How to Stencil Ready-Made Curtains

Add a custom look to ready-made drapery panels with a pattern made from a handmade stencil and spray paint.

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Materials Needed:

  • clear acetate alternative
  • cutting mat
  • scratch paper
  • marker
  • painter's tape
  • solid fabric drapery panels
  • paper bags or roll of brown craft paper
  • can of spray paint in flat finish
  • retractable utility knife

Protect Work Area

In a well-ventilated area with a flat, level floor surface, protect floor with layers of paper bags or with roll of brown craft paper.

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Sketch Stencil Silhouette

To create a custom stencil, place scratch paper on top of cutting mat, then sketch silhouette with pencil.

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Trace Silhouette to Clear Acetate Alternative

Place clear acetate alternative directly on top of the sketch paper. Next, trace silhouette of sketch directly to clear acetate alternative using marker.

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Cut Out Stencil

Use retractable utility knife to cut stencil from clear acetate alternative. Tip: Once stencil is completely cut out, decide on the best placement. When covering an entire drapery panel, consider staggering the stencil. This will ensure the pattern repeat reads well when drapery panels are pulled back. For a less-is-more approach, it's wise to simply apply the stencil to the leading edge of each panel.

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Protect Fabric From Overspray

Create a barrier to protect fabric from overspray by cutting paper bags to size with scissors, then placing them around the area which will be covered by stencil. Secure paper bags to one another with painter's tape.

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Mark Pattern With Spray Paint

Use spray paint to mark stencil to fabric, holding can 8 inches from surface, moving back and forth in a slow, controlled manner. Pull stencil and paper bags back, reposition stencil in proper place, then re-apply the paper-bag barrier. Repeat this process until each panel is complete. Next, remove stencil and paper bags, then hang drapery panels.

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