Last week I spent a few days with a pair of fashionable friends who recently moved into a new apartment in New York. While touring the space, I noticed that one friend's room had an accent wall half covered in a birch forest pattern (she used the same pattern behind the cats in the photo above), and even though she's known for being reasonably crafty, the endeavor looked like an awful lot of work until she showed me the stencil she was using.
The stencil was basically a 26"x48" clear plastic panel with a repeating pattern cut out of it. All my friend had to do was prime the wall and paint her base color, then tape up the stencil and paint the pattern on one section at a time. You have to do it piece by piece so it's not quite an instant fix, but even if stenciling is not quite a single-afternoon project, it's still faster than any reasonably attractive alternative.
A more permanent cousin of the vinyl decal, stencils can be used to create a mini accent moment or to create a wallpaper effect by running a repeating pattern all the way around the room. Some intrepid DIYers have even used them as a starting-off point for a custom wall mural; combining branch, leaf, flower and bird stencils allows you to create your own scene without having to rely to much on your own ability to draw a straight line. And as a huge plus, there's no steaming or scraping to do if you change your mind; you can just paint over it again.
What do you think? Have you used stencils in your own place, or would you consider it?
MORE STENCIL POSTS ON APARTMENT THERAPY
• DIY Stencil Upgrades for Textiles
• How To: Stencil a Repeating Pattern on a Wall
• How To Repaint & Stencil Ugly Rental Vinyl Tile Flooring
Image: The Church of DIY