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Quick Tip: How to Make Wall Stencils

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There are endless things you can do to walls with paint - stencilling is one of them. One with endless options itself. If you can't find what you're looking for in stores, it's not too hard to make yourself. In this tutorial you'll learn how to make a simple polka dot stencil and create a confetti-look wall. Click through for the how-to.


  • One sheet of transparency film (the same you'd use with an overhead projector. Try stationery stores or newsagencies).
  • Print out of your stencil or just an outline of a hand-drawn image.
  • Cutting mat or chopping board.
  • Paintbrush.
  • Scalpel.
  • Sticky tape.
  • Paint.
  • Adhesive spray.
  • Optional: baby wipes

1. Stick the Stencils Together

Place the clear sheet over the stencil with a decent sized border around it. Secure the clear sheet to the print-out with sticky tape so it doesn't move as you're cutting. You can also then tape it to the cutting board for extra security.

2. Cut Out the Stencil

Slowly cut around the stencil through the plastic with your scalpel. Trim your stencil a little to make it more manageable.

3. Spray on the Glue

Lay the stencil face down (if there is a face-down side!) on the grass or newspaper and spray evenly with adhesive spray. Concentrate on the inside edges where you need it to stick seamlessly to the wall. Follow the instructions on the can of glue - some require you to wait some time before sticking.

4. Stick to the Wall

Work out where you want to place the stencil and gently stick to the wall. Smooth your hand over to ensure no bumps and press firmly into the wall - especially around the inside edge.

5. Start Painting

Mix your colours (if required) and get painting. Use fine strokes from the outside of the stencil in to ensure no bleeding. Once finished, remove the stencil gently. At each colour change or after the third use, wipe the paint build-up off the front with a baby wipe. You might need to respray with adhesive. Make sure the paint is perfectly dry before moving furniture or touching the wall.

Nice job! You're Finished

In this tutorial you learned a very simple technique to make your own wall stencils, using a sheet of transparency film and a scalpel. You can make all sorts of custom designs using this method. Try making personalised name stencils by cutting out each letter on a separate sheet of transparency film.

Do you feel inspired by this tutorial? Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below, and we'd love to hear about your own stencil projects.

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