Monday, March 16, 2009

How I stencil

I have seen some lover-ly signs out there that I've been wanting to steal copy for awhile now. I'm amazed at how detailed some get -- most ladies I have seen trace the letters on and then fill them in with paint by hand?!

I am NOT that good.

I usually make my own stencils, and have them throughout our home -- they look like the vinyl wall words unless you are right up on them.

On a quick trip into Goodwill today, I found this board for $1.99. I loved it but I wanted to use it for something a little different:
I figured out the measurements, then got on the computer and figured out the font and size I wanted:
Then I use the exacto knife to cut out the letters:
For letters like a's, b's, d's, etc...you'll have to cut out the middle. I use a very small piece of tape on the back to secure it in it's spot.
Then take a sponge brush or one made for stenciling to barely dab on the paint -- you won't need much!:
Peel them up and this is what you'll get!
I love it! And only $1.99?! Awwwww yeah.... I'll probably add some scrolly jobbies on each side of the sign to add a little somethin'.

I did this in our kitchen above our cabinets (I used Italian phrases). Later I thought they needed something too, so I scanned in the little scrolly thing from Uppercase Living catalog, made it the size I wanted, then added it to the corners:
For the larger phrases, you'll need more than one page to print them. Cut them out and hang them on the wall so they line up, then paint:

Here's more in my son's room:

Fun eh? And soooo much cheaper than "real" stencils or vinyl lettering. And when I say "cheaper" -- I mean FREE!!

Our winner for Syndy's bag is........
Tay from Lazy Daisy Design!
E-mail me your address and I'll get it to Syndy. Thanks for commenting ladies, that was fun!

OH!! And I'm so excited -- I'm hosting a Spray Paint Party!! Spring is coming, so that means getting outside to spray some STUFF. On Monday, March 23, join us and show off your transformations!

53 comments:

  1. Doncha just LOVE the homemade stencil?! I am getting better at this with LOTS of practice. LOVE your sign!
    A spray paint party!!!! Now that's my kind of get-together!

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  2. This is great! I will be saving this great info to work on a project some time! I love how yours look!

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  3. Very nice!I was wondering where you go to find nice fonts?

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  4. Jennifer, I just use what ever is on our computer, then play with it by italicizing it, making it bold, etc.

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  5. I love the idea of repainting art found at thrift stores. I often find stuff that has good proportion, but the art is hideous! Great stencil.

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  6. Love it, love it, love it!!! I have a test on Wednesday, but after it, spring cleaning and decorating will be in full swing. Thanks for the advice.

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  7. oooh, I was just about to break out the spray paint tomorrow! I'll be sure to take some pics!

    Thanks for the stencil inspiration - what a clever *and thrifty* idea! Love it!

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  8. Great job on the stenciling! I love the spray paint party idea. I've already got some stuff to contribute! Do you want a button? I hope you and your readers will come to my Spring Cleaning party the week after!

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  9. I trace and paint...that is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. You do such great work with the stenciling. Give yourself a pat on the back from moi.

    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

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  11. What a great idea! I would have to wait cut until later in the day so my arm is not shaky from all the coffee! I'm excited for your spray paint party - I've got the perfect project we just finished with 4 cans of spray!

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  12. You are amazing as always. I love your ideas. I especially love the your bedroom. After seeing your amazing deal on your bedding I have been on the look out for my own. You've got some great colors in there and I know exactly what you mean about cords, hate the lil devils. Can't wait for the next project!!

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  13. I just bought my first can of spray paint this week for decorative stuff. I would have never thought of spray painting all the stuff you great design bloggers do. Now I have my first item. And you know it looks really great. Before, I would have just passed it up. There is a lot of hand painted ceramics out there that a solid coat of white, yellow or black would transform it into something wonderful.

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  14. Love this! Such a great idea!

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  15. Wow - look at you! They all look wonderful! Great job!

    And so much thriftier than buying the vinyl. I love it!

    |XOXO
    Jen

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  16. I'm one of those girlies that paints them by hand. :) It's a lot of work, but I love the way they turn out. I'm kind of a perfectionist like that. It can be therapeutic too. But not after a zillion of them, lol.


    For great fonts, check out:

    1001fonts.com
    Dafont.com
    or just google "free fonts"

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  17. I am going to try and do the Italian phrases in our kitchen!

    Love it! :)

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  18. I had been wondering how to do this! Thank you for sharing because I had so many things that I wanted to stencil etc.

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  19. Looks great! I actually did this exact same thing when I was decorating my daughter's room.

    It reads "Sleep perchance to dream."

    I printed it out using publisher and then covered the paper in clear contact paper to give it strength.

    Then, I used the exacto to cut out the letters and then used a crayola marker (purple) to trace it out.

    I wanted it to shimmer a bit since she has a fairy room, so I actually used purple glittery puffy paint (like you used on sweatshirts 10 years ago) and it ended up having a lot of texture and depth. Very cool and FREE. Gotta love that!

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  20. So cute! I have repainted one sign about 3 times becuase my writing looked horrible. Trying stenciling today!

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  21. They all look great! Have fun at the spray paint party :)

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  22. I love it! I have done the tedious hand painting all the letters, but after seeing this I want to try the stenciling! Thanks for sharing such a great idea! I am all about saving the money...I have bought some vinyl that can get pricey. I think this will become my new "vinyl" look. I can't wait to know more about your spray painting party, I do this all four seasons...love spray painting things! I even have a Wagner sprayer that I love! Have a great day!

    ~Victoria~

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  23. You're just a resourceful lil thing, aren't you?! Great job! :)
    ~Jill

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  24. I love them. I may have to copy you, but first I'll have to get an x-acto knife. Super cute. My fave is the family name. I'll try that one first.

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  25. X-acto knife...hadn't thought of that! See, this is what I love about women and their super creative blogs. Great job!

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  26. Those are super cute and waht a great idea!

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  27. nice ! I want to know what that blurred out part of the stencil says. lol I'm nosy like that.

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  28. Spray painting party baby! Count me in. My neighbor is always telling me that I am high on spray paint fumes, not high on life. :-) Love the Est. sign. When our kiddos were babies, I would always sing to them "You are my sunshine" and they loved it. So about 4 years ago we bought a large canvas and the kids painted our home on it as well as writing on it the chorus to "You are my sunshine". Then it has established in 1991. It is one of my favorite pieces of art in my home. Thanks for sharing
    Blessings
    Roxanne

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  29. Very nice. I always traced them with tranfer paper and then painted by hand. Way quicker to stencil! Pam

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  30. Thanks so much for explaining! I am totally going to try my hand at this!

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  31. I'm no good with an exacto knife, but I've used carbon paper to trace the letters on boards and then use a pain pen, I've never done it on walls. but it's easy. Thanks for another great idea, I have so many of your bookmarked!!! can't wait till I get my new house :)

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  32. Oh my! I have to try this method. I have a similar sign I bought for exactly this purpose. Thanks for the great ideas...as always!

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  33. so creative, thrifty, and smart! You are amazing! Love your blog!

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  34. About to reveal my inner geek...

    I can't attend the Spray Paint Party, but I do have a paint project I plan on working on this summer. I want to modify (they call it "modding") a pair of water pistols to make them look like ray guns. For a costume. Yeah, I'm a geek, and Proud Of It.

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  35. I must now search your entire blog for more posts that include your son's room. I am planning on decorating my future nursery with a "star" theme. Thanks for the great stenciling idea!

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  36. I borrowed an overhead projector from my sons teacher for the weekend, picked a font on my computer, printed it on a piece of overhead film, projected it onto to wall and traced with a pencil. Then I painted by hand. It works great and you can do cartoon characters that way too for the kids rooms! Cheap and cute!

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  37. I love thrifty and I'm happy for you and the patience you have to do all the cutting but I have a cricut and oh do I love it. I think its worth the investment. You can cut your own vinyl and do tons of stuff. I think its just what a fabulous thrifty chick like yourself needs.

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  38. I never would have known they weren't vinyl. You amaze me.

    I SO need to spray paint some stuff, but have never done it. I'd love a quick little tutorial.

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  39. Pretty nifty! I'll have to try that out on our bedroom walls. :)

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  40. Sarah,

    You really are inspiring with all your stencils! I've been thinking about trying it and now maybe I will.

    Gretchen
    birdnestcottage.typepad.com

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  41. There is a way to do this with vinyl lettering companies. The only problem is that it is a one-time use. So instead of getting you the letters, you can peel out the letters to leave the area to paint (or apply glass etching solution if you are etching glass). It's a great way to do this and a very effective and professional look.

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  42. What is the average font size that you would use for above a bed? or a saying on a wall in a child's room?

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THANKS so much for reading!