I’m not a stranger to stenciling. A few months ago I stenciled a 3 color houndstooth pattern onto my daughters bedroom wall, which took a grand total of 10 hours! Now that’s dedication! When I had the opportunity to test out another stencil; this time from Royal Design Studios, my plans were on a much simpler scale.
With a couple projects in mind I selected the Large Rattan Bari J Stencil. Perhaps I lost my mind for a moment, but I somehow thought my stencil would be 11″x17″ when I ordered it…….I was obviously eyeing a different stencil :)…..because my new Rattan stencil is huge at 21.5″x31.5″, perfect for a wall project but slightly large for my original idea of beach bag favors for my daughters birthday party. In the end, I decided it was just right for creating a picnic blanket. It’s large size would allow ample pattern to be displayed without requiring me to move the stencil which I had previously learned from stenciling, is a challenge. Each time you move and realign a stencil, care must be of utmost important to make sure the pattern is straight and crisp.
With labor day nearing, and school about to begin, I thought it would be fun to have a family picnic to celebrate. Something with a little style though, so it felt more put together than impromptu. I had an old white table cloth that was begging to be used for this project as it was tired for my dining table but perfect for use outdoors. I laid a plastic drop cloth on the concrete in my backyard, placed the soon-to-be picnic blanket on top and got to work.
When designing in my head, I often find myself re-adjusting my plans in reality. Whether I think of something else along the way that changes the look, or if human err enters, it is always interesting to see what the final product looks like. This was the case with my picnic blanket. I laid my Royal Design Studio stencil in the middle of my blanket, taping it down to make a center block (kinda making it look quilt like), then, the plan was to create a stripe of the same rattan pattern toward the outside, leaving negative space for interest. I second guessed that when I noticed I would lose the graphic pattern of the rattan, so I opted for taping off stripes instead. To make the blanket more stylized I made alternating corners different.
I found it somewhat easier painting on fabric, than my textured wall. That could have something to do with not standing and going up/down a ladder a million times. Paint seems to soak in fabric quickly as compared to laying on a wall surface too, and as long as I only loaded my brush with a small amount of paint, the lines were crisp. I had just one or two areas that bled over, and to fix, I moved my stencil a tad to the side of it and painted again making a new crisp line. I had an advantage working with a white cloth because a bleach pen helps if there are any spills. Just as I did the wall in my daughters bedroom, I chose to use a natural bristle stencil brush for more control. I started out trying a roller this time, but quickly noticed it absorbed way too much paint. I didn’t even have a third of my pattern done before I ran out of my 1st bottle compared to the other bottle completing the stencil + painting most of my stripes before it was depleted. I used Martha Stewart’s Multi-Purpose Satin in “Deep Sea” for my paint color.
When stenciling, load your brush, “dry” it off on some paper towel (Designer tip: old denim works wonderfully for dry brushing, too) and then apply to stencil. I prefer to use circular motions and start at the edges working my way around the cut out area, then moving into the center opening. Have patience my friend! Stenciling takes practice, but with some care, you’ll be happy with the unique result. Once the main “block” was completed, I finished the edge off by using the ceiling stencil which was included with the Large Rattan stencil.
My new pretty picnic blanket is unique and perfect for spending some family time lounging on during the last days of summer! I loved getting a chance to create something special with a Royal Design Studio Stencil!
Bonus…..I also painted an old Cornhole game we had in the garage to coordinate with my picnic. Gotta have something fun to play! I painted my boxes a base color and then used the ceiling stencil (the one I finished off my “block” with) to create a stripe across the top and bottom. Isn’t it cool how the pattern becomes global inspired rather than rattan?!? There’s an idea……take stencils and use only parts of them, creating new patterns.
Au Revoir, Until my next project……