Stencilled Garden Art

2 Materials
2 Hours

Outdoor garden decor is the focus of our very first stencil project! Typically the kind of stencil we’re using would go on a wall. But we’re not typical. I can’t wait for you to see our unique idea to turn a wall stencil into stencil art for the garden!

I originally had a different garbage find in mind for this project. But when we stumbled on this rustic frame during our morning walk, we changed direction.

We’re using one of Cutting Edge Stencils wall stencils, called  Birds on a Vine. Kind of apropos for a blog called Birdz of a Feather, don’t you think? Can you believe this is our first bird-related project? Lots of firsts today!

It’s always a good idea to work outdoors when you’re painting, so head outside. We’re working in the garage.If you would rather watch than read, we have a video for you below.

To start, measure the dimensions of the back of the frame and cut out a piece of outdoor fabric to fit. Our fabric is 15 1/4″ wide x 30 1/2″ long.

If you do this in a covered area, you don't have to be too fussed about using outdoor fabric, but it is readily available at fabric stores if you want the extra durability.

Lay down a plastic sheet under the fabric on the surface where you are stencilling. Tape down the stencil at the top and bottom, and along the edge of the fabric.

Pour the first colour into a plastic container.

Pounce the applicator in an up and down motion. Apply several light coats to the areas you want green. The paint we used dries really fast so this is a quick process.

Apply black to the birds and red to the berries. Because red tends to be a transparent colour, I just pounced right over the green so I didn’t have to do as many coats.

When you’re applying additional colours, it helps to apply green tape across the parts you don’t want to get paint on, as shown below around the birds.

Carefully lift off the stencil and put is aside so you can complete the top and bottom edges.

Stencil TouchUps

If you do happen to smudge, or just want to add additional paint don’t worry. Where touch-ups are needed, just use a fine paint brush as shown below.

Seal Wood Frame with Oil

To seal the frame and bring out the natural colour of the wood, use a natural oil finish such as this product from Varathane. All the products we’re using are low VOC (volatile organic compound) formulations. They’re better for the environment and don’t give off strong fumes.

Apply 1-3 coats with a natural fibre cloth (or in our case, an old sock). With each coat, let it soak in, then come back with a dry white cloth to wipe off any excess oil. Be sure to use a white rag or t-shirt for this step as colour can sometimes transfer.

Let the coats dry in between according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Warning: to be safe, never ball up the rags. Lay them out to dry flat or they may ignite. Once dry seal with some water in a plastic container and dispose.

Staple Fabric onto Frame

We waited a day to let everything dry. Put the fabric face down onto the back of the frame. Apply staples with a staple gun. Place the staples about 4″ apart, then cut off any excess fabric.

Measure 1/3 of the length of the frame and screw in these picture hangers. Then, twist on a piece of stainless steel wire. Leave 4 – 6″ of slack. Watch the video above to see a demonstration of exactly how this part is done.

We hammered a pair of picture hanger hooks onto a fence board (measure for level first). Two hooks will ensure that the picture hangs level.

Ready to hang:

Here is our finished stencil artwork hanging at the entrance to our back garden. You may remember this garden mirror and bathroom light fixture planter we completed last year.

Every single DIY in our garden is upcycled from junk finds and this project is no exception. We’re slowly building our collection of DIY upcycles throughout the garden.

Isn’t it nice of that day lilly to bloom for us right on cue?

One More Idea for Outdoor Decor

The cool thing about this technique is that with our tips and tricks, you could stencil right over your outdoor chairs to update them!

We've got some great tips on our blog for how to store the stencils as you work so check out the link below where you see our logo. You can also follow us on social (see the icons at the top of this post).

Suggested materials:
  • Stencil   (Cutting Edge Stencils)
  • Frame   (Curb find)
Birdz of a Feather
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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