Easy Stenciled Curtains

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With over 20 moves in our rearview mirror, you can imagine how many windows I’ve had to cover in curtains.  I don’t even want to try to do the math to estimate the number.  Trust me.  It has been lots!  With each new move, one of my challenges is to find stylish curtains that won’t break the bank, especially since we never know how long we’ll be in the new home.  I prefer simple, light, bright and machine washable curtains. They’re much more difficult to find than you’d think.  After seeing gorgeous stenciled curtains all over Pinterest, I knew I wanted to try making my own (has to be easy) stenciled curtains for the craft room in my new house. 


In my search for the perfect curtain solution for us, I found Cutting Edge Stencils and their amazing selection of stencils.  There were so many different stencil patterns that I fell in low with that I had a tough time choosing just one stencil.  I’m not usually indecisive, but there were just too many stencils that made it onto my consideration list.  I finally decided on the polka dot stencil because I thought it would be an easy pattern for my first fabric stenciling project.  Plus, polka dots are just so stinkin’ cute.

When the stencil arrives, you need to immediately remove it from the box to allow it time to unroll so that it will lay flat.  As I unrolled the stencil, I immediately noticed two things.

1.  The stencil is Made In the USA. Yes!

2.  The products had a smiley face sticker on each product package. How fun is that?! Such a simple step that made my day and made me smile.

I looked everywhere for simple cotton curtains that would fit my windows.  After hours and hours of scouring stores and the internet, I ended up using curtains we already had from our last house.  The curtains were already washed, so I simply ironed them well and used painter’s tape to place the stencil on curtain. 

white curtain laid out on floor with plate of blue paint and paint roller, small bottle of craft paint and stencil with 2 circles painted blue and red arrow overlays pointing to small pieces of blue tape

I knew I wanted blue and green polka dots to go with my craft room. I also knew that I wanted an asymmetrical symmetrical pattern. I layout the stencil so that I’d have even rows of polka dots, but planned to have the green dots be randomly sprinkled throughout the rows.  I used small pieces of tape to mark off the polka dots that would be green.

I bought fabric paint from the craft store because I wanted to make sure that the curtains could be washed (often).  You’ll need double the amount of fabric paint that you think because the fabric really soaks up the paint.  I tried both applying the paint with a roller and pouncing it with the brush.  I like the way the roller applies the paint the best.  It applies the paint more evenly and it goes on much more quickly.

hand holding stencil paint brush painting green polka dot with blue painted polka dots showing

I found the Cutting Edge Stencils stencil to be well made (could it be because it’s made in the USA?). The stencil is heavy so it stays in place well, but flexible enough to be easy to move.  The Stencil Essentials Kit contains a roller, a stencil brush and a mini level.  I recommend purchasing the kit with your stencil since all of the products are well made and items you’ll need for your stenciling project.  The level will be key for when I use the stencil to paint a pattern on the wall (some day when we stop moving). 

overhead view of white curtain laid out flat with green and blue stenciled polka dots and some unpainted polka dots with pieces of blue tape and red arrow overlay pointing to one blue polka dot

It’s easy to move and reposition the stencil for the next section of the curtain. You simply line the next row on the stencil up based on the end of the already painted row and tape your stencil down in the new location.  Don’t forget to tape off your green polka dot spaces so you remember to not paint those blue.

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I was worried that the paint was bleeding under the stencil until I pulled it up each time.  It’s so rewarding to pull back that stencil and see the lovely pattern you’ve created.

3 blue polka dots on white fabric with red arrow overlay pointing to smudge of blue paint

I did learn that it was easy to accidentally paint off the edge of the stencil with the roller.

edge of polka dot stencil taped down with blue tape and red overlay arrows pointing to blue tape

So be sure to tape well next to the polka dots that are closest to the edge of your stencil. And be careful when rolling the paint on those dots.

Remember I said that I’d used curtains that we already had?  I know exactly what I want.  I want a simple white cotton curtain to stencil on.  But because our windows are 95″ tall, I’m having a really tough time finding a simple white cotton curtain. The curtains that I already had on-hand are too short for my tall windows.  That means I’m still hunting for simple, white cotton curtains long enough for my windows.  I’m not going to give up looking since I now know how much I love the polka dot stenciled look on my curtains.  Keep an eye out because as soon as I find long enough curtains (or make them myself, doggone it!)  I’ll be turning these curtains into a slip cover for a large floor pillow I already have. You know I can’t help myself with my twice repurposed projects.

White curtains with blue and green polka dots with white bookshelf to the left of window

This was truly an easy stenciled curtains project.  I love that I can totally tailor it to my personal taste and color choices.  I now know exactly where to find stencils with bunches of patterns that I’m in love with.  I know I will be making many more one-of-a-kind designer curtains just as soon as I can find curtains I like. 

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  1. I love your curtains! I think the polka dots are so fun and the colors you chose are great. I popped over to the site your referred to and I fell in love with all of the stencils.

  2. Pingback: CraftCrave | DigiFree | CraftCrave
  3. How cute – this would be perfect for those rooms that you just can’t find anything to match!! Love it!

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