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  • 20 ways with one stencil
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General Interest
How many different ways can you use a stencil?

We've taken one stencil design and one wall and come up with a few ideas, of course the possibilities are endless, change the colour, paint effect, turn the stencil, flip it over, create a 3D effect, repeat it in symmetrical or random patterns or stripes, there's no limit and you will always be guaranteed unique results. All this is achievable with just one or two stencils, some paint and as much time as you're willing to spend, a small price for amazing results.

This is the design we're going to use.
Beautiful Butterfly 2 layer stencil from The Stencil Studio. You could use any design you like but we chose this one for it's symmetry,  and because we like butterflies!

beautiful butterfly stencil from the stencil studio
The Beautiful Butterfly stencil is a 2 layer stencil, don't panic, it's easier than you think. The first layer is for the wings, the second layer is for the details. Paint layer 1, remove the stencil, when dry position layer 2 over the top and paint. For more information on painting in layers and for creating a shaded effect with paints see our other pages.
beautiful butterfly stencil from the stencil studio, 2 layer stencil for walls and more

This is how the stencil looks, it's supplied on two sheets, there are location marks on sheet/layer 2 so you can position it correctly for painting. You could use a single layer stencil for any of these methods, the effects would still be the same. If you're using a 2 layer stencil we recommend painting the whole project with layer 1 and then going over with layer 2, that way you can work with just one or two paint colours at a time, saving time swapping or cleaning brushes or rollers.

Some of the ways you can use a stencil include:


Probably the easiest way to use a stencil, go BIG for maximum impact and choose colours to complement your room scheme. Decide where you would like the design to go, tape the stencil to the wall and paint it, job done! Great for adding a bright splash of colour to a room or making a statement on a bare wall. If you're going to paint the stencil just once it's worth spending a little time perfecting your painting technique before you start, use stencil brushes for painting details and good quality thick acrylic paints for best results. Blending and shading colours is easy with a little practice, and, if you want to change the colours, just reposition the stencil and paint it again!

XL/A1 Size Beautiful Butterfly stencil. Shade brown into mauve/purple with the first stencil layer and then use black for all the detail in the second stencil layer.

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Wallpaper Effects

Create an allover wallpaper effect with stencils. Plan your design, measure the walls and decide where to start. It's a good idea to begin in the middle of your most prominent wall, it's almost impossible to join a repeat pattern precisely so work out from this central point and try to end up in a less noticable place such as a door frame or window. For speedy painting use a dense foam roller and good quality latex or acrylic paints..

M/A3 Size Beautiful Butterfly stencil. Using soft colours the design is repeated in a large geometric pattern leaving plenty of white space around the design.

XS/A5 Size Beautful Butterflies stencil. Not for the faint hearted as this is a lot of stenciling, the design is repeated in a circular pattern, then the circle pattern is repeated across the wall.

close up of beautiful butterflies geometrical pattern stencil
Here's a close up of the pattern. We are able to cut this shape as a ready made pattern with 6 butterflies aligned in a circle, just send us an email enquiry and let us know what size you would like.

S/A4 Size Beautiful Butterfly stencil. This design requires marking a garland pattern on the wall with chalk and then stenciling the butterflies along it, repeat the pattern across the wall and then underneath and above, moving the pattern over slightly so the top/ends of the garland touch the centre of the garland above. Reapeat until you have covered the space you want, either the entire wall or just a wide border.

M/A3 Size Beautiful Butterfly stencil. Using layer 1 only repeat the design in regular spaces across and up the wall.

L/A2 Size Beautiful Butterfly stencil. This one is created by turning the butterfly so that the long edges of the right hand wings are vertical then moving the stencil to the right, turning it the other way so that the long edges of the left hand wings are vertical and level with the first butterfly at the top, you now have two butterflies with their wing tips almost touching at the top. Repeat this pattern above and below until a vertical stripe is made then it's just a case of repeating the whole stripe across the wall, positioning the first butterfly's wing in the gaps of the stripe.

L/A2 Size Beautiful Butterfly stencil. This pattern can be made by firstly creating vertical stripes or horizontal stripes, turning the stencil 180 degrees each time you paint the stencil to form the first stripe and then repeating the stripes across the wall.

L/A2 Beautiful Butterfly stencil. This design was made using one size stencil and several colours. It may be easier to use several copies of the same design when painting with different colours, this way you won't have to spend ages marking where each colour should be or washing the stencil between uses.

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XS/A5, S/A4, M/A3 and L/A2 sized Beautiful Butterfly stencils. Using layer 1 (the wings)  of each size stencil and grey paint, stencil a pattern of butterflies across the wall, starting with the largest and gradually getting smaller, see the picture below..

layer 1 beautiful butterflies shadow stenciling
This creates the illusion that the smallest butterflies are further away.

shadow technique for stenciling  close up of beautiful butterflies

Then using layer 1 (the wings) again, position the stencil over the grey then move it approx 1-2 inches in a NW (or 10 o'clock) direction, do this for each butterfly, then apply layer 2 (wing details) to each butterfly.

Use different size butterflies in a group, here we've used sizes XL/A1, L/A2, M/A3 and S/A4 of the Beautiful Butterfly stencil.

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This fabulous design is created using just one size stencil, the Beautiful Butterfly Size M/A3. The butterflies are repeated in two concentric circles using complementary colours.

close up of butterfly circle stencil pattern
Here's a close up of the butterfly circle pattern.

Beautiful Butterfly Size S/A4. Simple draw a guide line onto the wall with chalk, follow the line with the stencil. In this design we have all the butterflies facing forward along the line of a spiral pattern but butterflies would also look great in a trail over and around furniture, pictures, windows or doors.

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Random Patterns

In this beautiful design we have used three sized butterflies, XS/A5, S/A4 and M/A3. Start at the top with the largest butterfly and repeat in a random pattern, use the middle size butterfly and stencil below in a loose pattern, finally use the smallest butterfly and dot over the remaining wall space, make them further apart towards the bottom of the wall. This is a really easy pattern to make since there is no measuring, just turn the stencil slightly each time you paint it so the butterflies are all facing in different directions.

L/A2, M/A3 and S/A4 size Beautiful Butterfly stencils are used here to create a fluid pattern across the wall in soft blue and brown tones.

close up of brown blue butterfly stenciling
Blue and brown are blended together using stencil layer 1 of the Beautiful Butterfly, then black is applied over the top using stencil layer 2.

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Stencils have traditionally been used to create a border at the top of a wall or above a dado rail, here we've used the stencil to add borders in other ways.

Using Beautiful Butterfly stencil size M/A3 we have created a wide border across the centre of the wall. Simple but so effective.

S/A4 Size Beautiful Butterfly stencil. The stencil is repeated in a wave pattern in soft shades of green.

close up of beautiful butterfly looped border

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Great for dramatic effect in bold colours stripes are easy to plan and paint. 

Here we've used sizes L/A2 and S/A4 in wide vertical stripes. Start in the centre of the wall, use a plumb line and chalk to mark the position of each stripe across the wall.

close up of beautiful butterfly stenciling vertical stripes
A close up of the butterfly stripes.

For this design we used just layer 1 of M/A3 size Beautiful Butterflies.

Horizontal stripes using sizes M/A3 and S/A4 Beautiful Butterflies. One stripe of the larger butterfly with a small stripe top and bottom.

M/A3 Size Beautiful Butterfly stencil, repeated in stripes of red and grey.

When you've finished stenciling the walls use your stencil to decorate furniture, floors, fabric and clothing. Stenciling is the most versatile and unique method of decorating so why not give it a go, see our stenciling tutorials for more information.

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