These two handmade floral stencils, arranged agreeably askew, decorate the inner edges of curtains, framing the window. Designing a border, rather than covering the entire panel, achieves a more customized look (and saves time). An accompanying pillow features the same primitive blossoms in a related palette and echoes the still life on the wall.
Complete all motifs in one color before moving on to the next. We used natural linen curtains; when painted, they can be washed and steamed or ironed.
Tools and Materials
2 copies of both templates: star-shaped template and bell flower template
4 sheets of 8 1/2-by-11-inch waterproof paper
4 sheets of 11-by-17-inch vellum, printed with full curtain template
2 curtain panels
Small sheet of glass (palette)
5 to 7 ounces water-based permanent textile paint in yellow, red, dark green, light green, and white, by Jacquard, dharmatrading.com
Natural sea sponges
To Make Stencils
1. Affix each template to a sheet of waterproof paper.
2. Secure 1 star-shaped flower template to cutting mat with drafting tape; cut out flowers with craft knife, excluding greenery.
Remove template, and discard. Repeat with 1 bell-shaped flower template, cutting out only flowers.
3. On the second star-shaped flower template, cut out just the greenery. Tape the 2 cutout starred leaves onto a scrap of waterproof paper, and cut out centers. Reserve. Remove template, and discard. Repeat with second bell-shaped flower template, cutting out just the greenery. Tape leaves onto a scrap of waterproof paper, and cut out veins. Reserve. Remove template, and discard.
To Make Vellum Overlay
1. Arrange vellum sheets to create the full template, and attach with transparent tape. (Add or remove pages as needed, depending on curtain size.)
2. Position vellum overlay along curtain's inner edge, leaving an even border; secure with straight pins across the side. (As you stencil, remove pins and insert others as needed to keep the vellum in place.)
To Stencil Flower Patterns
1. Prepare palette with yellow paint. Align star-shaped flower stencil (flowers cut out) under vellum; fold back vellum.
Use a sponge to apply paint to stencil. Let dry 4 minutes.
2. Unfold vellum. Align next set of yellow flowers, varying color placement by eye. Repeat step 1, flipping stencil as needed (make sure reverse is dry), until flowers are complete.
3. Repeat using red paint until all star-shaped flowers are complete.
4. Align star-shaped flower stencil (greenery cut out) under vellum; fold back vellum. Attach inner cutouts of leaves to fabric with double-sided tape. Stencil as in step 1 using dark-green paint.
Repeat, flipping stencil as needed (make sure reverse is dry), until all star-shaped leaves are complete.
5. Repeat using white paint and bell-shaped flower stencil (flowers cut out).
6. Repeat using light-green paint and bell-shaped flower stencil (greenery cut out), attaching leaf veins to fabric with double-sided tape before painting.
7. Using vellum overlay, repeat steps 1 to 6 to stencil second panel.
Print pillow template onto vellum; attach with transparent tape. Pin vellum onto fabric across top. Stencil as indicated at left.
National Geographic Adventure waterproof paper, 11-by-17-inch sheets, waterproof-paper.com