DIY Wall Art Can Say Anything With This Simple DIY Stencil

We are obsessed with Pinterest right? Well one morning, while eating a cold pork chop over the trashcan, this painting I had seen awhile ago popped into my brain and hooray…my latest pin-spiration for some DIY, one of my favorite boards on Pinterest, was born! I desperately needed some artwork in my baby boy’s nursery, which still needs a few finishing touches even though he is already 4 months old. I had searched and searched, but nothing was perfect or, if it was, I was too cheap to actually buy it. So I whipped out my inner artist and did it myself! It is the perfect saying (“I love you” in Spanish) in the perfect color palette. Follow these steps to create your own custom art! *Update the nursery is complete! check it out {Nursery Reveal}

DIY Custom Wall Art:  Tutorial includes how to make your own stencil which means you could customize yours to say anything!

DIY Custom Letter Stencil

First you will need to decide what you want your artwork to say and what fonts you want to use. You may have to print them out a few times in order to get the right size and look that you are going for. Don’t worry about them being too thin. I’ll show you how to remedy that. I used Janda Stylish Script and Penelope Anne. Here are some fonts that I love.
DIY letter stencil

So for the stencil you will need.

  • Your words printed out.
  • Removable or repositionable shelf paper.
  • A cutting surface. (I use a cutting mat that is for scrapbooking, but thick cardboard works great too.)
  • An X-Acto knife.
  • Painters Tape.
DIY letter stencil 2
  • Make thin parts of your letters a little thicker by outlining them. This will ensure that they can be seen on the final product and make them easier to cut out.
  • Cut a piece of shelf paper and place it sticky side down on the cutting mat but DON’T peel off the back, you don’t want it to sticky yet.
  • Place the letters on top of the shelf paper and secure with painters tape.
  • Carefully cut out each letter with the X-Acto knife.

Custom Art using your Custom Stencil

Now you are ready to start making your wall art!
DIY Custom letter stencil 3
  • First paint the canvas, wood, or paper the color that you want your letters to be on the finished product and allow to dry completely.
  • Decide where you want your words to be and mark the canvas with a pencil. To ensure straight words use a piece of paper. Line up one edge of the paper perfectly with the edge of your canvas and use the other edge of the paper to mark your line. These lines will not show in the end.
  • Carefully peel off the backing of the letters and press them down firmly so that there are no air bubbles, along the lines you drew to guide the placement.
  • Use your fingertip to smooth out any air bubbles. It is important that the edges of the letters are on tight.

DIY Custom Wall Art:  Tutorial includes how to make your own stencil which means you could customize yours to say anything!

  • Brush over the letters with a clear varnish. Make sure to brush in all directions. This is a great way to get perfect lines. If there are any air bubbles the clear coat will seep under the letters, not the color you are about to add.
  • Allow the varnish to dry completely.
DIY custom wall art tutorial 2
  • When picking colors be sure that you don’t use too many/ too much of the same color as your background because your letters won’t stand out.
  • You will need various shades of your colors, some brushes, and some sponges. (I found that I liked the sponge look better.)
  • Blob (a very techinical art term, I know) all the different colors all over the canvas. Again, don’t use very much of the background color.
    • I had too much green to begin with and had to go back and add more blue.
  • Swirl the colors together using a brush or dab them together with a sponge. Don’t overdo it. You want color variation so if you see that the whole thing is becoming one color wipe your brush or sponge off or get a clean one.
It will look something like this when you are done. Let it dry.
DIY wall art tutorial
You are now going to be creating a sort of overlay so you need to decide on a pattern. I chose a very simple subway tile like pattern, but my pin-spiration had a herringbone pattern. So go crazy if you want.
  • I cut 6 inch strips of tape. Yours may be different depending on the pattern you are making.
  • Starting at the bottom corner I laid each strip down leaving a small gap between.
  • For the second line of tape I laid each piece off center to make a subway tile type pattern.
  • Leave some spaces without tape (these are the white spaces on my finished piece.)  But be sure not to do this where your letters are.
custom wall art (23)
  • Paint between the lines of the painters tape. Don’t put the paint on too thick. Use a small amount of paint so that you don’t quite have complete coverage. Use a little bit more paint in your blank spots.
  • Carefully peel off the tape while the paint is still wet. Don’t worry about perfect lines here. The imperfections add to the project!
custom wall art tutorial 5
  • Now very carefully peel off the shelf paper to reveal your letters and touch up with the original paint color if necessary.
DIY Custom Wall Art:  Tutorial includes how to make your own stencil which means you could customize yours to say anything!
The possibilities for this are endless! You could do a child’s name, a favorite saying, or even a cut out of an animal or any other shape for that matter! I would love to see what you come up with, so be sure to post a picture on my facebook fan page or tag me on a pinterest post! Happy painting!

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About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don't consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

2 thoughts on “DIY Wall Art Can Say Anything With This Simple DIY Stencil

  1. “Well one morning, while eating a cold pork chop over the trashcan”
    Amazing, this made me laugh out loud! Love your tutorial too as well 🙂

  2. Hey are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you need
    any html coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be really
    appreciated!

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