Make your own stencil…or not

I mentioned in an early post that one of my first DIY projects was building a standing desk for my boss.  I’ll do a post on that once I finish the rest of her office.  This is a short entry about stenciling fabric, which is yet another adventure of mine that was NOT supposed to take 7 hours.  However, I learned a few things along the way.

DIY Ikat Stencil

I was looking for an outdoor fabric that was predominately yellow.  I spent some time with Frank at Calico Corners on W. Alabama trying to find the perfect fabric, to no avail.  When I was about to give up, I spotted a roll of white outdoor fabric, and my idea hit me like a ton-o-bricks!  I bought 4.5 yards of the fabric and headed to Michael’s to get the yellow fabric paint.

This morning, I pulled out the Blue Laminate Film and the set of Xacto knives that I purchased at Texas Art Supply a few weeks ago.

Blue Stencil Film

I also grabbed this glass tracing thingy I had from years ago when I was going to become a scrapbooker.  (Just so you know…I made one scrapbook.)

Glass Tracing Thingy

Instead of finding an ikat pattern, printing it out, then trying to trace it, I decided to use my mini-iPad to trace the pattern instead.  I placed the film on top of the iPad, then placed a napkin on top of the film for me to rest my hand on.

Trace from iPad

I used a sharpie and traced the first ikat shape.

Trace from iPad

I moved the iPad around under the film until I had four of the ikats traced.


I used my Xacto knife and carefully cut out the four shapes.

Ikat Stencil

I bought two different shades of yellow at Michaels.  The one on the left is fabric paint, while the bottle on the right is acrylic paint.

Stencil Fabric Paint

I stenciled each color on the fabric, then placed the pillows next to them to figure make a choice.


The acrylic paint was too mustard, and we were looking for something more yellow.  So I sat down on the fabric and began stenciling.


As usual, when you first start a project, you might make a mistake or two.

Fabric Stencil oops

But, once you get into a rhythm, you’re able to crank it out…7 hours later.  About half-way through I did have to wash/scrape the dried paint off of the stencil.  Plus, if you look closely at the picture below, you will see that I used a much larger brush to apply the paint.  As I tapped/beat the paint out of the brush, John said it sounded like we had a woodpecker in our walls.


Next time, I’ll purchase a stencil online that is larger, so it won’t take me so long.  Actually, I ordered two stencils two days ago, and you’ll have to check back to see what I’m up to there.

I’ll let the fabric dry overnight, and tomorrow (if I have time & the weather cooperates) I might be able to get two chairs done.  Until then…




Posted in Big Plans, DIY Directions, Upholstery Tagged with: , , , ,

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