How to Make a Custom Stencil

Finding a perfectly coordinated stencil for a decorating project isn't always easy, particularly when you want something oversize. Instead of settling for one you don't love, make your own in three simple steps.

What You Need:

  • Paper
  • Copier
  • Template plastic
  • Craft's knife
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint brushes (various sizes)
  • Foam brush for fireplace screen
  • Latex paint

What To Do:

Step 1: Enlarge clip art or a pattern from the room to the correct size on a photocopier. For supersize designs, have a copy shop print them for you.

Step 2: Trace the design onto a large sheet of template plastic, available in the quilting section of fabrics stores.

Step 3: Place the plastic over a cutting board and cut out the design with a crafts knife, leaving at least 1 inch of solid plastic around the motif.

Step 4: Lay fireplace screen flat on cardboard or a painter's tarp to catch paint that falls through the screen. Secure stencil to screen. Use foam brush and white latex paint to paint design on screen. Let dry. Repeat.

Editor's Tip: For best results, lay the pattern underneath the fireplace screen and try to freehand it using round foam brushes.

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