How to Stencil Curtains

Learn how to make your own drapes! Finding curtains you love can be such a challenge. Make your own by learning how to make DIY stenciled curtains!

Hey y’all! Well I’ve got a project here for you that I’ve been working on slowly for almost a month.

Moroccan Stenciled Curtains

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I’ve been looking for the perfect curtains for my living room for a while now. And while I’ve found a few fabrics I like, my ceilings are 12 feet high, so it’s expensive to buy fabric for four 12-foot panels. Yikes!

I knew I wanted curtains with a pattern, so I decided to buy plain curtains and stencil them myself!

I used the shorter IKEA Lenda curtains in my master bedroom, and knew I loved them. And so, I bought the bleached-colored Lenda curtains in the 118″ length. At $29.99 for two panels, you can’t beat that!

IKEA Lenda Curtains

And then I went in search of my stencil. I’ve been eyeing the Moroccan trellis stencils for months. I have plans to use the stencil on a wall in the future, so I bought something I could use on my curtains and on my wall.

I finally settled on the Marrakech Trellis Allover Stencil. These Moroccan trellis stencils are so on trend right now, and I just love them!

A Simple Summer Mantel -->> wood frame, white mantel, plaid navy pillows, jute bamboo blinds

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What You Will Need to Stencil Curtains:

DIY Stenciled Curtains: How To

OK, now to the actually stenciling.

1. Select the Paint

First, let’s talk about paint. I used craft acrylic paint mixed with Martha Stewart’s fabric medium. I was naive and didn’t realize how much paint I would need. You need a LOT of paint because the fabric will absorb some.

I mixed several paint colors together, along with the fabric medium, to get the perfect shade of medium gray/beige. If you mix paint colors to get the right one, be sure to write down the formula! I ran out right before I finished the first panel. So glad I had the formula!

Craft paint for stenciling curtains

Here’s the formula I used:
2 oz. gray
1 oz. silver
1/2 oz. burnt umber
3 oz. fabric medium

And that only covered almost a whole panel, so in the end I’d say I needed 8 oz. of paint for one panel. I had to go back to the store and get more paint.

Greige paint for DIY custom drapes

The color I was going for was a greige, and I love it! It looks like a gray in liquid form, but once it dried on the curtain, it looked more brown. So, it’s exactly what I was trying to create. Yay!

2. Prepare the Painting Space for Stenciled Curtains

You’ll need a large space for your stenciling. I cleared a space in my living room, so that I could stencil after Miss A goes to bed. (And it’ll be dry by the time she wakes up in the morning.)

You’ll need something to cover your work space … unless you want paint on your floors. I used a queen bed sheet, and it worked pretty well. No paint got on the floors.

The sheet did move around some, which makes it hard to keep the curtain straight and even. So a canvas drop cloth would probably work even better!

DIY Stenciled curtains tutorial

3. Stencil the Curtains one section at a time

Lay the stencil squarely over a section of the curtain. I started at the top to make sure it was even across the width of the curtain. Use the foam stencil daubers to get a littler paint and dab it over the stencil. It’s important to use an up and down motion, not side to side.

Once the paint is dry, lift the stencil off and line it up on the next section.

Repeat until the whole panel is covered in the stencil pattern.

One of the biggest challenges was stenciling the curtain in a straight line. The Lenda curtains have several seams running down them, so it helps a lot in trying to keep everything straight.

It only took me a about an hour to paint it. I highly recommend finding something soft to put under your knees. My knees hurt the next day from crawling around on the hardwood floors.

DIY Stenciled curtains tutorial

I love the way this one turned out and can’t wait to complete this project and see them all hanging in my living room.

I only have one panel finished so far, but I finally got to the store today to buy more paint. So now I can paint the rest of the curtains. I plan to reveal them all when I reveal my Christmas mantel! You get a little peek here, but there’s more to come.

(Update: Check out all of the stenciled curtains in my Living Room Reveal!)

Have you ever stenciled anything? If not, what would you stencil?

Summer mantel with stenciled curtains
Summer Mantel

Update in 2022: We’ve since moved out of this home, but over the years these stenciled curtains were one of the most popular items in my home. I got questions about them constantly, and it’s still one of my favorite DIY’s to date!

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  1. These look great. I started stenciling some curtains using the same paint and fabric medium. I kept ending up smudging my paint when I moved the stencil. Tricky business. But these look so good I think I need to revisit this plan.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Creative Ramblings

    1. Hey Sarah! It is super tricky to make sure you don’t smudge the paint. And my curtains aren’t perfect by any means. I was VERY super careful when I moved the stencil, though. I tried to make sure I was setting it in the right place, and didn’t move it around once it was on the fabric. And every so often, I would wipe the bottom of the stencil to make sure there wasn’t any paint on the under side. Definitely give it another try! And I’d love to see the final product!

  2. Your curtains turned out so beautiful! I’m stopping by from Give Me The Goods Monday.
    I would love it if you’d link this post (and any other craft, DIY, recipe posts) to my blog hop. I’d love to see you there!

  3. wow great idea, you are truly very talented…loved your website keep up the good work..I plan to stencil one of my old curtain too thanks for the great idea 🙂

  4. I saw your curtains in your living room reveal. You did a great job and your room looks fabulous!

    1. I didn’t wait long, but tried to be careful. If I noticed the paint was getting under the stencil I wiped it off. And I did end up with some smudges. But I was too impatient to wait. 🙂

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