Category Archives: stencil

master bedroom accent wall

I’m always amazed at the power of design.  Whether it’s a paint color, rug, piece of art, or a stencil (wink wink) you just know a good thing when you see it.  When I saw this image…

paint 1-5Source: Sarah M. Dorsey Designs

…I was immediately inspired+motivated to re create this look in my house.  I ordered the large fretwork stencil you see in the above picture from the very talented Sarah M. Dorsey and was so excited when it arrived in the mail two days later.  When I unrolled the stencil (it is VERY large!) I was immediately intimidated; it is HUGE!  But…I’m always up for a challenge.  This would be my second stencil job ever and if I could tackle my 12ft drop cloth dining room drapes then I could do this too!

I chose a not-so-obvious place in our home to attempt this so if I did a lousy job no one would see it except me and the family.

The spot I chose was our TV niche in our master bedroom.  After having these 2 fabric panels from IKEA in our bedroom (previously in Utah and now in our current home) for over 3 years now my sweet husband recently blurted out, “I can’t stand those things.”  Uhhh…OK.  Well, that was the end of those things!  Time for a change.



Apparently this is the spot to throw away the Band-Aid wrappers in my house.  Seriously I’m always amazed at what I find tucked away in little spaces in this house.

Anyhoo, I started by painting the niche a smoky blue.

IMG_6300[1]No painter’s tape for this girl!  Lazy. Impatient. Lazy.  Plus, I earned extra money in college by painting people’s houses so I rely heavily on the skills I learned way back when.



It feels so much better already.

Now for the stenciling!

IMG_6326[1]You’ve probably heard this a bazillion times before, but making sure that first placement is perfect is the key to a successful stencil job.  I found the center of my wall then simply placed one edge of the stencil at that point.  Like my precise measuring?


The paint I chose was a lighter version of the wall color.  I like the tone on tone look, plus I plan to paint the rest of my bedroom this lighter color some day.

Now time to remove the stencil.  This part always makes me a little nervous and hesitant.


Yeah!!!  Once you see the first piece of the stencil come out normal, you have all the confidence in the world.


Dramatic, huh?

After my second piece of the stencil was complete I felt like Wonder Woman!  I don’t know about you, but when I get overly confident and a bit cocky, disaster is looming just in the distance.


I didn’t even notice my screw up and kept on blissfully messing it up.


It took until the next morning to realize that I was doing it wrong!  So I painted over the mistakes and tried again (this time with some humility).

After about 30 minutes the wall looked like this:


Isn’t she pretty?

Here are a few more pictures…


My “dresser” is actually an antique buffet that used to belong to my Grandparents.  My kids love to hide in the side doors.


I added two more friends to keep my white Moose company (deer & antelope heads are from Home Goods).





I LOVE the dramatic look of this stencil.  Plus, once I figured out how to use it properly I was done in about 30 minutes.  I am thinking about using it in my daughter’s room next.

Here’s a quick before+after… before_after


you might also like

DIY Curtains: Made from drop cloths

One of the perks of moving into a brand new house is it’s a clean slate.

You are the first one to live in it. 

You are the first one to leave your mark on it. 

You are the first one to make memories in it. 

These reasons (except the last one) are also the downsides of living in a brand new house.  You have to install window treatments.  You have to install your backyard. Not to mention, if you can’t stand flat white paint then you also need to paint.  More on that last one in future posts!

Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Cha-ching!

This brings me back to the subject of window treatments.  Land is at a premium here in SoCal therefore you are squished right next to your neighbor. When you are squished together you tend to catch glimpses of your next door neighbor at their “finest.”

Sooooo….for a quick INEXPENSIVE fix to that I stumbled upon this fantastic tutorial to create custom drapery panels using painter’s drop cloths.


I wanted something dramatic in our dining room, but pricing 12′ custom panels left me with a few more gray hairs [we're talking in the upper $200 range for ONE panel!]  I made TWO 12 ft custom panels for approximately $70!

custom drapes made from drop clothscustom stenciled drapes from drop cloths

Here is my cost-breakdown for two 12 ft panels:

drop cloths

phthalo blue acrylic paint


I made a few modifications to my drapes.

[1] First, I purchased a large repeating Ikat stencil  instead of the single stencil Carmel used; for no other reason than I wanted these suckers done fast!

[2] Instead of using a foam pouncer I used a foam roller.  It saves so much time; just be sure to get a small amount of paint on your roller before painting in your stencil.

[3] I did NOT wash my drop cloths.  I know, I know.  Lazy again?  Maybe.  But have you ever washed/dried a drop cloth before?  I have once and they come out looking like raisins and the last thing I want to do when DIY’ing is iron!

[4] I did NOT cut or sew my drop cloth panels.  You guessed it…l.a.z.y.  I even had to extend my panels by attaching a fabric band to the bottom.  I used Heat ‘n Bond to do this.  If your windows are not freakishly tall like mine then you will want to follow Carmel’s tutorial.

stencled drop cloth drapes signature_hugs_amy