Stencils and stamps are some of the oldest ways to create extra decoration or bring life to a plain painted wall. They are among the easiest and cheapest ways to create something new to any room. From stenciling on simple designs such as flowering vines to more complicated diamonds and stripes for a floor covering, stencils and stamps are becoming a hot trend in the DIY market. You can purchase stencils and stamps relatively cheap from most home improvement stores, or you can create your own with poster board and an Exacto- knife.
In many art stores there are numerous materials dedicated to stencil making and stamps. They have a large selection of pre-made stencils and stamp as well as materials for creating your own. Acetate paper or stencil paper can be bought at a modest price to create your own stencils. Simply draw your design on the paper and cut out using a utility or Exacto- knife. If you really want to save money and get creative you can use a potato to create your own stamps. Simply carve out a design with a sharp knife on one side of the potato and presto, you have a stamp any grade school kid would be proud of.
Many of the stencil favorites that have been used of the years are flowered borders, vines with flowers, and even grape vines. Sunflowers have made a mark in many homes and can easily be mass produced. Childs rooms are often filled with stamps or stencils of teddy bears, balloons, and alphabet letters or numbers.
What stands out from previous trends is to make stencils with numerous designs in small areas of a room. Creating a small mural on a wall is becoming more of a trend in recent years. Start by choosing a small area on a wall or floor and adding simple shapes and colors to create a contrasting effect. If you’re using multiple stencils that require a lot of work for a mural, you can use an overhead projector to project any design to a wall in any room. Use a white or light colored pencil and trace the designs. Turn off the projector and paint away!
If you’re going to use a stencil, the best way to paint it is to fix the stencil to the wall with blue painters tape. Fix each edge of the stencil with a generous amount of blue painters tape. Hold the edges of the stencil with your fingers and press tightly against the wall. Use a small amount of paint and dab it on rather than stroke the paint. Load as little paint as [possible when getting paint near the borders edges. This will prevent paint from running behind the stencil. Peel the stencil when the paint is still tacky. Touch up any run over paint with a small artists brush.
When using a stamp, use a test piece of paper first to get the hang of using a stamp. Load paint from a small tray or paper rather than from the paint bucket to prevent dripping and smearing. Patting on a few coats at a time is the preferred method of loading paint onto a stamp. Gently apply the stamp to the surface. Apply pressure until the stamp is firmly against the surface. Don’t press to hard and cause the stamp to squish out excess paint. You can always reapply the stamp if the paint is to thin.