to look at another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil a Teddy Bear Pillow

Teddy Bear Pillows make great ensemble decor.
Teddy Bear Pillows make great ensemble decor.

Teddy bears bring ­comfort and cheer in all kinds of weather. Rain or shine, this pillow turns a reading nook into a cozy retreat.

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 1 hour

Stencil Design: Download the Teddy Bear Pillow as a PDF.

What You'll Need

  • Fabric medium
  • Plaid FolkArt acrylic paint: Navy Blue, Turner's Yellow, Honeycomb, Glazed Carrots, Licorice, Lipstick Red
  • 8-1/2-inch square prewashed muslin
  • Disappearing-ink marking pen
  • Painter's tape
  • 1/2-inch stencil brushes, 3
  • 3/8-inch stencil brushes, 4
  • Soft, clean cloth
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Iron-on adhesive
  • Pillow, 12- to 14-inch square

Instructions Step One: Follow manufacturer's instructions to add fabric medium to the paint.

Step Two: Center stencil A on the muslin; mark registration points. Stencil the umbrella, raindrops, and water splashes Navy Blue with a 1/2-inch brush. Stipple lightly in the center of the umbrella, stenciling more heavily around the outer edges. Stencil the duck Turner's Yellow with a 3/8-inch brush. Stencil all other openings Honeycomb with a 1/2-inch brush.

Step Three: Align stencil B; stencil the duck's beak, wing, and feet Glazed Carrots with a 3/8-inch brush. Stencil the duck's eye Licorice with a 3/8-inch brush. Stencil all other openings Turner's Yellow with a 1/2-inch brush. Using a 3/8-inch brush and Lipstick Red, lightly shade the edges of the raincoat, hat, and boots.

Use red to lightly shade the edges of the coat, hat, and boots. Use red to lightly shade the edges of the coat, hat, and boots.
Use red to lightly shade the edges of the coat, hat, and boots.

Step Four: Align stencil C; stencil the underside of the umbrella Navy Blue with a 1/2-inch brush. Stencil the bear's facial features Licorice with a 3/8-inch brush. Stencil all other openings Lipstick Red with a 3/8-inch brush.

Carefully stencil the edges of the umbrella. Carefully stencil the edges of the umbrella.
Carefully stencil the edges of the umbrella.

Step Five: Let dry. Place a clean cloth over the design, and run an iron over it in order to heat-set the paint.

Step Six: Iron the stenciled square onto a square of iron-on adhesive. Follow manufacturer's directions to iron the muslin onto the pillow.

If you're looking to add a touch of country elegance to any chair, learn how to make a Sweet Seat Cushion in the final section.

Want to look at another stencil project? See:

How to Stencil a Sweet Seat Cushion

The Sweet Seat Cushion looks great at the dining table.
The Sweet Seat Cushion looks great at the dining table.

This is a chair cushion as elegant as it is comfortable. Flourishes and flowers make an ordinary chair extraordinary.

Skill Level: Beginner

Time Needed: 1-1/2 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Sweet Seat Cushion as a PDF.

Instructions

Step One: Follow the manufacturer's instructions to add fabric medium to the acrylic paint before stenciling.

Step Two: Find and mark the center of the cushion. Position the straight edge of the stencil at this mark, and stencil half the design. Let the paint dry completely, and then flip the stencil over and align it to stencil the other half of the design. Mask off the first half to protect it.

Step Three: Working on one side of the design square at a time, position the double stripe stencil one inch from the design edge. You'll get a more precise look if you begin in the center rather than at a corner. Center either the middle of the group of three stripes or the single stripe along this edge, and stencil in each direction toward the corners.

Stencil stripes to within one inch of the edge of the cushion. Use tape to mask off one side of the corner. Stencil, then reverse the tape for the other side. Repeat on each side.

Design Variations

Use the stencils to create beautiful variations. Use the stencils to create beautiful variations.
Use the stencils to create beautiful variations.

Color Chat

To bring the French country look to life, we used Americana Country Blue and FolkArt Blue Ink acrylic paints.

Want to look at another stencil project? See:

ABOUT THE DESIGNERS

Sunflower Pillows by Nancy Tribolet

Perfectly Plaid Pillow by Ann Kooping

Teddy Bear Pillow by Carol W. Bova

Sweet Seat Cushion from the Robins & Willoughby Collection