Easy Tips For Stenciling Fabric

Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Budget Ideas, Decor, DIY | 0 comments

stencil on fabric
Do you ever have projects that you don’t want to start because they seem so colossal in your head?  Stenciling this fabric for a curtain was that project for me.  And guess what?  It was really very easy, and I cannot believe I put if off for so long.  I made a few mistakes along the way, so I thought I’d share in case you plan on tackling a stencil project. Below is a list of the things that may make your life easier if you stencil on fabric:

1.  If you are working with a very detailed stencil, stick with only one color.  I originally wanted to use several colors for my fabric, but trust me, one color was the way to go.  This was the fabric I dreamed of using by Galbraith and Paul (in blue) for my back door (prohibitively expensive- boohoo):
galbraithpual fabric

2.  Use a paint roller instead of a stencil brush to shave off lots of time and hard work.  Martha Stewart makes a small stencil roller that works great for this purpose.
3.  When mixing up the paint with your fabric medium (necessary for painting on fabric), make sure not to do your mixing next to your fabric.  I splattered paint on my first piece of fabric, but luckily had extra fabric since I was working with small yardage.  Acrylic paint does not come off fabric, so be extra careful when mixing!
4.  Mix up your paint and fabric medium in a resealable container (such as a cleaned out sour cream tub) in case you need to come back to your project later and don’t want your paint to dry.
5.  It is best to do this kind of project without kids underfoot.  When my kids see the paint come out, they inevitably want to help.  This is not one of those projects you want to involve the kids in (unless you want paint splatters all over your fabric).  
The paint will seap through your fabric, so put something down under your fabric to protect your work surface (I used a large piece of dry erase board- not in a frame- from the hardware store).
7.  Have a large yard stick handy for aligning the stencil on the sides- most stencils align when you overlap the design, but this is not the case on the lower side areas:
aligning the stencil
Place the yardstick edge on the center of the stencil that you have already painted (once it is dry).  Slide the stencil under the yardstick so that the center of the stencil also aligns with the stencil edge.
8.  I found that both stencil adhesive and painters tape used in conjunction were best at keeping the stencil in place.
9.  After painting each section, I waited about 10 minutes for the paint to dry before moving the stencil to the next section.  It is better to take time to let the paint dry than to have smudges and paint lines on the fabric where you don’t want them.

And voila- a few hours later you will have a beautiful new piece of fabric!
stencil on door
I used Martha Stewart satin craft paint, and here’s the ratio of different paint colors that made a beautiful blue- works great for home decorating projects:

Mystery Blue
1 1/2 Tablespoons Deep Sea
1 1/2 Tablespoons Wild Blueberry
1/2 Tablespoon Greek Tile
1 Tablespoon Sea Lavender
1/2 Tablespoon Indigo
1/2 Tablespoon Blue Calico
1 1/2 Tablespoons Pond
1/2 Tablespoon Beach Glass


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