New This Month


Stenciled Stool Tops

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, February 2007



The monogram for Grace Hasselbeck's initials was created using Microsoft Word. Letter stencils can be found at crafts stores. The colors used were: giraffe (cream-colored base with reddish-brown spots), zebra (off-white with very dark brown stripes), elephant (light gray, dark gray, white tusk), and monkey (medium brown body, light brown arm and head, dark brown face). The 17-by-17-by-17-inch stools are from Gothic Cabinet Craft. Xerox waterproof paper is available at Staples and other office-supply stores. Stencil adhesive spray, acrylic paints, brushes, and cutting tools are available at crafts and art-supply stores. The clear acrylic protective finish is available at paint and hardware stores.


  • Sandpaper, optional

  • Acrylic artist paints

  • Computer and printer

  • Waterproof paper

  • Stool (the ones used on the show have a 13 3/4-inch diameter)

  • Stencil adhesive spray (or standard spray adhesive)

  • Stencil brush

  • Scrap paper (or towel)

  • Pouncer

  • Monogram stencil, optional

  • Clear acrylic protective finish (spray or brush)


  1. Lightly sand any existing finish on stool surface. Mix colors, if desired (see color notes below).

  2. Print out templates. We used waterproof paper that is compatible with ink jet and laser printers. The stencils are multi-layered.

  3. Using a utility knife, cut out stencils.

  4. Apply stencil adhesive spray (or a small amount of standard spray adhesive); allow adhesive to dry, about a minute or two.

  5. Apply first stencil in place in center of stool. Gently and firmly press edges of animal shape to seal.

  6. Dip stencil brush in paint, dab off excess paint on scrap paper (or towel). Begin pouncing color onto stool's surface. Cover the area completely and thoroughly. Remove stencil carefully as wet paint on stencil may spread to adjacent surfaces.

  7. Prepare and apply second stencil, as above. Be careful to line up details; gently and firmly press cut edges to seal.

  8. Apply a second, darker color to stenciled stool surface (as above).

  9. For the vine stencil, apply four times to form a complete circle. (To add an optional monogram or to add hand-initialed letters, set aside a 5-inch area below the animal.) Line up arc of vine stencil with edge of stool. Apply paint, and allow paint to dry for several minutes. Move stencil to next position. The vine design should join (or nearly join) the vine that was just painted. Apply paint (repeat step two more times to complete circle).

  10. Allow entire design to dry at least 24 hours. Seal stool's surface using a clear acrylic protective finish (spray or brush).

Reviews Add a comment