We have great pleasure in introducing our Foo Dog stencil, it is an exclusive design for our readers and social media followers. One day it will make its way to our Stencil Library website but for now, they will be a bit of a rarity. But you, dear reader, can order them now, before anyone else. Details of the stencil and information on how to buy will be in the comments section below this post. All the paints and brushes are available from The Stencil Library and the plain, cotton cushion cover came from IKEA. Read on to follow our stencilled cushion project.
To re-create this project you will need:
Paper, this should be cut to a size to fully insert into the cushion cover.
A spray repositioning adhesive. We use Spraymount by 3M but are unable to supply it by mail, get it from art or office suppliers.
A stencil brush for every colour used in the project. I used four brushes on this one. If you buy our double ended brushes they work out to be cheaper than ordering four individual brushes.
Paints of your choice. I used Burnt Umber and Phthalocyanine Blue mixed together, White, Naphthol Crimson, Pearl Turquoise and Pearl Magenta. The two pearlescent colours are not essential, I just like to add a bit of sparkle. However, you can use any combinations of colours that you like. All the paints used in this project can be ordered from The Stencil Library.
The cushion cover should be dry, laundered and ironed before starting this project. Fold it into four equal quarters and make a crease along the inner edges towards the corner so that when unfolded you will see a cross made from a horizontal and a vertical crease.
Spray a light, even, misting of SprayMount over the piece of paper and after a few seconds insert it into the cover and smooth the fabric onto the slightly tacky paper. This will stop the fabric from shifting when it is stencilled. The paper should nearly fill the cover. Then apply a mist of the spray onto the back of the stencils. Do not overload with adhesive. My technique is to press my hand onto the back of the stencil a few moments after applying the spray. The stencil should stay stuck to my hand for a few seconds only before falling off. You just need a similar stickiness to Post It notes.
Place stencil no1 so that the outer edge lies along the centre line at the desired height on the cushion cover. Remember that you may be adding a decorative box underneath the foo dog, so, adjust accordingly. Now stick a length painters tape under the bottom of the stencil extending to the other half of the fabric. This helps you get an equal height for the matching image. Tear a few small pieces of tape and press them onto the fabric directly under the four diamond shaped registration marks cut into the stencil.
Pour a little paint onto a palette and dip the flat face of the brush onto the surface of the paint, you need very little paint. Now, stir the brush in a circular motion onto the paper towel this will distribute the paint right across the bristle and dry the tips so that the paint is damp rather than wet before you apply it through the holes in the stencil. Apply the paint with the same stirring motion. The fabric is being held in place with the tacky paper so it won't move when the paint is applied.
Start by stencilling the darkest shade onto layer one of the four overlays that complete the foo dog. In this instance, it was the Phalo Blue mixed with a little Burnt Umber. Put some paint or pencil through the registration marks onto the tape before removing the stencil.
Once the first layer is removed the paint should be dry enough to position stencil layer two.
The registration marks should align exactly with the ones on the tape. Decant some of the original paint colour from the first layer and add white to it. Test the two colours on paper to make sure that the tonal difference can easily be seen but is not extreme.
With a different clean, dry, stencil brush fill in all the holes in the pattern and remove stencil no2
Lighten and brighten the original paint mixture even more and apply stencil layer number three to add the highlights on the Foo Dog. This is when I added touches of the pearl turquoise to add a bright shimmer to the colour scheme. It will not ruin the effect if you omit this extra shimmer, but it does improve it if you do.
Complete the image by stencilling layer 4 in the same colour as the first layer. If you are adding a background stencil you do that AFTER you have stencilled the foo dog image.
My dear friend Holly tells me that Foo Dogs or Foo Lions should always appear as a pair. So, we will stencil a matching partner.
Now, flip the stencil over and apply the spray adhesive to the other side. Position the foo dog to mirror its partner by lining the edge of the stencil with the tape and the centre crease just like you did with the first one.
Repeat the process of stencilling all the layers. Now you are ready to stencil the boxes underneath the dogs. In my pictures, I have made the box shape with tape, but since I completed this stenciled pillow cover we added a base layer to the box stencil which will make it easier for you to use. Full instructions and colour suggestions come with the stencil.
Stencil the two layers of the box in contrasting colours. You should now have a matching pair of 'Foos'. Remove the sticky tape. Decide whether you want to apply a background pattern and if you do you'll need to mask the stencilled image.
Select a stencil for the background. I used red paint and tinged it with highlights of the pearl magenta. The stencil was F43-Damask from our stencils for furniture collection. There is quite a choice of small patterns like this one. An alternative background could be JA54-Bamboo stencil or some of our Japanese Style repeating stencils.
Stencil over the mask so that you can match the pattern up easily, this design is repeated by placing the stencil over the last line of the previous imprint. I chose to stop the pattern halfway up the cover but if you prefer to fill the whole space then do so.
The stencilling is now finished. Remove the tacky paper and save it for the next cushion. Turn the cover inside out and with an iron heated to the appropriate setting for the fabric, heat set the paint and remove the crease marks.
Then, stuff a cushion pad into it, stand back, admire your handiwork then go off and stencil some more. You could create a foo family with varied colours and background patterns!
My next project with the foo dog stencil will be to decorate matching cabinet doors and my next 'how to stencil a cushion cover' project will feature a pair of stencilled Staffordshire Spaniels or 'Wally Dogs'. The Staffys are another new stencil. Visit again to see the results.
I have priced the stencil based on a height of 14.5 inches (368mm) including the base which is 4.5 inches. There is a bigger one at 23 inches tall, perfect for cupboard and cabinet doors....or much larger pillows than the one in my pictures. Custom sizes can be accommodated too.
To order the Foo Dogs stencil read the information in the comments section below this post. Also, our contact information is in the 'About' box on this blog and on the 'Contact Us' part of The Stencil Library website. You can always leave comments on the blog or on our Facebook and Instagram pages.