Tuesday, January 28, 2014

DIY Stencil Curtains Using Cutting Edge Stencils

By now you all know I have been on a stenciling kick lately. I'm pretty much stenciling everything except the walls! The walls are only bare because we are in military housing and moving in the next few months. I can't say my future walls will be as safe! A lot of you also asked how I did the stenciling and if I could do a tutorial. I'm going to try my best here.

When I was stenciling the armoire and bookshelf, I had bought some stencils from our local craft store. I was getting so frustrated with the stencils and felt they had some improvements that could have been made on them. I went online to see how people navigated around the corners or tops of the walls since the backing on the bookshelf could not be removed.  My search for help led me to the  Cutting Edge Stencils website. These stencils are different in that they are made of a clear plastic that is bendable without losing their shape. They also have to edging pieces to help make stenciling something like a wall easier. I just had to give them a try!

Photo courtesy of Cutting Edge Stencils - Peacock Feather Allover Stencil

First up, I made (am making) the curtains. My sewing machine broke, and a friend offered to let me use hers. I won't be able to get to her house to sew the curtains until later this week, but I wanted to work on stenciling the curtains last weekend, so I made the curtains using Stitch Witchery and will sew them up later this week. I basically went out and bought 13 yards of muslin fabric in white. I wanted sheerish white curtains without lining to let the light in and I needed them to be on the longer side. Standard 83" curtains are too short 96" curtains are too long. I guess that's what government housing gets you! LOL! I kid, because if I could buy the house we are in right now, I totally would. But I digress, so I bought muslin and cut it to the length I thought I wanted (they are still too long and will be shortened when I sew them). Once they were all set to go, my friend Alyssa came over and helped me stencil them.

Photo courtesy of Cutting Edge Stencils - Peacock Feather Allover Stencil

Cutting Edge Stencils also offers a stencil kit that includes a dense foam roller, a stencil brush and a small level that you can attach to the stencil when you do a wall. I didn't need the stencil brush or level for the curtains, but they will come in handy once I have a wall to stencil. I have asked several of my friends to let me stencil one of their walls for a review. No one seems to trust me enough. :( I have a feeling they will change their tune once they see my curtains!

Here is what you need to make 4 panels:

Cutting Edge Stencil (We used Peacock Feather Allover Stencil) Cost varies, this stencil is $42.95
Dense Foam Roller With Handle - We used the one by Cutting Edge Stencils for $5.95
13 yards of fabric or curtain panels (I bought fabric, but Ikea has really cheap panels already made, we just don't have an Ikea near by.) I paid $30 for the fabric.
Plastic Painter's Tarp - I already had one but they are pretty cheap like $2 maybe?
Painter Tape - I already had some on hand but I think it cost about $7
8 bottles of acrylic paint and 2 bottles of textile medium - $10

Total cost - about $95
Cost per panel - about $24 (Cost can vary based on your selections)

You can probably find curtains for $25 per panel, but for me, I have gone through several panels in the last year trying to find the right ones, which led to my desire to stencil some. Just check out Pinterest and search Stenciled Curtains, if you need inspiration. I just wasn't finding what I wanted for less than $50 a panel. I also love that the stencil can be used more than once, so I can actually coordinate a look in a room. Which I totally want to do the feather pattern on the wall behind my bed in a future house like Cutting Edge Stencils shows and then move these curtains to the bedroom.

OK, now that all that is out of the way, let's get to the fun!

Laying down the stencil for the first time.

We started off by laying a painters plastic tarp on the garage floor and taping it down so it wouldn't move. Then we layed the first panel down on the tarp and taped it down. We wanted to make sure it would stay straight and smooth. Turns out the stencils are so intuitive that we didn't need to tape down the curtain, so we skipped that step with the third and fourth panel and they turned out just as good and straight as the first two.  I really liked that the stencils have these little guides that you use for lining up the stencil. If you look at the wall images from their site that I posted here, the feathers are really close together in their final design. You just have to line up the guide over the feather above it and keep going down the curtain (Or wall) vertically. Alyssa and I opted to put more space between the feathers, so we taped the guide with bright pink duct tape so we wouldn't accidentally paint over it and so we could see through the paint where to line up the stencil. We came up with our own identifying points of where to line it up using their pre cut guides to help us and created some indicator points on the feathers we just painted as to where we would line it up. I mean with their guides and our queues, we were able to line up several spots on the first try. If you've stenciled before, you know how good that feels! We felt pretty proud of ourselves!

Alyssa and I were discussing the guides on the stencil and how we would use them.

We also sprayed adhesive to the back of the stencil a few times while we were stenciling. This helped the stencil "stick" to the curtain. If you do this, you just want to spray enough adhesive to make the back of the stencil tacky. We sprayed once or twice per panel.

Here we go!

I used regular acrylic paint to do 4 panels. We used 8 bottles of acrylic paint and 2 bottles of textile medium. We needed 4 bottles of the textile medium according to the instructions, but Hobby Lobby only had 2 bottles left and I didn't feel like going to Michaels or Wal Mart. It worked out just fine and my curtains don't look crunchy like I was worried about. You can kind of feel the paint, but not too bad. I think that will go away when I wash them.

Alyssa started lifting the stencil off, I had to hold my breathe and hope it worked out! 

It took two of us just over an hour for the first panel and then about 45 minutes for each additional panel. Not to bad for a day project and to completely change up your look.

Here we go!

Gah! Perfection! I couldn't wait to keep going now!
Using the top edge piece for to top of the curtains.

Lining up the stencil using the guide, which you can see here in pink, since we placed pink tape over them. 

Close up! 

1st panel complete!

I am in love with how they came out and the spacing we chose, which is different than how the stencils are designed. Gotta love flexibility! 
I watched several videos before tackling this project and I went in feeling pretty confident that I could do it. But I was still anxious about how they would turn out. Now I would have no qualms about stenciling other fabric options.


First set done and hanging behind the couch. Each panel took about 30 minutes to dry to the touch. We hung them to dry so we could continue with the next panel without waiting. 

Living Room Makeover
You finally see the other side of my living room! This is the table we will be re-doing soon. We'll also be changing/updating the photos on the back of the wall. 

Living Room Makeover
The computer side of my living room, which you've seen a million times by now! 

Living Room Makeover
Oh hey new chair! I found my chair on Joss and Main! So excited! It arrived as I was taking these pics, so I had to get it in place real quick! LOVE! 
If you know me, you also know as a small business owner, how much I love small businesses and how much I love the story of how they came to be. If you want to learn more about this amazing company read their About Us page, go through their blog, watch their videos. I have spent countless hours on their site and each time I find new things and want to stencil more! This could be dangerous. They have made me a fan.

Now on to the next living room project...


1 comment:

  1. OMG! I soooooooo want to do this now!! I can picture an awesome accent wall behind the bed in our bedroom! and I have been wanting to pain the office! and maybe something in the bathroom since I havent been able to find any artwork in the colors that I want!!!
    You have created a monster HAHA ...hopefully they ship to Canada!

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