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How to Stencil Walls and Floors

How to Stencil a Garden Butterfly Border

Add a burst of color to your room with this beautiful butterfly border.
Add a burst of color to your room with this beautiful butterfly border.

These graceful blue and yellow butterflies inspire imagination and whimsy in any room of the house.

Skill Level: Advanced beginner


Time: 3 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Garden Butterfly Border as a PDF.

What You'll Need

  • Delta Stencil Paint Crème: Amber, Bark Brown, Colonial Green, Paprika, Basic Black, Goldenrod, Cottage Blue, Garnet Red
  • 1/2-inch stencil brushes, 4
  • 1/4-inch stencil brushes, 3


Step One: Use a pencil, ruler, and level or plumb line to indicate where the border will be stenciled. Make sure the lines are parallel to the mirror frame.

Step Two: Center the grapevine stencil on the pencil line, and tape it in place. Stencil the vine Amber using a 1/2-inch brush, then add Bark Brown shading with a 1/4-inch brush anywhere a twig disappears behind another. Repeat all the way around the pencil line.

Step Three: Working in groups of three, indicate the placement of leaves around the grapevine. Use the three different leaf shapes, and vary the placement so as not to create a pattern.

Step Four: Position and adhere the leaf stencils one at a time. Mark the registration points. Use a 1/2-inch brush to stencil the leaves Colonial Green, making them darker at the stem and around the edges. With a 1/4-inch brush, add tints of Paprika. Next, use a 1/4-inch brush to subtly shade with Basic Black. Let the colors blend gently, and avoid making each leaf exactly alike.

Step Five: For each leaf, align the registration marks of the second overlay, and tape it down. Stencil each leaf detail Colonial Green, and shade with a tiny bit of Basic Black.

Step Six: Position the butterflies between the leaves, balancing the blue and yellow. Make a light pencil mark to indicate placement.

Step Seven: Adhere the small butterfly stencil to the wall where indicated, and mark the registration points. Stencil this butterfly Goldenrod, then remove the overlay and wipe clean. Position the second overlay, and stencil the wing detail Amber. Stencil the body and antennae Basic Black. Repeat for all of the small butterflies.

Position the butterfly along the vine.
Position the butterfly along the vine.

Step Eight: For all of the large butterflies, use Cottage Blue and a

1/2-inch brush on the first overlay. Mark the registration points before removing the stencil. Then position and tape down the second overlay, and stencil all of the detail Basic Black.

Step Nine: Plan where you will stencil the berries. Position and tape down the berries stencil, and apply Garnet Red with a 1/2-inch brush. Repeat around the vine.

Garden Butterfly Border Variations

This stencil pattern can be interpreted with as much or as little freeform style as you choose. Fashion a unique vine with just the leaves and berries, and accent it with a single butterfly. Bring a rainbow of color into your room with multiple colors of butterflies. On the back of a chair, across a pillowcase, or along the edge of a shower curtain, let your imagination lead the way.

The next project gives a classy, sophisticated look floor to ceiling. Learn about the Faux Wallpaper stencil on the next page.

Have another stencil project in mind? See: