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First-Time Stencil Project a Draping Success!

Stenciling is an easy technique to learn -- and once you have the stencil basics down, the stenciling world is your oyster! There's a certain pleasure to pulling back a stencil and seeing the design pattern reflected in your surface and in the colors you love.  First-time stenciler and customer Maureen Heim was SO excited about her first stenciling project, the dining room drapes, that she shared her beautiful fabric stenciling results with Royal Design Studio.  

Stenciled Drapes with Royal Design Studio stencils

"These are the dining room curtain panels that I stenciled using the Small Acanthus Trellis Stencil. I did four panels and used Folk Art acrylic paint in metallic champagne mixed with a fabric medium," Maureen explains. " I'm so happy with the results!  It was my first stenciling project! I LOVE this stencil."

 Small Acanthus Trellis Stencil on Window Drapes

Since then, Maureen has used the stencil again to liven up the sheer fabric panels hanging in her den and she's also planning on more projects in the near future!  We love to hear that as we think stenciling is a key design technique for both DIYers and Pros -- one that can take a blah project into an extraordinary one.  You can see more Stenciling on Fabric tutorials in Royal Design Studio's How to Stencil area.

Some Fabric Stenciling Basics:


  • Fabric stencil painting is best done on natural fabrics such as cotton, muslin, denim, velvet and heavier silks.
  • There are many paints designed specifically for painting on fabric. Regular craft acrylics can be turned into suitable fabric painting mediums with the simple addition of Textile Medium. We also highly recommend using the Royal Stencil Cremes, which have lush colors and are super easy to stencil with, and work beautifully for stenciled fabric.
  • Heavier fabrics will not move much as you stencil, but lighter fabrics can be held in place for stenciling by working on a smooth cardboard surface that has been lightly sprayed with stencil adhesive. Using stencil adhesive to maintain your stencil in position is also very helpful.
  • If washing the item in the future, the easiest way to heat-set your stenciled fabric is to place the item in the dryer on high heat for an hour. Otherwise, you can heat set the painted area with a hot, dry iron and pressing cloth for a minute or two.
  • The basic stenciling technique is used in the same way for smooth fabrics. Heavier, textured fabrics such as velvet require more paint to fill in and cover. A stippling or pouncing technique can be used with the stencil brush to work the paint well into the fibers.

 Stencil custom curtains with Royal Design Studio stencils

The Acanthus Trellis Stencil is a part of the Allover Damask Stencil Collection and comes in two sizes (Maureen used the Small version).  In fact, many of the Royal Design Studio Stencil patterns come in several sizes so that you can find the right fit for your project.  We hope this has helped inspire you to tackle your first stenciling project (or your hundredth!) and to share those with us on the Royal Design Studio Facebook page or via e-mail!

Here are other Fab Fabric Stenciling Projects!

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