This is a simple idea for home or office that uses painted stripes of magnetic paint and a stencil of numbers. It is a great way to display engagements and could be the ideal way to show off that collection of souvenir magnets! Our stencil project and came from the 'Stencil It' book by Helen Morris. The book is available in most countries but is sold out in the UK (We Brits have to buy from the USA and have it sent)
To make your planner mark straight lines onto the wall with water soluble pencil. Use the lines as guide for the stripes. Lay one length of low tack tape along the edge of the line, press it into place then lay another length of tape on either side of the original one. Make sure that all three align perfectly then press the two outer tapes firmly into place so that no paint will leak under them. Remove the central piece of tape to reveal a long stripe which you will stencil with magnetic paint
My picture shows a very narrow stripe but tape wider tape can be bought.
Do not throw away the tape it can be reused for the next stripe; just place it along the pencil lines of another row.
Use a clean, dry, stencil brush to apply the lines. Put a little paint onto a saucer or palette to prevent dipping the brush into deep paint; you just need to cover the tips of the bristles. Work the paint onto paper towel do this with a circular motion as if stirring tea as it will distrubute the paint across the bristles. The intention is to apply damp paint through the stencil. Apply the paint along the stripe stencil by using a gentle version of the stirring tea stroke. Build up depth of colour and magnetic power by applying several light layers of paint. It should be dry within a couple of seconds so it is easy to re coat. It is speedier to apply a few light layers than to clean up drips and smudges from using too much paint.
I reproduced the following snippet of information from Kidicraft's website page on their Magnet Paint. 'It paints on just like a normal emulsion or primer. We recommend that you use a minimum of three coats. Once dry you can paint over it with any emulsion colour of your choice' See their contact details for UK stockists.
There are many number stencils around. To see our selection at The Stencil Library type 'numbers' into our web site search. The numeral stencil that we used was SIB10-B there is a laminated paper version of the stencil in the Stencil It book; use the same stencilling method to apply paint through the stencil. Now all you need is magnets, invitations and appointments to display!
Here at The Stencil Library, we are always pushing things design wise. We endeavour to make any kind of surface pattern achievable and affordable (note our Chinoiserie range). It is the challenge that drives us forward and keeps us constantly designing. Occasionally, we like to be a bit irreverant. One result was our Bad Attitude range of stencils. Yes, we envisioned tyre tracks across the ceiling or barbed wire up the wall in a teen's room, but we also envisioned designs being given the stylish treatment...the sort of thing where one would walk into a classy room and then later double-take, not realising they were looking at something unexpected. Bad Attitude: subversive and surreal, but can also be very sophisticated and fun. Nowhere encapsulates this look more than Edward James' place West Dean (now an art college) which I was reminded of this month when the latest issue of The World of Interiors magazine landed on the doormat.
(photo: Tim Beddow for The World of Interiors)
Edward James was a poet and famous patron of the surrealist art movement. He was fortunate enough to inherit a large estate and fortune to go with it. In the 1930's he married dancer, actress and painter Tilly Losch. He had a carpet commissioned with the imprint of bare feet walking across it, supposedly inspired by the sight of his wife's wet bare feetprints across the bathroom floor.
(photo source: unknown)
Unfortunately his marriage didn't last long and ended spectacularly whereby he had the carpet replaced with one featuring the prints of "more loyal friends", his Irish wolfhounds. I think I like this one even better. You would be forgiven in missing what the pattern was altogether (have another look at the WOI cover photo above). Again, it is very tonal and subtle. If you look at the decor of the room, it is beautifully and classically decorated and yet, in a madcap way, the carpet features dog prints. Wonderful. They almost look like flowers and at first glance and that would certainly be more expected in such a scheme. This is how I imagined Bad Attitude stencils should be used.
We have a paw print stencil called Beast, code BA8. In black and white, it does look rather sinister. But stencil it without the claw marks and in tonal colours on a floor in a room filled with tasteful antiques and it is no worse than a bit cheeky and it shows off your sense of humour.
We also do a footprint stencil which can be scaled up or down to suit. Again, it is how you use it. But it is such fun to think of it used in a gilded and silk decor.
One of my favourites is our giant fingerprint. On its own, it has undertones of being arrested or bureaucracy and officialdom, but I always reckoned it looked quite textural and would look amazing randomly scattered over a wall sometimes overlapping in a tone on tone colour and as part of a sophisticated room. So at first you would think it is a texture (so hot in decorating right now) and then you would realise it is a load of giant fingerprints.
Sometimes art and decorating can be seen as a bit too serious. To me, the best in both worlds is that which has a bit of playfulness as well as style and sophistication.
(photo: The Stencil Library)
I love our XL Camouflage used here with a load of art deco accessories and furniture. Take something out of context and it looks very different. Who knew camouflage could be stylish.
I was reminded of Rachel's festive post in 2013 where she showed you how to stencil a table runner, hers was inspired by Madonna's dress. I found a couple of earlier projects that used the same CS57-R 5 point star stencil that Rachel used and because we are approaching the time of year when a little starry sparkle is expected I thought I'd share them.
A much younger me stencils the stars with spray paint around 1990. I used spray cans quite a lot in those days, you can see them on the shelf beside me. I think I still have that sweater!
This was Easy Living magazine's interpretation of our 5 point star stencil.
A cotton duvet cover was stencilled with stars. The gold stencil paint was heat set with a hot iron after stencilling the fabric. It lasted very well.
Unfortunately the same could not be said of the stencilled stars on these bed canopies. I sent all the stencilled fabric away to be flame proofed and the metallic paint reacted with the flame proofing solution, I now stencil fabric after the flame proofing process. However, I like the tarnishing and it is the sort of finish that I get asked to replicate. Note, use an aqua colour with gold or copper paint to acheive a patina effect...its much quicker than waiting for it to oxidise. If you prefer your stars to be a little spikier take a look at the CS58-R 8point star
At dinner the other night a friend asked if I knew how to jazz up her much loved, old dress. She added that it was a flattering fit but now looking rather shabby. "I'd stencil it" I said. "I'd choose a pattern to complement the dress and cover the worn patches with paint to match your shoes, jacket or necklace".
I appear to have landed yet another project.
Winter is a great time to add rich colours and sparkle to your clothes and older items can be recycled for the holiday season using a stencil, imagination and some delicious, sparkly colours. Lumiere paint with its fabulous range of metallic and pearlescent hues might be just the tool to help you up-cycle an outfit.
Worn denim appreciates a facelift too. This was a project for our Stencil It book using the SB20B Damask stencil.
The linen/silk dress was stencilled with willow and carp in a feature that I wrote for Decorative Painter Magazine both designs are in our Japanese Style motif range
I stencilled the 'Faberge Egg' jersey dress for a trip to St Petersburg earlier this year, I combined an egg shaped stencil with an assortment of patterns along with some barge painting designs from our folk art range.
The silk ball skirts come out for posh parties. The pink one uses a Chinoiserie stencil from our Chinese Style collection and the dark blue one hosts the LTL11 Wisteria stencil along with one of the birds from VN177 Sparrows design. The matt paints are mostly from the Liquitex Acrylics range. The final pictures show an assortment of stencilled home furnishings as well as clothes.
Some of the step by step projects from making these items appear in our 'How To Stencil' and our 'Projects' sections of this blog; you can find them on the side bar. A colour chart and order form for both Lumiere and Liquitex paints are on our Stencil Library web site. I hope that I may have inspired you to pick up a stencil brush and add some painted festive sparkle to a neglected garment.
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew offers a reduced admission price during November, I thought that the discount may be because there might not be much to see, I was wrong. My mother and travelled from the very north of England to spend a weekend in London and Kew was top of her agenda. Here are a few of the pictures and links so that you can discover a little of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kew Gardens for yourself. There was so much to experience, we saw only a fraction of it. I recommend taking the free walking tour, ours was entertaining, informative and most enjoyable.
It was a crisp chilly day so for a while we warmed ourselves in The Palm House.
We climbed the iron, spiral stairs into the roof above the plants and the mist.
There was a wonderful temporary installation called The Hive, it is connected to the activity of the bees at Kew.
Once you are inside The Hive you will experience lights and vibration triggered by the bees along with music in the key of C which is apparently the same frequency as the bees use to communicate.
Another entertaining feature is the treetop walkway which is a footpath 18 metres high above the arboretum allowing views across the landscape.
This will be just as spectacular when the branches are devoid of leaves. Whilst we were ambling above the trees the weather turned nasty, a soaking was avoided by visiting the conservatory,
and the water lily house before setting out again to walk the grounds. The ginkgo trees were in full splendour and I am puzzled as to why I have no photos of them. We have a beautiful ginkgo leaf stencil at The Stencil Library and seeing the trees made me more determined to decorate something with the design. It is a rather large stencil so the project may have to be walls or fabric. Another inspiration was the grass garden, I keep planting ornamental grasses in my flower beds then accidently pulling them up mistaking them for weeds so my borders look nothing like the ones at Kew!
All in all it was a lovely day. Now we hope to visit at least once in every season next year. At the moment Kew is hosting an illuminated after dark event called Christmas at Kew until January 2nd 2017...it looks a bit fab, I may have to book another train ticket!
Our new 'How To Stencil' series of posts will help you decorate many different surfaces successfully. Every few years we update the instruction leaflet that we send with our mail order stencils. The updates reflect new and current product. The guidelines that we give are as detailed as any in our books. Our intention is that they help the reader to stencil surfaces with various media and not just items bought from The Stencil Library.
Our tips and hints are based on years of experience working with stencils. In the interest of introducing more readers to the useful and versatile stencil tool I will slice our new instruction leaflet into bite size portions, add some photographs and a sprinkling of captions and serve them up in our 'how to stencil' section of this blog; look for them in the side-bar.
Many of our stencils are delivered in a cardboard postal tube. They are made from a translucent, washable and reusable stencil film. The stencil may need to relax and unfurl before starting work especially after a long journey. For immediate use, place the wrapping paper underneath it and roll the stencil carefully in the opposite direction to flatten it a little.
It is beneficial to have a stencil rehearsal on paper before starting a new project. The act of applying colour through a stencil is easy, but the most successful schemes are planned so set aside time to experiment.
Measuring. Stencilled borders, all-over patterns and motifs all benefit from starting from a straight line to work from or use an existing architectural feature such as the top or bottom of a wall, dado rail, the edge of a floor, or the selvedge of fabric. Chalk, water soluble pencil and low tack tape are all useful for marking lines; levels and plumb lines will help you to create them. Let us show you how to create a line using a simple method of marking walls which requires the help of a partner and some home made tools. To mark a straight line along a wall, mark two points of reference at the desired height on both ends of the wall.
Take a length of string longer than the wall and rub it over a stick of coloured chalk. Choose a colour that will show on the wall. Place the string over both reference points and pull it tightly. Ease the taut string away from the wall and let go; It will snap back into place leaving a line of chalk along the surface. Lay the edge of the stencil along this line to ensure that the first row will be straight. Any other rows will evolve from this one. If the measuring line is to be vertical, tie a key or weight to the chalked string. Gravity ensures that the plumb line will hang straight. Simply press it against the wall and ping the string as before.
To find the centre of a square or rectangular wall the chalked string is stretched and pinged diagonally between the corners in turn, creating an ‘X’. Where the two chalked lines cross is the centre of that space.
We recommend using coloured, blackboard chalk as it is easy to remove. The two pictures above appear in our 'how to stencil' chapter of The Stencilled Home. Stencilwerks in the USA are selling the hard backed version of this book at less than half the publishers price at the moment. The UK soft back edition is available from The Stencil Library and used copies of both can be found on Amazon.
How to hold the stencil in place: A very light misting of spray repositioning adhesive onto the back of the stencil should keep all elements of the design in position whilst paint is applied. We recommend Spray Mount™ by 3M for most projects and advise the addition of low tack tape to help secure large or heavy stencils. When spraying, follow the safety advice of the manufacturer. Hold the spray 25 to 30 centimetres (10-12 inches) from the back of the stencil and apply a light, even layer to it. Wait a few seconds before pressing the stencil into position. The stencil should feel slightly tacky but not sticky. It should peel away from the surface with ease. Over application of spray adhesive can damage both stencil and surfaces, however the tack can be lessened by pressing on the sticky surface with paper towel until the tack is reduced. There is no need to re-apply tape or spray adhesive until there is insufficient tack to hold the stencil. Low tack tape is strong enough to keep a stencil in place but should not damage delicate surfaces. Tape is also beneficial to help mark registration points onto when repeating a stencil....but that will be explained in our next section.
TIP: Using the correct stencilling technique rather than an excess of adhesive will prevent paint from leaking under stencils.
Both our books 'Stencil It' and 'The Stencilled Home' provide lots of information about stencil techniques and we will share more in a series of forthcoming posts. We have a DVD called The Stencilled Home and I recommend a short clip that our publishers shot for YouTube to help you learn to stencil successfully. Everyone who works at The Stencil Library uses our stencils and are happy to try and help with queries relating to stencil projects.
Next post in this series will be...getting a clean, crisp imprint with liquid paint and our stencils.
These days, if I venture into Newcastle city centre I visit Fenwick's amazing Food Hall which was completely redone a year ago (if you have not been, I can recommend that you do). Honestly, I could move in.
(photo source unknown)
It is full of food and drink that you won't find anywhere else. I was about to buy some Christmas mince pies for my husband when I was almost knocked flat by the sight of a stack of panettoni from G Cova & C of Brera, Milan. It was the packaging.
The same style and print used in 1930 (the same recipe too). I was seduced and decided that my husband really wanted a panettoni for the Christmas season (even though he has never had one before). The ones wrapped in paper were divine but then I spied the ones in boxes. Needless to say, one is now sitting on top of the microwave in my kitchen. The more I saw it, the more I started to think about the graphics and colours of the packaging and how amazing they would look on the walls of my tiny kitchen. It is the combination of cornish blue, orange and cream that is setting decorative plans in motion. And then the art deco graphics, the angular and linear shapes (which you can really see in the cafe photo). A similar vibe can be created with stencils of course and we have similar designs in both our Art Deco and Modern Design ranges.
(photo from postcards from milan, photographer unknown)
So I decided to write this post just to say that inspiration can really come from anywhere. In the course of finding some photos, I found the site of the G Cova & C. that makes these panettoni (and more). And then I really thought I had died and gone to heaven. All the products are wrapped in the most amazing art deco papers in beautiful colours.
Fuschia, red and off white.
Chocolate brown, taupe, grey, burgundy.
Orange, red and gold.
I want them all! Just to look at. And then I could decorate and stencil an entire house using the colour combinations and art deco graphics for inspiration. Yummy in more ways than one.
Meanwhile, my box with its panettoni sits on top of the microwave oozing inspiration (slightly in the dark in this photo).
I don't know where it will take me yet and the kitchen is not an immediate project so it might be a while before there are any results to show you, but you'll see it here first.
(all photos G Cova & C unless stated, except the last which is mine).
If you want a touch of the tropical oasis trend a stencil of bamboo may be just the thing to provide it.
Our JA72 was stencilled by Sania Pell for Elle Deco magazine; although the picture is a few years old it satisfies the current trends for dark walls, opulence and the tropical touch. JA72 Bamboo stencil is found in our Japanese Style range and would be at home stencilled on both interior and exterior walls. Also, it could look gorgeous stencilled onto curtains, roller blinds or onto long wardrobe doors.
The wall was stencilled with gold paint, Iridescent Gold by Liquitex Acrylic or Bright Gold by Lumiere Metallic would be good choices on a charcoal coloured wall; both paints are washable on fabric too. You can find them both in our Paints and Accessories section of our web site at The Stencil Library.
The bamboo stencil is made up of leaves and canes of different sizes, on the folding screen in the photo above only the canes have been used.
The same JA72 bamboo design has been stencilled onto a lightly textured wallpaper in the picture below. The paper was made by Tektura Wallpapers and I think it is called Bark.
If you prefer your tropical decoration to be portable consider decorating a frameless art canvas or stencil some covers for large floor cushions.
My final photo of this post shows the same wall with the stencilled, textured wallpaper. Areas of the stencilling have been covered with discs of stencil film and then the wall was painted black around them. The discs can be made at custom sizes but there is a set readily available to order, the code is DM20 in our Big & Bold range of decorating masks. I found a post from 2007 which tells a little more about this technique along with some chat about pattern onto pattern.
Roscheider Hof is a cultural museum in Konz, Germany near the borders with Luxembourg and France it features every day life for the Northern Rhineland and neighbouring locales. In previous posts during the summer I have published photographs of the stenciled walls in the homes and businesses that I visited there. Here are a few more pictures taken on my visit.
The wavy lines of dots is similar to our MD63 Meander stencil but Meander looks more sophisticated and contemporary, if you wanted a stencilled line of dots that look more rough and rustic try stencil number F26 Informal Dots, each dot is wonky to give the stencilled border a look of hand painting.
There was a lot of 'allover pattern' in the houses this gave an effect of wallpaper but without the expense
This effect is replicated with ease by using a water based wall paint and a sponge, roller or large stencil brush to apply it. There are projects in our 'How To Stencil' section of this blog which show how to use all of these applicators. Did you notice that the pattern does not reach the top of the wall? Personally, I like this effect.
Behind the utensil holder was a floral sprig pattern.
I could not be sure whether one of the patterned rollers had been used or whether someone had gone beserk with their stencil.
Either way I do not like the messy effect, but some people do and evidently so did the occupants of this house. I prefer much cleaner lines and I shall end the post with one of the least decorated rooms which employs a simple border
The blue and white colour combination of the stencilled flowers on the rough plaster wall combined with the check pattern on the bed linen is a classic example of the rustic country style.