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Customize your Curtains with Stencils!

There are so many ways to use stencils on and off the wall.  This tutorial is to inspire you to try stenciling on a new surface: fabric! When it comes to stenciling on fabric, your possibilities are really endless. You can stencil on different types of fabric – from silk to polyester – and create unique pillows, tablecloths, clothes and curtains! Match your stenciled walls or simply add a pop of color and design to a drab space.  I decided to stencil a bland shower curtain liner with the Ikat Samarkand allover stencil from CuttingEdgeStencils and I love how it turned out!

DIY stenciled curtain

This is how I did it! First I bought a cheap fabric shower curtain liner (found mine at Walmart for $14.95, but they also had white ones for $8), then I picked the perfect stencil to compliment the rest of my bathroom space. There is no reason why your bathroom shouldn’t represent your sense of color and style perfectly. You don’t need to settle for anything less than a custom designer look but you can easily do it yourself!

Ikat Samarkand stencil

Supplies: Cutting Edge Stencil. I chose the Ikat Samarkand which is $46.95 but if you are on a budget try a fresh and funky wall stencil like the Zinnia Grande small ($19.95), or a classy design like the Gabi’s Brocade small ($19.95).  Don’t forget that stencils are re-usable so you can use the same stencil to do a feature wall in your bedroom, or even your bathroom walls to match. If you have already done a wall in your home, you can recycle the same stencil for your curtains!

stencil supplies

In addition to the Cutting Edge Stencil, you will need:

  • – Textile Medium
    – Acrylic Craft Paints (found at Michaels for around $2 a tube. I chose Vintage White in a larger tube and a number of smaller Champagne tubes)
    – You can also get a special fabric paint, but good craft acrylics with a dollop of medium cost way less, work just as well and come in way more colors!
    Dense Foam Roller with Handle (not included in photo)
    – Blue painters tape
    – Drop cloth

Fabric for stenciling

The shower curtain was quite wrinkled when I took it out of the packaging so I ironed it first. This step was very important because any wrinkles in the fabric made it much more difficult for me to get the paint on smoothly. Once my fabric was nice and ironed I taped it to my wooden kitchen floor (hard and smooth) so it didn’t have any wrinkles or move around while I was stenciling. My paint ended up seeping right through the cloth a bit, but it easily washed off my floor with a soapy sponge. If you are worried, place a cloth below the curtain and then tape the curtain to the cloth beneath.

Stencil placement

Once my curtain was taped down and ready to be stenciled,  I used my tape to secure the stencil to the fabric and begin!  (Note: When stenciling on fabric, stencil adhesive is usually a must. Since the Ikat Sumarkand Stencil pattern has very undefined edges I didn’t mind if there was a little leakage so decided to skip the spray adhesive and just secure my stencil down with lots of blue painters tape instead. If you are going for crisp edges and are using high contrast colors, I would say definitely use the spray adhesive. Just lightly mist your stencil with the spray adhesive, let it dry for a few seconds and place your stencil on the fabric surface, pressing it to achieve a tighter seal.)

Dense foam roller for stenciling

I started out using a stencil brush, but found that it was taking too long, so I switched to a 4” Dense Foam Roller w/ Handle which sped up the process like crazy! It turned out to be perfect because by increasing and diminishing pressure with the roller in certain parts of the stencil I could get a faded, antique look. To see how to use the allover Ikat stencil, check out Cutting Edge Stencils how-to stencil a feature wall video:


Wall pattern stencil top part

Top Part Stencil


Filling in Bottom

Once I finished filling in the bulk of the Curtain, I came back and filled in the top with the Top Part Stencil (make sure to tape off the edge of the curtain where you would like the pattern to end). I then filled in the bottom as well. For details, be sure to look at the handy how-to video!

Stencil paint highlights

Hoping to add a little bit of glam and shine, I took my stencil, lined it up on my first appliction (which by now was completely dry to the touch) and rolled some FolkArt Champagne Metallic paint over the flat Vintage White in certain places as highlights.

Stencil fabric DIY project

I love how the metallic adds an extra dimension to it! You can see how the lighting in my bathroom enhances the shine in the parts with the matallic paint.

DIY Stenciled shower curtain

I let the stenciled curtain dry completely, about 24 hours, then heat-set it by ironing the fabric for about 20 sec. ( more or less) on a low setting through a piece of soft thin cotton cloth. This cured the paint and will prevent it from being washed off later in the laundry.  I love how it looks hung up in my bathroom! I’m so happy with how it turned out! It only took me a couple hours and was lots of fun!!

Stay tuned for more exciting DIY stenciling projects!


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