It's that time of year when I'm knee deep in Christmas assignments, so I've been making a number of trips to Michaels lately. Over the weekend, I happened to see the new line of Martha Stewart craft paints and a whole slew of stencils. Stenciling is hardly a new craft for me, but I appreciate easily accessible stencils with nature motifs and a clean feel (I tend to order most of my stencils from Europe which doesn't allow for much spontaneity). I particularly like the Cathedral Lace set (pictured above) and I see sofa pillows in my future.
But that got me to thinking about stenciling in general and I took a look around the web to see if I could find other interesting, sophisticated applications. I found a number of projects that called to me, but what they all had in common was a muted, neutral approach. I think it gives stenciling a timeless quality that bright colors don't allow for, and when I engage in a more labor-intensive project like stenciling, I want something with staying power.
I appreciate the versatility of the craft. You can stencil furniture or fabric, walls or glass, ceilings, floors, mirrors, doors, stairs, paper...and anyone can learn how to do it. Talent and experience play a part when you're looking for a patinaed finish or multiple hues, but at it's most basic, it really is an easy craft. And in the end, it really does transform.
I'm completely taken with this floor treatment found on My Marrakesh. Though it was designed for a child's room, the color palette keeps it from looking precious.
I have been looking at these Moroccan stair risers from Modello Designs for months now. It's such a beautiful and unusual way to use stencils and I feel I would never tire of this.
A super easy project to tackle in an afternoon. You can find stencils like this in office supply, craft, or artist supply stores. Just make sure to use enough adhesive to get a tight seal. If you look closely, you can see the textured look of the paint, which comes from stippling or pouncing. via Savvy City Farmer
I love, love, love the streamlined feel of this wall clock from Martha Stewart Living. Template and directions available here.
The ceiling medallions in my home are long gone, but what a great way to create the look without the bulk of an actual medallion. From Cutting Edge Stencils
I like the faded quality of this wall from Country Living. A pattern this ornate would look very busy in an opaque or bright color.
Another quick and easy afternoon project that elevates a piece of not-so-special furniture. Found on Design Sponge.
Also from Design Sponge, a DIY stencil for botanical themed table linens. Another easy afternoon project.
Also from Royal Design Stencils, I like the graphic pop of this cabinet, though this color scheme might be more of a short term love.
Stencil Resources: (Click links for websites)
*Title image from Martha Stewart Crafts. Stencils found at Michaels.