Stenciling Ideas

Nicole Dean
Nursery Stenciling Ideas

Inspirational quotes, children's names, silhouettes, abstract shapes and characters, are all stenciling ideas to apply to your walls as a painted finish. Stenciling is a great option for adding unique character to your home's decorative scheme and provides an individual touch that defines a space as yours. Use stenciling as a continuation of your color story or as a complete contrast.

Unique Stenciling Ideas

The sky is the limit when it comes to this versatile painting technique. Stencils are usually associated with edging and borders, such as chair rails or small decorative panels, but they can also be used over an entire wall. Apply stenciling to a traditional setting or even a modern interior. This decorative application is great for nurseries and children's rooms, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

Design Themes

With so many stenciling options, narrow them down by determining what theme or mood you want to create and who will be occupying the space. Here are a few design themes and stenciling ideas to help make the decision process a little easier.

  • Abstract
    • Geometric shapes such as squares, cubes and stars
    • Organic shapes such as circles, bubbles, rings, polka dots and swirls
  • Animals
    • Worldly animals such as lions, zebras, giraffes and elephants
    • Sea creatures such as fish, dolphins, shells, starfish and sea horses
    • Domestic pets such as cats, dogs, birds and horses
  • Nature
    • Creatures such as butterflies, lizards, and bugs
    • Trees such as cherry blossoms, bamboo, palm trees, oak trees and fruit trees
  • Baroque
    • Ornate swirls and curly cues
    • Faux chandeliers, pictures frames and headboards
  • Floral
    • Flowers such as roses, daisies, hibiscus, roses, and vines
    • Different styles such as fantasy, realistic, retro and whimsical
  • Kids
    • Sports such as baseballs, basketballs and footballs
    • Nautical such as sailboats, sea creatures, lighthouses, surfing and rubber ducks
  • Inspirational Quotes
    • Religious
    • Famous phrases from celebrities
    • Writers, songwriters and poets
  • Lettering
    • Baby's name, family members, initials and monograms
    • The alphabet

    Unusual Finishes or Textures

    In addition to the typical stenciling ideas, a couple fresh and innovative alternatives involve different textures and finishes that give stenciling a modern twist. For example, chalkboard paint, which can be found at your local home improvement store or paint dealer such a Home Depot or Benjamin Moore. A large, over scaled stencil pattern works best in this situation. Use a silhouette of an elephant for instance. Its large body works great as a writing surface, or perhaps a large silhouette of a tree where the trunk is a child's growth chart and its leaves map out your families ancestry. Another fun stenciling idea for children or adults is glow in the dark paint found at a number of online stores such as Glo Inc. Stencil a rocket on the wall that is on a mission to outer space with the solar system on the ceiling, or for more simplistic stenciling projects paint a border of shining stars or glowing fireflies.
  • Additional chalkboard stenciling ideas
    • Map of the United States
    • Rectangles with blank mathematical equations such as addition, multiplication subtraction and division
    • Blank music chart
  • Additional glow in the dark stenciling ideas
    • Cow jumping over the moon or other nursery rhymes
    • Counting sheep
    • Scary phrases
    • Night eyes

    Borders and Chair Rails

    Stenciling can create an enjoyable effect in an otherwise boring situation. It can enliven a plain colored wall, highlight the ceiling and outline areas such as doorways and windows. As a chair rail, stenciling can be a decorative divider between two paint colors. This type of stenciling goes well with just about any style of decor.

    Stencil to Decorate an Entire Wall

    Stencils can decorate an entire wall, for example, a patterned tile effect. Be sure to use a sealant with an exterior quality varnish to waterproof your design if applied to a wet location such as a bathroom or kitchen. Choose a tile design and size, then draw it onto stencils, one for each color, and mark the tile size as black outlines. Draw the tile size in grid format on the walls with a waterproof marker and then stencil the design onto the tile grid, completing one color before beginning the next. To complete the look and add a dramatic touch, redraw over the tile grid using a matching color to create faux grouting, use painters tape to stencil a straight horizontal line.

    Stenciling Tips

    Several websites provide additional stenciling ideas, helpful tips, advice and even detailed how-to videos on stenciling. Even though paint is inexpensive, it is important to do your research before making any decisions, because your time and efforts are valuable.

    Supply List

    Stenciling Supplies
    There are a few general items you will need if stenciling is the right decorative choice for you and your home. Some additional items may be required depending on your design selection.
  • Stencil material
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil/waterproof marker
  • Straightedge
  • Snap-blade knife
  • Stencil paints
  • Stenciling brush
  • Painter's Tape
Stenciling Ideas