Easy Stencil Tutorial

Some friends have been asking how I achieve the hand painted look, that can be found all over my house. Here is an easy, inexpensive way to do it.

I have had this perfectly rusty, beautiful tin sitting in my studio. Found it at a garage sale for $1
I knew I wanted to paint it, but never came up with anything too clever, so I decided to brand it. I do live in Texas, after all.

First I measure the area that will be painted. In this case, the interior of the tin was 7" x 23". I use Adobe, either Photoshop or Elements, and open a new, blank file that is whatever the size I am painting, for this 7" x 23". (You could also do this in Word, set the page orientation to landscape and set your margins to be 7" x 23", it would be two pages) Then I either add the text, or image. So in this case I added "WILSON", and tried different fonts, until I found one I liked. Then I kept making the font larger, and larger until it fit in my 7" x 23" box. I took the size number (134 pt.) and then went into Word, typed each letter out on a separate line in 134 pt font. I printed it out on plain office paper, and cut it out with an x-acto knife. (In areas that you might cut the center of the "A", "O", "Q", etc -in this case the loop of the W, I just use small pieces of tape to hold it together.)

Trimmed each letter to fit in the space.
It helps if you can tape your paper to the object you are painting.

I used a dry sponge brush, and acrylic craft paint. To achieve the rusty old look, I layered burnt umber and a spice brown color. I did not mix them, this makes it look naturally worn.

Just dabbed in the letters.

Then I decided it was too dark, so I added a tan color on top.

Took off the paper. And voila!

I would also recommend using a heavier paper, like card stock if it's a stencil you think you may use more than once. If it is a large area, remember you can print multiple pages and piece it together with tape. Also, if it's a large symmetrical stencil, you can print out half, paint half, let the stencil dry and flip it over. This will save a lot of cutting time.
Join Kimba at A Soft Place To Land for more fun DIY projects:


Audra said…
I love this, what a wonderful idea and fantastic job you did on it. I am inspired.
Deanna said…
Howdy from Kansas,
This is really a cute idea.
Glad you've shared this for MM.
God Bless,
Anonymous said…
I just found your blog and I have read all your posts!! You are one talented lady and your home is just gorgeous! Would love to see more. Thank you for the tutorial!

Robin in MD
This is beautiful! I love monogrammed anything so I'm loving this piece! Thanks for showing us how you did it...it looks fantastic and so professional! Great Met Monday post!
Blue Creek Home said…
I am so glad you visited me.
I can't tell you how excited I was to see your decorative painting projects. All the "umber" talk got me excited!!!
Lincrusta that cheap is just crazy.
You don't know how many times I have gone to the site and drooled!
We installed it as a back splash for a client and sprayed a concrete finish on it. It was beautiful. I love how you used it.
Best Life said…
It's wonderful! I look forward to reading some of your old posts. Lisa~
Jen R. said…
Very cute! I'll have to let you know about the paint color because It was something I mixed myself. I was thinking about taking it to BM and having them color match it so that I would have formula... I'll let you know!
Painter's Place said…
Thanks for stopping by. Your home is beautiful. I'm definitely going to try what you just made. You're so creative.
What a lovely post and blog!

I really like your tutorial. Great idea.

I dont know if I have ever had the pleasure of you stopping by my blog... I would love you to stop by anytime.

TTFN~~ Claudia ♥ ♥
Wendy said…
That is really nice!
Magic Brush said…
Love that you made this yourself!
Six in One Hand said…
Your sign is gorgeous!!
It looks amazing!!
somedaycrafts said…
very, very nice. i wish i could find me a mice ceiling tile like that.
Great tutorial and beautiful personalized wall art.

I'm new to your blog (thanks for visiting me, by the way!). I'm really enjoying every post! You're so creative!

Off to check out more!
Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Kimmy said…
I absolutely love this! Thanks so much for sharing!!
Me again...um...I see brick walls in your kitchen, and I need to see more. Do you have more kitchen posts or do I need to come for a visit? LOL! I'll bring wine!

Looks like I need to check out more of your brilliant blog!
shannon said…
Love this! Thank you for the nice comments on my blog. I saw your window project also, and it is amazing! I am in the process of doing some roman shades, and hope to have them up this week.
Lee Laurie said…
I love your blog! I just found it and I can't remember how...anyway, I love all of your ideas! You are so talented! Come visit sometimes!
wow! you make this look so easy. I've never been very good with stencils. I may try this.
thanks for sharing!
You are soooo creative!!! Beautiful projects! Very interesting blog! I'm glad I found it.

Can't wait to see your kitchen cabinet tutorial....Mine look similar to yours & I'm wondering if we used the same process! :o)

TheClassy Woman said…
Great score on the $ tin and I love how it turned out! I adore monograms and anything personalized. I recently blogged about personalizing your stuff:

alanna rose said…
Thanks for stopping by!!
You have got some awesome projects on here - way to work!
If you want to use it more than once, try taping over the whole thing w/clear packing tape (both sides) before you cut it... it will last through several stencilings that way.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wow! Great tutorial! Thanks so much! Beautiful home. Beautiful blog.
Cazra said…
I MUST try this. I will keep my eyes open for something to do this with. Thanks!

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