Stencilled Wall Art DIY

Recently I heard that Abi (my sister) was trying out an ambitious stencilling project and I forced asked her to blog about it. She obligingly did, and it looks amazing! Here’s how she did it…


Since it has been more than ten minutes since we redecorated something in the flat we felt the time had come for a change, but being on a budget meant I wanted to spend the smallest possible amount of money but see the biggest change.

I therefore decided to re-vamp our tiny spareroom.

I really like feature walls as I think they are a great way to inject some colour into a room without the danger of shrinking the room with a bright colour on all four walls. Wallpaper is great for this, but can be expensive to get the pattern you want and you have to be able to hang it yourself (or be able to exploit the help of a charming relative) which can be tricky. I therefore decided to try my hand at stencilling, which has the added bonus over wallpaper that when you come to move out of your rented flat you don’t have to spend the best part of a month scraping at the walls with a spoon quietly weeping as your try to convince stubborn scraps of paper to part company with your walls, you can just repaint!

I was inspired by this blog post on A Beautiful Mess

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Firstly, you will need to choose your base colour and then a design you want to stencil on to it. You can choose any colour you like but bear in mind some factors like warmth of the colour and whether it will clash with existing furnishings. The stencil pattern should be something quite simple so you can stencil it effectively and it will stand out as a bold repeating design.

It turned out to be harder than I thought to choose a design that we liked that wouldn’t prompt awkward questions about whether we were making the spare room in to a nursery (No Rob, it may not be dinosaur patterned) but eventually we settled on origami cranes.


  • Oiled stencil card (NB. I don’t know what oil was used on this card but I suspect oil-of-dead-badger as it smells really, really bad! Keep in well ventilated area!)
  • Sharp craft knife
  • Paint Pen in colour of your choice
  • Temporary spray adhesive or masking tape to hold your stencil in place
  • Acrylic wall paint in a colour of your choice (measure your wall to see how much you will need)

All of these are available from your local HobbyLobby or Homebase for a reasonable price (my total bill came to £27) and you can keep the cost down further by using this as an opportunity to use up any left over paint and tools from other projects.

Firstly, prep and paint your chosen wall with a brush or roller, some people seem able to get a beautiful straight line in the corners but if you are anything like me this feat will elude you and you will have to resort to masking the edges, skirting boards and sockets with copious amounts of masking tape. It is better to do 2 thin coats than to try and do one thick one and remember it may take more coats depending on the original colour of your room.

Once it is completely dry remove the masking tape and then it is time to start stencilling.

Depending on your artistic bent you may choose to draw the design yourself or simply apprehend the design of a more talented person for your own uses, but either way lay your design (the size you want it to appear on your wall) on your stencilling card, secure it with tape so it doesn’t slip and carefully cut around it with a craft knife.

I made 3 stencils of the same design in varying sizes but you are limited only by your imagination (or your desire to spend large portions of your day cutting stencils).

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This done, you are now ready to start stencilling your wall. It’s a good idea to have a test run on a spare piece of cardboard or something so you are confident you can get a sharp line before you progress to the wall.

Apply a light layer of the temporary spray adhesive to the stencil and stick it in position on the wall. Then carefully trace around the inside with the paint pen, taking care not to press too hard or the lines could bleed under the stencil card. Leave the stencil in place until you are certain that the paint is dry and you can remove it without smudging. Depending on the complexity of your design you may also have additional lines to add so just make sure you allow each layer to dry completely first.

I was so happy with how this feature wall turned out. It can be hard to get the lines perfectly sharp with no smudging or bleeding but how much this will affect you will depend on your levels of perfectionism and how close up the wall will be viewed.

Overall its a really fun project, it’s very easy to do and is incredibly diverse with pretty much limitless design potential… get stencilling!

Thank you so much Abi for sharing your home with us today – I love the cranes design!

PV x