Stenciling is a simple way to add design to a surface area. You may be familiar with stenciling if you have experience with crafts. But for those who are not questions as to what stenciling is really all about. Perhaps, you've heard about this term before, or a friend might have shared to you how he used it for his home decorating project. But you don't exactly know what stencils are and how to go about stenciling. So, why don't you let this article walk you through the basics of stenciling?
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According to Old House, Stenciled designs and scenic murals were popular from around 1790 to 1850. Learn more at: Mural & Stencil Ideas for Early Homes
What is a stencil?
A stencil is a template that produces an exact image when it is used. If you do not have a clear picture of what it is, imagine a series of holes cut into a sheet of resilient, waterproof material like plastic or paper. Once you try to apply paint through the cut out areas to the surface beneath, you'll see that the image is being formed. You can actually use this to paint or draw the same letters, shapes, symbols, or patterns. Now, for some terms: islands and bridges. Islands are the stencil's open sections while bridges are the stencil materials used to separate the islands and keep the stencil's shape. The black areas on the stencil design below is the islands.
What is stenciling?
Now that you know what a stencil is, let's talk about stenciling. Stenciling is creating an image by applying color over a stencil and its open areas, leaving a copy of the image to the surface. Some people refer to this as stencil painting. It allows you to decorate with your personal style even if you aren't 100% artistically inclined. If you are having a hard time creating images using paints and brushes, then use stencils. You'll see that it's not as difficult as you think since stenciling eliminates problems with perspective, proportion, and size. You actually have full control as far as choosing the image, colors, and size of the painted image is concerned.
What can you do with stencils?
A lot. The only limit is your imagination. With stenciling, you can give life to your walls and fabrics. For the walls, you can paint a border or combine various designs to make a mural. It's a wonderful way to recreate a colonial style appearance in your home. There are different paints, stencils and brushes that work nicely for wall designs. Or you can add stenciled designs to throw pillows, curtains or kitchen towels. And probably the most popular application with stencils is making wall signs in a country or farmhouse style. Really there are many ways you can use stencils to add some extra special to your home decor. So that's it for the basics! Have fun stenciling!
Want to learn more about stenciling? Visit our ongoing series of posts and tutorials: Stencil Crafts