My Wonderful Walls Blog — Home Decor

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How to Create a Wall Border with Stencils 0

 

Border designs are an easy way to decorate the top of a wall or along an architectural feature like chair rail. You can also stencil borders on furniture, windows, and things like wrapping paper. Many My Wonderful Walls stencils make a great border! The hardest challenge with creating a border is keeping it on a straight line as you repeat your stenciled pattern. Using a guideline and registration marks will help you accomplish your goal and make a beautiful bordered design look like it was professionally created.

Begin by measuring from the edge of the ceiling, floor, or whatever architectural feature is closest to the placement of your wall border. You can use a carpenter’s level to help you in case of sloped walls, floors or ceilings. Mark your guideline with a chalk line on painters’ tape, then you don’t have to worry about removing the marks later.  Measure the position you want in a couple of places and with the help of a second person if necessary, apply a length of painters’ tape in roughly the right position.

Now you’ll want to re-measure each end of your stencil and put your chalk line along the tape. To position the stencil, align the registration holes or stencil edge with the guideline you have chalked out on the tape and mark those holes right on the tape. Make sure to use the lowest tack painters’ tape available and when working with a freshly painted surface, give it time to completely cure before putting tape of any kind on it.

Most stencils will have a printed or cut out outline of the trailing cutouts for the adjacent repeat. Simply overlap and line up these outlines onto the corresponding parts that have just been painted. When the top edge of the stencil is lined up along the guideline and the registration outlines are lined up over the appropriate stenciled parts, then the stencil is in the right place for the next repeat. If registration outlines are cut out, not printed, be careful to not paint them a second time.

Another challenge with painting a border in an entire room is in most cases the length of the wall is probably not going to be an even multiple of the stencil length. There are a few ways you can address this. To make a continuous border, you can try folding the stencil into corners. Alternatively, you can truncate the design on both sides of the corner. You may also be able to use a corner piece (which may come with the border stencil you purchase or you could separately purchase a coordinating design) to mark the end of the border segment. There is no wrong answer, it is just what you feel most comfortable with and find most visually appealing.

Paint over your stencil with a roller brush as usual, making sure to use the steps in our How to Stencil Using a Roller with Liquid Paint article. Carefully remove the stencil and reapply to the next portion of your wall using your registration guidelines to line it up correctly and continue. Once you are done, remove your painters’ tape as soon as possible pulling it straight back on itself. Let your border design fully dry, using a hair dryer if necessary to speed up the process.

You will now have a gorgeous wall border to show off to friends and family. You can also easily translate these steps to painting a border on other items as well. If you’ve ever used our wall stencils to create a border, we’d love to hear from you in the comments!

How to Stencil Using a Roller with Liquid Paint 0

painting with a rollerThere are many techniques you can use to paint with your new stencils but one of the easiest is to use a roller brush and either latex house paint or acrylic craft paint. If you have bought a stencil kit from My Wonderful Walls, we do sell acrylic paint kits with all the colors you need to paint your wall mural as shown. But you can also purchase these paints at most craft or big box stores. Here is a step by step guide to stenciling with a roller brush. 

Materials Needed: 

  1. High Density Foam Roller Brushes (you may need many sizes depending on what stencils you are using)
  2. Acrylic Craft Paint or Latex House Paint (For indoor projects)
  3. Flat Palette Tray, Old Cookie Sheet or Paper Plates
  4. Palette Knife or Spatula
  5.  Brush for Shading/Details
  6. Stencils

How to Stencil with a Roller Brush: 

  1. Start with a clean, dry surface. My Wonderful Walls stencils are self-adhesive so you can just stick them to your walls, furniture or wherever you are stenciling.
  2. Pour a few spoonfuls of paint onto your flat palette tray or paper plate.
  3. Using a palette knife or spatula, draw a long wide streak of paint from the spoonfuls. You’ll want it to be shallow.
  4. Roll your roller brush in the steak until the entire roller is covered with paint. Work it back and forth so your paint will be distributed evenly.
  5. Draw the roller back and forth over the stencil openings, pressing lightly at first. You can press more firmly as some of the paint is used up. Try to keep the brush as flat as possible.
  6. Build up the color slowly with more passes of the brush. If you are worried about making it too dark, lift up the corner of the stencil to check. When you are satisfied, you can gently lift the stencil away and let your paint dry. HINT: You can use a hair dryer to speed this process up.
  7. If you want to blend a second color into an interior portion of the stencil use the tip of the roller only being careful not to tear the foam. You can also add shading with a brush.
  8. HINT: When not using the roller, keep it in a ziploc bag to prevent drying out. This is especially true when using latex paint. If you still need to moisten the foam, you can roll it over a damp kitchen sponge or spritz it with a little water. Don’t let it get too wet or you will have bleeding with your paint.

This is just a basic overview of painting with a roller brush. When you purchase My Wonderful Wall stencils you will receive a lot of helpful hints and project ideas with your stencils and you can always check out our photo reviews and blog for ideas. If you have any helpful hints for using a roller brush to stencil feel free to leave them in the comments!

 

From Zig-Zags to Hearts: How to Easily Stencil an Accent Wall 0

heart stencils

Today we have a guest blogger, Ash from Just Measuring Up who along with his wife Eileen are a dynamic team of home improvement and DIY bloggers. Read on to see what he has to say about working with our Hearts Stencils.

 

Have you ever see a gorgeous accent wall and wished you were able to replicate it?

Well, I have some good news for you! With the right stencil and perfect paint color, it’s super easy to create a stunning accent wall in your home. No artistic ability necessary.

Eileen found a heart stencil pattern from My Wonderful Walls that she fell in love with, knowing it would be perfect in our nursery.

The current pattern on the wall (from the original homeowners) was begging for an update. There were two black zig-zags with colorful squares between them that Eileen and I wished we had painted over before moving in.

 

Zig Zag Stencils

 

And, here’s a picture of the gorgeous after:

Nursery Mural

 It’s like night and day!

How to Paint a Heart Stencil Wall

We usually just paint walls a standard color, so we were looking forward to having a little more fun with this wall.

To begin, I had to first start with a blank slate.  This meant removing the current pattern.  I used a high-quality white paint from Benjamin Moore and applied two coats to cover the pattern.  I was hoping one coat would do the trick, but the pattern was still visible, so two coats were needed.

I did have to use my orbital sander a few times though.  Some areas on the original pattern were causing visible ridges. It was a hand-painted pattern and had a lot of paint build-up on the edges of the zig-zag.   I thought the white paint would cover and hide it, but I was not that happy with the result.  So I just used the sander to make a few areas more smooth, and re-applied the paint.

Soon the wall was a blank white canvas, begging for some pink hearts.  I read the instructions for using the Wonderful Walls template and watched their video tutorials on their website.  The process was very straight forward.

Materials for the Heart Accent Wall:

  • Heart stencil template from My Wonderful Walls
  • Quart of thick, high-quality pink paint
  • Chalk paint/stencil brush
  • Paper towels
  • Sheets to protect your floor from paint
  • Hair dryer

Here’s a picture showing my setup:

DIY Mural Painting

Yes, that was a hair dryer you saw on the list.  I should have told Eileen I borrowed hers for this project.  She was confused on why I had borrowed it. It came in handy to speed up the drying process for the templates.

So, the template was sticky on one side and adhered very well to the wall.  I started on one corner of the wall with the template attached, and started painting on hearts.  I did my research ahead of time to know that some of the best results come from using chalk paint/stencil brushes.  Luckily Eileen had one lying around that she used in a recent chalk paint furniture redo project.

 

How to Use a Stippling TechniqueWith these types of brushes, a stippling technique would work best to apply the paint (where you gently pat the wall with the brush repeatedly until the heart was filled in with paint, much like a woodpecker motion - pat pat pat pat).

The key to forming a sharp heart pattern with the template was to use a minimal amount of paint.  Too much paint would bleed under the stencil and create wavy edges on the hearts.  I had a few hearts like these until I perfected my stippling technique with the right amount of paint. 

To prevent too much paint on the brush, I just tapped the brush against some paper towels after each dip.  Then I was start stippling the hearts.  On average, I filled in around 3 hearts at a time before having to re-dip the brush.

Once all eight hearts on the template were filled in with paint, I tapped the brush on the four registration mark holes on the corners of the template.  These left small pink circles on the wall that helped me with placement of the template as I made progress along the wall. 

The registration marks were critical in getting a consistent distribution of hearts.  The marks were only temporary though.  A quick dab of the original white paint would remove them once all the hearts were applied.

After I finished each section, I used the hair dryer on a low speed / high heat setting to speed up the drying of the paint.  I needed the paint dry before I could remove the template and reposition for another section. 

Stenciling a Wall

About 10 seconds per heart with the hair dryer seemed sufficient to remove the template cleanly.

Here’s a picture of the wall after I finished my first section (the template is on the bottom):

Heart Stencil Pattern

The hearts were looking really good.  It was just a matter of time now before the whole wall was hearted.

Here’s a close-up of some of the hearts:

Pink Heart Mural

 

Here I am half way through, caught with Eileen’s blow dryer:

DIY Nursery Mural

After about two hours, here is the completed wall:

Nursery Decor

Eileen and I loved the way it turned out. We loved the quality of the heart stencil, which didn’t surprise us because we also loved the wall stickers from My Wonderful Walls, which we used in our son’s room.

The heart stencils are simply perfect for a little girl’s nursery. They would also look awesome in a craft room.

Aside from priming the wall from the previous pattern, the stencil took just an afternoon of work.

Overall, the accent wall was completed in a weekend, and Eileen and I were kicking ourselves that it took us so long to rid the nursery of the previous pattern.

Finished Nursery Mural

Of course, here’s our dog Zeus, making himself comfortable in our updated nursery.

Funny Dog Picture

Who doesn’t love those hearts?! What a difference from the zig-zags! 

 

 

Ash is a DIY blogger who, along with his wife Eileen, inspires others to embark on their own do-it-yourself projects through sharing their tutorials, tips, and ideas. Subscribe to their newsletter for DIY inspiration.

DIY Birthday Party Ideas For Any Age 0

Princess Birthday BannerBirthday party planning can be somewhat stressful, especially when the birthday child has very definite theme ideas or no idea at all! Don’t worry! We have rounded up some easy ideas for you to add your child's own personal style to the day and make their party stand out from the rest. You’ll also get bragging rights when everyone at the party wants to know where you got the cool birthday swag.  Best part is, these simple DIY party ideas won’t break the bank. 

Whether you're looking to create a Princess Party, Mad Science Party, Dinosaur Themed Party, Train Birthday Party or a Fun Tween Slumber Party, you can get some inspiration right here. Some of these ideas are even great for after the party as well!

 

Perfect Princess Party

There’s only one princess in your house and she deserves a fairy tale perfect party.  Give her the royal treatment with this DIY Lace Crown instead of buying a party store plastic and bead crown. She’ll look extra special and you’ll be her hero. You can even create extras for the party goers.   

DIY Lace Crown

If your princess would rather throw a baseball than a royal ball, bake this Couture Princess Sneaker Cake and score a home run. This recipe provided from Parents.com is easily made with store-bought ingredients. Not only does it look adorable, it will be made with love. 

Dino-Mite Party 

When dinosaurs are your kiddo’s favorite thing, you throw them a dinosaur themed birthday party. Instead of spending a fortune on goodies and games, how about making your own like this Dinosaur Fossil Activity fun for girls and boys! Danielle at A Crafty Spoonful shows you how to get ready for a prehistoric good time. 

DIY Dinosaur Fossils

Add a fun DIY Dino Tee for the birthday guest of honor and they’ll be roaring with delight. Check out this no sew idea from Melissa at Sippy Cup Mom. How fun would this be for Halloween too! 

No Sew Dinosaur Shirt

Blind them With Science

If your kiddo is a fan of weird science, check out this Elephant Toothpaste Experiment idea from Come Together Kids. You just can’t have a cool science themed party without the kids doing some experiments, right?

Elephant Toothpaste Experiment

The other ingredient that is a must for any fun party is a cool cake. How about this beautiful (yet scientific!) Surprise Cake for your future Madame Curie? You could easily change the colors on this if your birthday child is not a fan of pink and purple. 

8-Layer Surprise Cake

Train Lovers Party 

When it’s all about the engines and caboose, you know your son or daughter wants a train themed birthday party. If you’re looking for something different to entertain your guests try our Train Track Decal Set and some play trains! Perfect for walls but even great on the floor so little engineers can play pretend for hours on end.  (Thanks to customer Bill W for the pic.)

Train Track Decal

Don’t let the fun stop indoors! Head out to the back yard for an “InTraining” Obstacle Course like Kristen at Celebrate Every Day with me came up with for her five-year old’s birthday party. You don’t have to follow her ideas exactly but this should give your mind chugging along with inspiration.

 

Craft a Great Birthday 

If your child or tween is looking for less of a themed party and more of a fun slumber party, she may be asking for a craft to do with her friends. Try this DIY Dreamcatcher idea from Art Bar Blog and make sure each guest goes home with something they made themselves.  

Dreamcatcher

 

Teens may be “too cool” for crafts and party games but one thing most love is taking selfies with their friends. Give your teen girl a beautiful backdrop for her pics with these easy to make DIY Rosettes. These are also perfect for a bridal or baby shower! 

DIY Party Backdrop

 

Whatever type of party you are planning this year, you can make it extra special with a little creativity and time. Let us know in the comments below what you'll be whipping up for your next party. 

Top Ideas to Decorate With Tree Branches and More! 0

If you love nature and want to bring a rustic feel to your home, you can easily create some DIY Tree Branch Projects in any room. Upcycling tree branches that would otherwise end up as kindling or wood chips is not only earth friendly but stylish. Whether you are working on a kid's room or your own space, decorating with tree branches and logs can bring the outside in and make your guests ooh and ahh! Here are just a few ideas we love:


Branch Chandelier

Tree Branch Chandelier
Don’t fret when a storm knocks down those big branches! Turn them into something beautiful like this illuminating chandelier from Magdelena at Mama is Dreaming!
 

Birch Branch Placemat

Birch Tree Placemats
Have a birch tree that needs a little pruning? You can turn those cut branches into a unique place mat as shown by Lucy in this Ehow.com post.

DIY Log Vase

DIY Log Vase
Create a rustic vase or candle holder with a few simple steps and logs from your back yard. Britt from Hello Honey shows you how easy it is to create this natural décor.
 

Tree Branch Seed Stakes

Branch Seed Stakes
Following the idea of waste not, want not you can create fun seed stakes from the multitudes of branches you’ve collected through the winter and spring storms. Susan at Home Road shows you how.

Toy Tree House Idea

Toy Tree House
Get the kids in on all the fun with a fabulous toy tree house made from branches and wood cutting boards. You can get super creative with this idea from Alex at Northstory. 

 

Looking for more ways to bring trees into your decorating? Whether it’s a nursery, child’s bedroom, living room or your own bedroom My Wonderful Walls has beautiful tree stencils and wall stickers to create everything from a garden mural to a family tree! Check out our newest Breezy Tree and Birds Wall Decal for a natural looking tree with white birds and leaves. Or go for our super popular, colorful Birds and Tree Branch Wall Decals. You can also paint trees on your home furnishings with our easy to use stencils for a fun forest inspired room. Let us know if we can help you find the perfect tree design for your space and if you try any of these tree branch projects, comment below!

 

Birds and Tree Branch Kitchen Wall Decal

Birds and Tree Branch Wall Decals in Paula's kitchen (above) and Annette's bathroom. 

Birds and Tree Branch Bathroom Wall Decals

Classic Oak Family Tree Wall Sticker in Jenna's living room.

Family Tree Wall Sticker

Decorating with Elephants 0


Colorful ElephantThe elephant is widely considered a symbol of good luck and good fortune. If you look all the way back to ancient times, elephants take on an even more significant role in several cultures and religions. The white elephant is even said to be an incarnation of the gods in some cultures. Elephants can also be a symbol of wisdom and strength. It’s no wonder we find elephants in so many forms of art, literature and home décor. Who wouldn’t want to surround themselves with good luck and wisdom? If you love this amazing animal as much as we do here at My Wonderful Walls, you can easily add some elephant décor to your home. We have several products to help you show off your love of the giant mammal. And if you want to bring your elephant obsession to more than just your walls, we have a few ideas below to help you add some fun elephants in any interior decorating scheme you choose. 

Start with the walls

We have several different elephant wall decal options to choose from as well as an amazing elephant in our Jungle Safari Wall Stencil Kit if you’re decorating a nursery or child’s room. Two of our newest elephant decals are the Colorful Elephant Wall Decal and Black and Grey Elephant. Both feature an intricate floral design and are available in 4 great sizes up to 39.5” w x 48.7”h for a big impact!

 

Black and Grey Elephant Decal

You can also add a fun DIY Elephant Key Hook to your wall with this easy to follow idea from Creative Soul Spectrum. Though cutting off the lower body of the elephant may not sit well with some, you’ll have a super cheery key rack when you’re done.

Elephant Key Holder

 

Create your own Elephant String Art with this tutorial from Erin Spain. You can easily add this to a nursery or use at a baby shower for some unique décor. And once you’ve got the elephant down, you can adapt this to any animal or design you want. 

DIY Elephant String Art

Make your elephants rock

If you’re good with a paint brush and have some time, check out this video on painting a beautiful elephant on a rock. The video was intended for those wanting to make money with their rock painting, but you can just follow along and create your own for fun. 

 

An elephant to cuddle


Sock ElephantsPrefer something a little softer than a painted rock? How about a sock elephant you can sew yourself with these instructions and free pattern from Craft Passion? These are great for kids and in nurseries but let’s face it, sometimes even us grown-ups want something cute to cuddle. 

But if you can’t or won’t sew, here’s an easy No Sew Elephant Pillow you can make with the kids. You’ll be able to print PDFs to trace the elephant on to your fabric so there's very little artistic skill required.

An outdoor elephant

Want to add an elephant to your yard or garden? Try making a Clay Pot Elephant (scroll down). There’s even ideas for other jungle animals you can create and have a full safari in your back yard! 

Clay pot elephant

Party elephant

Throwing an elephant themed baby shower or gifting a basket to a friend who’s expecting and loves elephants? Create these super cute elephants from baby washcloths and you’re sure to get a big thank you. 

Baby Washcloth Elephants

 

 If that’s still not enough elephants for you, check out our throw pillows and blankets with elephant designs and add a few extra touches to any elephant themed room! However you choose to incorporate elephants into your decor, they are sure to add the promise of good fortune and wisdom.