Yesterday, I was trying to dive into my insane reader and get caught up on what's been happening for the last month and saw this post about the 2012 DIY trends.
... and what do you know... stenciled/patterned walls!
I know there are dozens of ways to stencil in your home, but this is the way I did it, and hopefully you will find it helpful.
MAKE YOUR OWN STENCIL
I knew I wanted to try stenciling, and I found the perfect spot for it in my house. Then I started my search for just the right pattern. Only, I didn't find it. The ones that I found that were close to it were somewhere in the $40-$60 range.
Why pay $40, when you can pay free?!
So, I just pulled out some trusty freezer paper. You could use any paper that is thin enough to see through when you hold it up to a light or window.
Cut the amount you need. I knew I wanted mine to be a fairly large design, so I cut the full width of the paper (18 inches, I believe) by 18 inches. If you want a design that is more rectangular, just cut it more rectangular.
Fold your freezer paper in half, then in half again.
Open it up and you will have four sections.
On the rough side of the freezer paper, draw just one quarter of your design in one of the quarters of the paper. This is such a great way to make your pattern because instead of having to get the entire thing right and worrying about the symmetry, you only have to get one quarter of it just right.
I recommend you use pencil for your first quarter drawing, so you can change it to get it just how you want it, then go over it with something darker.
Fold your paper in half, and tape the already drawn portion of your pattern toward the window.
Now, trace (in something darker, like a marker) the pattern onto another quarter of the paper.
Remove it, fold it in half another way (always with your rough side out,) tape the already drawn portion toward the window and trace the entire half of the pattern.
Open it all the way up and see your stencil pattern!
Now cut it out using an exacto knife, or good scissors.
** be sure to leave it connected in some spots, so the center doesn't just fall out -- whoops! Lesson learned, as you can see by my painters tape holding the middle section in. **
Here's where everyone will differ. It's up to you how you like to stencil. The ones you buy are so great because you can roll right over them, lift them, move them to the next spot and roll again.
I wanted mine to overlap to make the pattern link together, so the lifting and setting wasn't going to work for me unless I waited a long time in between each paint roll before doing my next pattern over the top.
So, I left my stencil just how it is, right on the freezer paper and just taped it up, traced over the entire wall, then finished by hand painting the entire thing with a pretty metallic acrylic. (worth it-- to me at least)
If drawing/sketching isn't your thing, and you want a stencil larger than 8.5 x 11 you can just find an image you love on the Internet then crop it to a quarter of the size, or print it at a much larger scale so you just end up with a quarter of it, then use the same freezer paper tracing technique.
Either way, you won't have to settle for buying a pattern that you don't love just because it's convenient. Making the stencil for my wall took me about 15 minutes, and that was while I was getting juice and snacks for my kids.
Stenciling and painting the wall... not as quick! :)
It took me 2 1/2 hours to trace the stencil onto my wall, and about 6 hours to paint it all with three coats. Enlist a friend or spouse to help you and that time would be cut down significantly.
I'm happy with how it turned out, and even more happy that I could do it for about $4 (the cost of two little bottles of paint.)
Sorry for the late night -- cell phone picture. (we do the best we can, right?)
Now, I just need to get to work on finishing that wall. Curtains, decor, etc. I'll get there. All things with time.