How to Stencil Curtains

I’m certainly not the first blogger to write a tutorial on how to stencil curtains.

Thank goodness.

I actually spent much time researching and studying the different methods of all of those who’ve gone before me!  If you are interested in nitty gritty details of the how to process, just google “how to stencil curtains”, and you’ll be blessed with options.

Nothing I share with you today is earth shattering or new.  Yet, it is what I learned while doing my recent Dining Room curtains.  Hopefully it will help you if you’re making decisions about a project like this.

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What I learned while Stenciling Curtains:

1.  I prepped my Dining Room Table surface by laying flattened out cardboard on it.  Take note that I didn’t tape it together to make it perfectly flat.  That’s a VERY important factor…

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2.  In order to get over the terror of how to start, I did a “trial run” on a piece of fabric that I cut off the bottom of one panel.

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3.  The “trial run” taught me 3 things~

~  Spray on adhesive is worth every. single. little. penny.  That stencil went NOWHERE! {and as a result, there was no bleeding of paint underneath}.

~  Peeling off the stencil is very fun.

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~  Although the latex house paint went on like a dream, I really hated the color…{And it dries more “stiff” on the fabric than the acrylic paint I ended up using.}

Since my initial color choice was awful, I decided I wanted to try to achieve a Miss Mustard Seed  flow blue color, like the color of her curtains that I love so much:

flow blue

{Image from Miss Mustard Seed}

From reading other blog how-tos, I knew I would need a fair bit of paint for 4 curtain panels.  {One lady said she used 2 acrylic paint bottles per panel}.  So, I took a deep breath and decided to mix my own concoction using acrylic paint that I already had.  I poured  a variety of blue colors into a cottage cheese container, and even used a little water to rinse out the bottles.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt any to water the paint down a little bit.  Then I added an entire bottle of fabric textile medium.

Whew!  I finally had the paint color.  Now it was time to start on the REAL thing.  Here’s the supplies I used:

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{Fabric Tablecloth, Royal Design Stencil in Chez Sheik Design, Krylon Easy-Tack Repositionable Spray Adhesive, Fabric Textile Medium, an assortment of acrylic paints mixed to achieve a rich blue color  (approximately 7 in total), painters tape, foam roller and tray, paper towels, and cardboard.}

4.  I rolled my paint on to the foam roller, and the excess on a paper towel.  I gently and tentatively started rolling on the pattern on the top upper corner of the curtain panel…  and then had a mini heart attack!  The cardboard I had laid under the project was not perfectly flat and where the cardboard creases were, a line appeared.

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5.  If you are a perfectionist or have OCD, this project might throw you over the edge. Winking smile

6.  After my initial shock, I realized it was exactly the look I was hoping for.  {Yeah!}  You see, I was wondering how in the world I could achieve a more “textured” look with stencilling.  I wanted it to appear more rustic and less formal.  As I lifted the stencil up, the lines gave the appearance of comfortable denim jeans…**Important Note:  If you DO NOT want a casual look with creases in the design, make sure you stencil on a perfectly flat surface.

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7.  As I had been warned in other blogs, this wasn’t a quick project.  Although I worked rather quickly, each panel took about 1 1/2 hours.

8.  My table wasn’t wide enough to accommodate the whole panel, but I just moved the cardboard and adjusted the fabric when I needed to move it.  Again, the randomness of the cardboard creases just added to the casualness of the overall look.

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9.  Because I was paranoid of running out of paint, every now and then I would drip a bit of water over my roller, press firmly while rolling on to my paper towel, and then stencil.  You’d be amazed at how much paint hides out in the depths of that little roller!Smile However, you must be careful with this technique.  The only time I had trouble with paint seeping under the stencil was when my paint was a bit too runny.

Yesterday I worked on the final 2 panels.  As I started them, I shot this short little video.

I repeated that same process 12 times for each panel. {Except the spray-on-the-adhesive step.  I only reapply the spray if it starts to lose its “stick”.  I did the entire 3rd panel without spraying it a second time.  The only down-side to that adhesive is that it doesn’t wash off.  Once it’s sticky, it will probably always be sticky!}

Collage of images of fabric being stenciled with a blue pattern

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stenciled curtains 2

Tomorrow I’ll be back to show you how just a few well-placed seams can turn a tablecloth into a rod pocket curtain panel.

Royal Design Studio

**Many thanks to Royal Design Studios for providing the stencil for this project.  They didn’t pay me to say nice things about their awesome product…but I do think it is awesome!Smile


Linking to:  Home Stories A-Z


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  1. RitaJoy,
    You give me the confidence to try this myself! We currently need curtains for two bedrooms, two sets for our room and one for our youngest’s room. I walked in the other morning to discover he has been covering the bamboo shade in his room with a blanket at night. Um yeah that needs to change! But then his whole room needs a little personality…. it used to be shared with his older brother and pretty much everything was taken out. His room consists of a bed mounted to the wall so its basically a loft, a chair under said bed, and a couple of black cubes holding stuff. I really do want to say thank you for all the hard work you do on your blog! You truly do inspire! Thank you!

  2. You make it look so easy! I like the stencil. Would you recommend making your own stencil? I’ve been looking online at stencils. I hadn’t thought about the price of the stencil. Is it worth the work to make my own?

  3. Hi form England again. These curtains are amazing and totally make the room. From your pics, I had already admired your curtains, but now that I see you not only made them but stencilled them, too, I’m triply impressed!! 🙂 I love the look that the uneven cardboard gave. It enhances it, I’d say.

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