Thursday, April 25, 2013

How to Stencil Large Graphic Numbers on Fabric

Today I was thinking
about numbers.
That is pattern crush #2 right now.
Stripes are my #1.
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My fun job today
was to stencil numbers on
these amazing French Style Dining Chairs.
I started by making my stencils.
Selected Engravers Font size 900.
Printed on Cardstock.
Cover Front and Back with Clear Packaging Tape.
After the cardstock is completely covered with tape,
cut the stencil out with sharp scissors
or an exacto knife.
Center the stencil,
Measuring from both sides
and top and bottom,
then use painters tape to secure.
I have my workstation set up
and ready to go.
My paint mix was:
flat acrylic black with a little bit of grey
and textile medium.
(that's like a clear liquid glaze that extends the paint
and removes the stiffness of dry paint)
3 parts paint.  1 part medium.
I used foam that I cut up into long rectangles
that I could fold in half and have a nice round edge
for application.  (no sharp edges)
First I put a small amount of paint on my
ice cream lid palette.
Dip rounded foam edge into paint
and drag back and forth.
Then off load on a piece of scrap fabric.
I used canvas.
Rub most of the paint out of the foam
and the foam edges.
Then you are ready to start.
No heavy paint anywhere in this process.
A very light touch is the most important thing.
Drag the foam from the outside to the inside of the number.
Be sure not to work inside to out
or you might get "run under".
Just keep repeating
adding more paint and making the edges
a bit heavier in shading
and lighter in the center.
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So these 4 are waiting to get on a truck
and find a place 
to make a charming statement
 in their new home.
Thanks for your visit!
Link Parties:

Cozy Little House


Debbiedoos said...

Those look fantastic! and you know I love me some stenciling!~

Debbie @ MeandMyDIY said...

Great tutorial Deb, as always. I love how you created that stencil. I was thinking at first that maybe you had used your tracing method, but I guess that wouldn't work so well on fabric. The shading on the numbers looks great and so professional. But I guess that's what you are, isn't it? :) Have a great day!


20 North Ora said...

Deb - Another cute project! I too, stencil with a sponge. I love the way it looks.


Bliss said...

Pinning. I have 6 chairs that need graphics on the back, this has me considering numbers.


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh my word, I totally love this idea and such a great tutorial too. I would love for you to link this to my Inspire Me party that will be live Monday evening. Hugs, Marty

Danielle said...

The chairs are so beautiful and I love that you created your own stencil to accomplish the look. Thanks for sharing your technique!!

DesignGeek said...

These chairs look smashing and it was very clever of you to use packaging tape so your stencil wouldn't absorb the paint. I will have to remember that next time I make a stencil.

Feral Turtle said...

What a fun project. They look fantastic!!

Anonymous said...

such a great idea! and the chairs are darling! I'm pinning. Little Bit

Unknown said...

What gorgeous chairs!! Great job stenciling! I would love for you to come link up to my party and follow along!

Natalie@SophisticatedYellow said...

LOVE these chairs!!!! They are beautiful...Great job!

Jamie-So Much Better With Age said...

You are one daring woman! It's amazing! I love numbers too and stripes are totally my no. 1 too ;) Love it!!
Jamie @

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I love this idea! Thanks so much for sharing! Hopped over from Coastal following on bloglovin!

Jen said...

These look amazing!

Kim @ Curtain Queen said...

Great tutorial on making a stencil! The chairs look great and are welcome at my house. :-)

Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

Look great, numbers are always stylish on anything really!

Donna Wilkes said...

Thank you for the great tutorial on stenciled numbers. The chairs are very distinctive. I am sure the new owner will be ecstatic on their appearance.

jami at freckled laundry said...

Those French style chairs are them more with the numbers. (I have a number weakness too.) That is such a clever way to make a sturdy stencil with the packing tape! I wish I would have thought of that before...would have come in handy a few times. xo Jami

Christine at First Home Love Life said...

I'm a sucker for anything with numbers on it! These chairs turned out gorgeous! Thanks for linking up!

Barbara Jean said...


I used to teach painting, and cut my own stencils.
I bought an electric stencil cutter, and it was worth every penny...and not that many pennies either.
Had to give up stenciling mostly cause of bad wrists and shoulders. =(

Love the chairs!

be blessed

Chaney @ May Richer Fuller Be said...

Using packing tape for a stencil!? So smart! Thanks for a great tutorial!

Unknown said...

Amazing!!!! Thank you for sharing at the Give Me The Goods Link Party!!

Jamie-So Much Better With Age said...

You've been featured on Give Me The Goods! Be sure to grab a button ;)
Jamie @

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Deb, I love the stenciled numbers! I have spent some time browsing your wonderful archives and I am now a follower. I would love for you to visit sometimes.

Unknown said...

What a great idea & fun job you have!!!

Good Time Charlie said...

You are always so amazing with your projects. Thank you so much for sharing your talents! Featuring at my party today.

Aimee at Refresh-Renew... said...

Thank you for sharing your stencil technique! Love that you use clear packing tape!-aimee

Laura Everyday Edits said...

Hi Deb- I commented a few months ago thinking I was going to do this on my almost identical trunk. I ended up doing it on a milkcan. Post should go live this week with a link back to your blog! Thanks for the inspiration!