Crafts, Home Decor, Valentine's day, Winter

Paper Hearts Stencil

With Valentines Day coming up I found myself in search of just the right design to apply to some makeshift craft ideas I’ve had bouncing around in my head. Originally I was considering stenciling some of these cute hearts onto a box of Chocolate hearts but then I realized my significant other wouldn’t want to hold onto an empty chocolate heart. I got to thinking and found myself with the perfect craft for Valentines Day so my sweetie can see the hearts I see around them everyday. Just a few squirts of paint and half an hour later I turned a $15 mirror into a priceless token of my affection!

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Now I am no expert at stenciling but I think this came out marvelously! About a year ago I had no idea that there were specific brushes meant for stenciling but after some instruction I learned everything I needed to shed my amateur stenciling status. Now I’ll share with you the pointers that took my stencil game to the next level!

5 Protect any surfaces that won't be painted

The first step is to protect any surface that you don’t want to get any paint on. For this project I masked off the mirror. Using frog tape should help keep any paper you use for masking in place.

6 Use spray adhesive on the bak of your stencil about 6-8 inches away

Next, you’ll want to apply a light coat of Repositionable Spray Adhesive holding the can 6-8 inches from the back of your stencil. Before applying the stencil to your project you’ll want to allow the adhesive to become tacky, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

8 Get your first paint color

After you’ve pressed your stencil into position on your project, prepare your first color of paint by squirting a tiny amount onto a paper plate, palette, or other surface for paint. I’m using a circle of mylar, the same material used to make these stencils. I’m using Americana Acrylic Paint.

9 Wipe most of the paint off your stencilbrush

Now this may be counter-intuitive but you must believe me. A little paint goes a very long way when stenciling. This is what I struggled with most of all when I first started out. If you use too much paint, it will seep underneath the edges of your stencil and result in a blurry mess at the end. Using too little paint is not a problem you will have. The proper technique is to swirl paint into your brush, then wipe most of it off onto a paper towel. Your stencil brush should feel dry to the touch after this step. An important rule for stenciling well is to stencil with a “dry” brush.

10 Stipple or swirl in your first color

The color you want will likely not appear after your first coat. Using this technique you’ll need to use multiple coats until you are satisfied. After the second and third coat you should be reach your desired color. Since each coat of paint is so light they should dry quickly between coats. To apply the paint you’ll want to stipple the paint by bouncing your stencil brush on the design, or you’ll want to swirl the paint over your pattern.

12 Try using a variety of colors that complement eachother

I try to use colors that complement each other as I stencil. I like painting thing symmetrically but you may want to try something different by swirling in random colors here and there, it’s up to you!

13 Stencil right up onto the tape that masks your project

Some elements of the design come close to the edge of the stencil so I used some Frog Tape to protect the project. I ended up stenciling right on top of the tape; had it not been there I would have painted outside of the stencil onto my mirror!

17 Use an acrylic finish to finalize your project and mask off the mirror

For the last step I applied a coat of American Acrylic Sealer. This protects the paint from getting scratched off. Acrylic Sealant helps to make your project last while also giving it a uniform finish.

18 And now your project is complete

And that’s all there is to it! Let your creativity shine!

See the whole tutorial in the video below:

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