* I wrote this post as part of a sponsored campaign with Plaid and The Blueprint Social. All opinions in this post are my own.
I am so excited about today’s tutorial! When I got a chance to preview the new Handmade Charlotte stencils I got very excited. I love all of the fun, kid-friendly designs! We all know I’m a sucker for kid stuff! I got the darling frame package of stencils, but I also really love the birthday stencils and the outer space stencils. (What I wouldn’t have given to have had those at my disposal a couple of years ago when I was putting together an alien/rocket ship nursery for my son! Sheesh!)
I wanted to use the stencils to create an item for the nursery that I am going to start decorating soon for my little princess. She has been sleeping in a mini-crib in the corner of the guest room, but I have finally gotten the go-ahead from her Bapa (my dad, with whom we are living during my husband’s medical training to save money) to really paint and modify and make the kids’ rooms “their own.” I am PUMPED! You will be seeing many room re-do posts in the future, not to mention the entire main floor remodel that I have been helping my dad with in a major way. Big changes are a-coming to this early 1990s-decorated peach and blue house! BIG changes!
Ok, back to the topic. I have been feeling really drawn to teal, aqua, watermelon, and pink for Jade’s new nursery. It just feels very fresh and feminine. I am excited about it. So I grabbed some paint in those colors and I headed to Savers, where I found this miniature dresser for $3.99. Score. I mean, it’s hideous, but I just knew it had serious potential for cuteness.
I started by spray painting the hideous little dresser white. I was going to sand it and use chalkboard paint, but then I got too lazy and rushed, so I just sprayed it with white primer, followed by white spray paint. And then the real fun began!
My little sister happens to be visiting, and she is very artistic and has a great eye. (I am trying my darndest to get her to be a regular contributor here. She should be, right?!) Anyway, we decided that I would keep everything simple and sweet, and that I would go with my gut on the teal/aqua and pink/watermelon, but that I would make it *now* by using an ombre effect to paint the drawers.
Here is how I used the stencils:
* Lay out your stencil exactly where you would like it to be. Cut it if you need to (I had to for the strips I used for the drawers, but not for this flowered frame pattern on top), and then use painter’s tape to secure it to your item. Have a damp rag nearby. If you make mistakes you can quickly wipe off the paint and begin again.
* Use a paintbrush or sponge painting tool (I really recommend this one from Plaid Crafts!) to fill in the stenciled cutouts. DAB the brush into the paint and then dab it off on a plate or paper PRIOR to painting. If you use too much it may bubble or ruin your stencil (more on that later). It is better to do multiple thin layers than one goopy, messy layer.
* Paint. Do not rush. Do not use thick layers. Take your time! (And see my list of tips below.)
* This is how my flower looked after a few thin layers (letting each layer dry in between applications). I let it dry completely before moving on to the next part of the pattern, which was a new color.
* Repeat this process until you are finished.
I had to be more patient than usual for this project, because I am a hot glue gun in a hurry kind of gal (hence the blog—Craft QUICKIES), but I love the way it turned out, and I am excited to have it as a part of Jade’s nursery. It has a boutique feel to me, which I love, and it is truly one of a kind.
This was my first time stenciling. It was not as easy as I expected it to be. However, once I got the hang of it I was able to work quickly and with ease, and I love the results. I will definitely be using these stencils again!
Here are a few tips and tricks on how to use these stencils. Make your life easier and read through them!
1. USE GOOD TOOLS! Don’t try to use your kid’s watercolor set paint brush. It’s going to be messy and frustrating and imperfect. Grab some nicer tools. I loved these sponge tools, and also used a small paintbrush for the knobs and dots.
2. USE QUALITY PAINT! Acrylic paint just isn’t that expensive. Don’t skimp and buy a generic brand. TRUST ME! Buy a brand you trust, such as FolkArt paints. They are smoother and thicker and go on so much more nicely. The cheapie paints I used I had to wipe off over and over. Not the nicer ones!
3. Keep a damp rag handy! I had to correct so many of my little mistakes, and a damp rag does a great job when used promptly.
4. USE THIN LAYERS! This is especially important because these stencils are cardboard. I will admit it: I wish they were plastic. I am impatient and want to slather the paint on, but I did that with the first drawer I tried and not only did the stencil not look great, but it soaked into the cardboard and it buckled and got ruined. However, when I used thin layers (and wiped excess paint off of the cardboard with a napkin prior to drying), I was able to put the stencils under a book for an hour and have them flat and ready to use again another day. However, these Handmade Charlotte stencils packs are big and full of great patterns, and if they were plastic they would have to cost much, much more, so I genuinely think that they are a really good deal and product as long as you use them correctly!
And now let’s admire Jade’s new miniature dresser. Her four year old brother informed me that he thought it was “really, really cute.” I think she agrees!
Handmade Charlotte stencils are a PLAID product. Be sure to check out Plaid on Facebook and Plaid on Twitter so that you hear about their exciting products and promotions! And be sure to Follow Plaid on Pinterest so you can see pictures of all of the amazing projects that they are creating with their killer products!
Check out these projects from talented bloggers all over the web showcasing the other projects being made with Handmade Charlotte stencils!