When long time sponsor iStencils offered to send me some stencils to play with, I was beyond excited. For one thing, I really needed a painting break, and this was the perfect excuse. For another… well, who doesn’t like free stuff? And you know what’s even better? Starting tomorrow you’ll have a chance to get free stuff too, because that’s when our iStencils giveaway starts. But first things first, and for my first project using my stash of new stencils, I’ve stenciled a pair of canvas pillows with this Damask pattern. Here’s a how-to on the first of the two pillows.
- iStencils’ Damask Stencil, #05-00014
- Shiva Paintstik, Iridescent Turquoise
- 14″ Canvas Pillow Cover. (Try Amazon.com or Hobby Lobby)
- 14″ Pillow Insert
- Stencil Brushes
- Painter’s Tape
- Paper Towels
- Foam or plastic plate to use as a palette
The first step in any project is gathering your supplies. I happened to have most of these on hand, but I’ve linked to sources, where possible. The blank pillow covers I used are no longer available, so I substituted links to similar items. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you could even make your own.
I really like the stencil creams and paintstiks for stenciling on fabric. I would usually recommend pre-washing your fabric prior to stenciling, but with canvas, you’d just end up with a wrinkled mess, so I don’t plan to wash these. Ever. But if you have a fabric you do want to be able to wash, by all means prewash prior to stenciling and heat set 24 hours after.
I placed a piece of cardboard inside my pillow cover prior to stenciling. This helps stabilize the surface and prevent any paint from bleeding through. Bleed through isn’t likely to happen with the paints I was using, but as you can see from this photo, there is a button on the back of this pillow cover, so the cardboard provided a flat surface for my stenciling.
Center the stencil and tape in place. Creating a tape “hinge” along the top of your stencil allows you to check your progress as you go.
Before you start stenciling, prepare your paintstik by removing the protective skin from the end. You can do this by pinching it off with a paper towel. Rub the paintstik onto your plate/palette. Swirl your stencil brush into the paint on the palette, then lightly offload onto a paper towel. I’m a big proponent of offloading when stenciling, but when using this paint on fabric, I found I didn’t need to offload as much as I usually would. It really helps to do a practice run on a scrap of fabric to get a feel for your materials and how they work together.
When stenciling on fabric, I always use a swirl technique to really work the paint into the fabric.
I periodically check my progress by lifting the stencil. My tape hinge keeps the stencil from shifting so my stencil print doesn’t end up with blurred edges. It looks good so far, so I continue the process (load, offload, swirl, repeat) until the entire design is complete.
Now allow your pillow cover to dry for 24 hours before stuffing it with your pillow insert. I know, it’s hard, but be patient. You don’t want to ruin your hard work with a paint smear!
There, wasn’t it worth it? It looks even prettier on my daughter’s bed.
Stop by tomorrow for the reveal of the second pillow, and details of our stencil giveaway. And for those of you who just can’t wait to start shopping, iStencils has provided a 15% off coupon code just for our readers: stencilsearch15. This discount is good through Mother’s Day, May 13th 2012.