Holler! My name is Emma and I have hijacked Helen and Rachel's blog to talk a little bit about a stencilling project Helen gave me and that I’ve just completed! After looking through books for inspiration we came across the tumbling cubes design and thought it was so good that we wanted… needed to try it asap,
the day after the pattern pieces were waiting for me in the work room (thanks Chips).
Being new to stencilling I thought that it was going to be hideously complicated, however I was pleasantly surprised, the hardest part of putting this design together is marking the dots and making sure they’re as accurate as possible otherwise the pattern will not work. After a while (that seemed to last a lifetime along with a few words that I will not mention) I had a grid of dots, the great thing about this design is that all 4 stencils have holes in them in exactly the same place, so once the grid is created and marked up it’s all about matching them up with the stencil and away you go. I will mention now that if you’re painting a surface like I was (a fire screen) things such as hinges are an absolute demon to both mark and try to stencil over.
Now, stencils 1 and 2 are the same and stencils 3 and 4 are the same, and at first I didn’t understand why I needed 2 of the same thing, but it became clear when I tried laying them out, you’ll see what I mean in a minute I promise! So millions of dots and a lot of concentration later I began to see the pattern coming together and it was really really exciting and the end product looked so much better than I first thought it would!
Step by step:
1. Choose your paint – pick three tones of the colour and paint your background with the mid tone.
2. Dots and marking – low stick tape is really helpful for this as you can use a fine liner or whatever to create your marks without marking the background paint as the tape just peels off! The easiest way to start I found was lining stencil one with a straight edge.
3. Spray mount – crucial! This stopped the stencil moving when it came to applying the paint which was so useful! It shouldn’t need spraying every time which is also great as I would’ve forgotten to do it.
4. Line up stencil 1 with the marks created using the tape on background, easier to use stippling method for this stencil rather than swirling as you can see the brush marks. Use the lighter tone for this part.
5. In order to create a line of diamonds use stencils 1 and 2 alternately, this is what confused me about having 2 of the same (I am also blonde).
6. DON’T GIVE UP – once you’ve covered your surface using stencils 1 and 2 it may just look like a bunch of diamonds, but wait to add stencils 3 and 4 to really see it coming together (this is the really really exciting bit I mentioned earlier), it's so exciting both helen and myself may have squeaked a little bit.
7. Like stencils 1 and 2, use 3 and 4 alternatively, although instead of side by side use one above and one below and its fab because it doesn’t matter which way you decide to go, it’ll work either way. Use the darkest tone for this part.
8. Keep on lining the stencils with the dots, don’t make the mistake of removing any, don’t do that til the very end, and it’s so satisfying to see it coming together after a few rows of the darker paint filling in the shadowing.
(I used stencil MD86 - Cubes)
I really hope that it made sense and that you guys enjoyed my first blog! Please ask if I didn’t make sense at any point and I will be back on again at some point when Helen’s not looking to blog about other projects and experiments I've been getting up too!