Ever-so-slightly off-center circles in white and pale blue dress up an earth-toned lampshade. This project works best with a straight-sided lampshade, such as a drum shade, covered with paper-backed book cloth, which won't buckle when painted. Before starting, measure the shade's circumference to see if it will accommodate even repetitions of the circle template. If there is an overlap at the seam, shift it out of sight.
When stenciling, pat the sponge in a dab of paint, and blot excess on the palette. Then apply paint in thin coats, taking care that it doesn't drip or pool, until the area is covered. If a design requires several colors, use a separate sponge for each. You may opt to adjust a paint's transparency or mix hues.
Tools and Materials
Paper-backed book cloth
Craft knife (or scissors)
Draftsman's circle template
Small sheet of glass (palette)
5 to 7 ounces each of acrylic paint in white and blue
2 natural sea sponges
1/2-inch-wide seam binding or twill tape
To Prepare Materials
1. Lay book cloth, paper side up, on a flat, covered surface. Roll lampshade along cloth, tracing both sides of the arc with a pencil.
Cut out arc with craft knife on cutting mat or with scissors.
2. To establish a border between circles and shades bottom edge, affix a cardboard strip to the edge of draftsman's template near the row of large circles using drafting tape; strip should be as wide as template and 1 1/2 inches tall.
To Stencil White Circles
1. Lay book cloth paper side down. Place template in lower-left corner of book-cloth arc, aligning cardboard strip's bottom corners with arc's edge.
2. Prepare palette with white paint. Use 1 sponge to apply paint to stencil's largest circles. Let dry 3 minutes.
3. Shift stencil to right, spacing circles evenly. Stencil as in step 2. Repeat until band of white circles is complete.
To Stencil Blue Circles
1. Prepare palette: Mix 1 part blue paint and 5 parts matte medium with palette knife.
2. Flip template over (make sure white paint on reverse is dry), and place in lower-left corner of book-cloth arc, aligning strip's bottom corners with arc's edge. Use second sponge to apply blue paint to largest circles (slight overlap will occur). Let dry 3 minutes.
3. Shift stencil to right, adjusting for desired overlap. Paint as in step 2. Repeat until band of blue circles is complete.
To Attach Book Cloth
1. Apply spray glue to paper side of book cloth. Starting with 1 end of arc, wrap it around shade, smoothing so edges line up. Affix clothespins to shade's top edges until glue sets. Let dry 10 minutes.
2. Attach seam binding or twill tape to shade's bottom edge with craft glue, leaving a 1/4-inch overhang. Fold this under; secure with glue for a smooth edge. Repeat on top edge.
53-inch-wide Cialux Book Cloth in Taupe, $15.75 per yard, talasonline.com
Giant circle template, $7.89, by Chartpak Pickett
3M Spray Mount Artist's Adhesive, $13.07 for 10 1/4 ounces, dickblick.com