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Project

Making a Mark

Introduction

Tell a friend you're embarking on a stenciling project and chances are you'll evoke images of homespun Americana. But this technique is hardly married to a single style. There are as many ways to integrate stenciling into your decor -- on tables, curtains, even lampshades -- as there are sources of inspiration. Borrow a pattern from a Colonial interior, abstracting it slightly. Or for a breath of modernity, use geometric forms, employed by the Vienna Secessionist architect Josef Hoffmann.

Another appealing influence is Charleston, the exuberantly creative, if bohemian, English country retreat of Bloomsbury group members, including painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. As Bell's son Quentin wrote, "Whenever Duncan and Vanessa entered a house, there was a fifty-fifty chance that they would cover the walls with decorations." It's a sensibility to applaud -- although walls are only the beginning.

Projects
Stenciled Lampshade
Ever-so-slightly off-center circles in white and pale blue dress up an earth-toned lampshade. The resulting band, reminiscent of the lunar cycle, is made with a draftsman's circle template.
Get the How-To

Stenciled Lace-Print Folding Screen
The delicate lace design on the screen above consists of light-gold paper accentuated by a dappled coat of copper-pink paint.
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Stenciled Botanical-Print Wallpaper
Metallic dots stenciled onto a botanical wallpaper result in a striking union of abstract and figurative aesthetics.
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Garden-Print Stenciled Tabletop
A subtle faux finish is painted over the muted gray and green tones of this tabletop, giving the piece an instant vintage look.
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Stenciled Wall Clock
Modeled after the ornate face of an 18th-century case clock, this oversize yet functional wall decoration all but ensures you'll never be late again.
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Stenciled Floral Curtains and Pillow
A curtain and pillows featuring primitive blossoms are made from two handmade floral stencils, arranged agreeably askew.
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Stenciled Bedroom Pillows
Antique block-print endpapers inspired the intricate design used on these throw pillows and bed linens.
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Stenciled Roller Shade
Vines traced from an Early American stencil wind down a pale-gray roller shade in four columns that mirror one another.
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Source
Martha Stewart Living, September 2008