One of my favorite ways to quickly update a space is to swap out the curtains. But how are you supposed to stay on budget when a single panel costs $50?
Let me show you how we were able to make not one, but 4 patterned curtains for right around $50. AND now we have a super awesome stencil to use on future projects (I’m thinking a wall or maybe some pillows–so many possibilities)!
(Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Stencil Revolution. All opinions are my own.)
What You’ll Need
- Stencil (we used the Scandinavian Geometric Wall Stencil from Stencil Revolution)
- Curtains (we got ours from Walmart for $6/panel)
- Paint (we used Sherwin Williams Naval, but you can also use acrylic craft paint)
- Paint roller
- Stencil brush
- Paper plate and paper towel
- Tape (masking or painters)
- Steamer or iron
- Optional: fabric medium if you are concerned about the paint making your curtains stiff
How to Stencil Curtains
Step 1: select your stencil
This might be the hardest step considering there are so many great patterns and styles to choose from! I’d highly recommend using a wall stencil from Stencil Revolution–incredible patterns and they are large. The bigger the stencil, the less times you have to move it and line it up!
Step 2: Prep your Curtain
Wash and dry your curtains according to the instructions on the label. Then steam your curtains to get out any wrinkles that might get in the way while painting.
Step 3: Prep your workspace
First protect your paint surface with a tarp. Then, place your curtain on your work surface, making sure there are no wrinkles.
Step 4: place your stencil
Position the stencil on top of the curtain in the top corner. You want the pattern to be hanging off the edge slightly in case you accidentally position it crooked. Tape the stencil in a few places on and around the curtain to prevent it from moving while you paint.
Step 5: paint your curtain
Start with a paint roller. Evenly load the paint onto your roller and then roll it onto a paper towel to remove any excess. Your roller will paint the stencil before painting the curtain. Don’t worry, that’s normal. Continue rolling over the same areas to build the paint and get even coverage.
Once you have a pretty solid coat of paint on your curtain, switch to a stencil brush to even it out and get any nooks and crannies.
Dab your stencil brush in paint and then onto the paper towel to remove any excess. Dab your stencil brush on the areas that need extra paint. You can also lightly paint in a circular motion using this brush.
Note: if you want a worn look, you can just quickly go over the stencil with a roller 1-3 times. Some areas will be darker, some will be lighter. You can see the comparison of the solid color vs. an imperfect approach below. It’s a beautiful effect and will save you a ton of time!
Step 6: reposition your stencil
When you finish an area, carefully remove your stencil and check the back for any paint that might have bled through. If the back is clean, line your stencil up with the edge of the section you just finished painting.
Since the curtain stretches and moves easily, this might take a few minutes. Once you get one area lined up, tape the stencil down in position. Work your way down the stencil, pulling the curtain slightly in various directions to get it to line up all the way down.
STEP 7: continue stenciling
Continue painting using the technique in step 5. Focus on painting one element of your stencil at a time, rather than going over the entire area with a roller at once. This will help your pattern look clean, even if the curtain ends up shifting slightly while you paint.
Step 8: hang your curtains up
Once your curtains dry, it’s time to show them off! Hang as normal.
There you have it! Now you know how to create beautiful, patterned curtains without spending a lot of money on each individual panel. So tell me, what stencil are you going to use on your curtains?
Need a new curtain rod? Make one! Check out the easiest DIY curtain rod tutorial. They’re also so cost effective to make!