7.02.2012

DIY Moroccan-Style Wall Stencil Tutorial

**UPDATE!  If you have any trouble making your walls snazzy, visit my FAQ post on this tutorial.  I got lots of questions, so there're all here for you should you need some help.**

I jazzed up my wall with a DIY Moroccan-style pattern. And, the best part about this project?... it was completely free.  One Pampers box and some leftover paint later and I really like my wall :)

Here's what you do.
1. Find a Moroccan-ish shape you like online and print it out whatever size you want (Google images is a good place to go).  The larger you go... the less work it is.  I had to tile mine onto 4 sheets of paper, then tape them together.  Don't worry about the design being all blurry if it is, you can fix that in a minute.  Once it's all taped, fold the paper in quarters and cut out your shape.  When you unfold it, you will have a symmetrical pattern even if it started off blurry.  Here is the shape I used if you want to do the same.
Originally I was going to add that center shape as well until I started tracing, and realized I was insane.

2. Trace your shape onto cardboard and cut it out.  This is where my Pampers box (and assistant) came into play.

3. Step 3 is an important one, and I think the reason I had no wonky pattern happening.  I taped a level to my stencil.  This way, I traced it onto the wall perfectly straight every time.  Worked out awesome.

4.  Pick a spot on your wall to start tracing lightly with a pencil.  I eyeballed where my stencil would end up on each end of the wall and made sure I started in a place that would have me end in a half pattern on each side.  Did that make sense?  It really doesn't matter.  I just preferred no tiny slivers on the sides.
(In these pictures I already went over some of my pencil lines with the paint)

5. Once you traced everything with a pencil, (took me a few nights while they snoozed) grab a small brush and go over the lines with paint.  That's it!
My lines are not perfect but no one is going to look that closely. :)

I'm sad to say that just a few weeks after I finished my wall... we sold our house and moved!  (Which explains the lack of posts in a while... and the crappy iPhone picture of the "after")  Oh well.  It was good practice and I will definitely be doing this again in our next house. I love how it turned out.

If you're in to easy and inexpensive DIYs, here's a few more I've done around my house.
  

124 comments :

  1. I love that idea. I'm definitely going to try this on one of my walls.

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    1. Do it! Wasn't hard at all. I did a little each night. I think it took me a total of 5 days... an hour and a half maybe each night. :)

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  2. Your wall turned out great... your way more patient than I am!

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    1. I find painting therapeutic! haha Thanks!

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    2. Me too! This is exactly what I've been looking for! It's perfect. I went to Home Depot the other day to pick out wall paper in this same design to do my accent wall in and it was going to cost over $300 to do it! I'm so glad I found this because I'll be starting on it tonight!!! Thanks!

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  3. That's really pretty. I think I may try this with my bedroom wall

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  4. This looks awesome!!! What a great idea to tape the level to your stencil... I would totally worry about the pattern turning out crooked, but that solved that problem!

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    1. Thanks! I wasn't sure it was going to work, but it did! Yeay. I think I'm going to do this on some curtains next.

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  5. This is great, I'm sure this had to do with why you sold your house in the first place. I want to try it. I'll be looking for an appropriate shape for my house. Just wonderful.

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    1. Thanks! I've found some damasks that I love but they are all really intricate. Haven't figured out how to DIY that kind of pattern yet. haha

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    2. there's a website that sells the stencil for damask, and it turns out amazing! you can even buy the level that just slides onto the stencil!

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    3. This is so gorgeous! I just am weery that I won't get it perfect...I'm wondering... Courtney what website are you talking about??

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    4. http://www.cuttingedgestencils.com/stencil-level.html Found this not sure if its the one Courtney was referring to but looks like what she described! :)

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    5. Thanks for finding that Stephanie! I need one of those!

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  6. ahhh! so pretty!!! thank you so much for sharing! all of our walls are totally plastered up with texture, but i have a huge canvas i want to try this technique on! :)

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    1. Thanks! Good idea with the canvas. We just moved into a rental temporarily and that's a great idea since I can't get funky with other people's walls! haha.

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  7. I am SO doing this to my wall! Thanks for the great tutorial, Sarah!

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    1. Welcome! Do it! It changed the whole look of that little room. :)

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  8. Looks great! what size brush did you use?

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    1. I believe it was a 1/4" craft brush. (probably from my kid's art supplies) haha

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  9. Thanks so much for this idea and the shape! I think I will try it on canvas first, as I hope to move soon too. Looking forward to seeing your new house :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm going to try it on canvas next too. :)

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  10. Love how big you made them, and you can't beat the price ;)

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    1. Thanks! Free projects are always my favorite :)

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  11. I want to try that, but might go small scale in my pantry first -- I have shaky hands! Oh, and taping the level to the stencil? BRILLIANT!

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    1. Small scale would be great for a pantry. Plus, you'll be able to print the pattern on one standard letter size sheet of paper... no piecing your template together. :) Easier. Don't worry about the shaky hands. No one should be inspecting your lines up close (tell them they are weird if they do). The cool part is when you stand back and see it all together. Go for it!

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  12. This is exactly my plan for my bedroom wall! I wasn't quite sure how to do it until I found your post on Pinterest. One question: how did you keep the lines uniform in size???

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    1. Hi! I used a small flat craft brush with short bristles. This way, even if you push a little harder or softer, the line stays pretty much the same width. If you can't find one with short bristles, cut a regular one down. Here's a link to ones that look similar to the one I used...
      http://www.amazon.com/Dynasty-Series-Synthetic-Brushes-Acrylic/dp/B000YBRHOM
      The 2nd smallest one looks about right. And my lines are not perfect but when you back up and take the whole thing in, you can't tell :) Hope that helps!

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  13. I love this idea! and then I saw this too:
    http://cdn.indulgy.com/0/u/n7/18014467229975850Pq32mSTWc.jpg
    where you get 2 paints in the same color, but one flat and one glossy, using the glossy to paint your stencil. And I can't really tell in the pictures, but were your walls textured?

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    1. Ahh, sorry! Just realized I hadn't responded. I really like the gloss/matte effect too! My walls were slightly textured. Just the regular old "orange peel" that the builders use. Thanks!

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  14. i wonder if you could do this with a metallic paint marker and just trace around your stencil? love the look.

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    1. Ohhhh... good idea! There were some areas my stencil didn't line up perfectly and I just kind of fudged it a bit with my paint. Might be harder to "fudge" with the precise line of a marker. But that sure would save a lot of time! I'm going to try that on some furniture... or curtains. Good idea! Thanks!

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  15. Hey there! Just wanted to let you know we featured you in our Favorite Find Fridays post over at Whimsically Homemade. We used one of your pictures and linked back to you. If that's a problem let us know and we'll remove it immediately. Thanks for your great inspiration!

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  16. The wall looks great. It immediately reminded me of jonesdesigncompany.com 's painted wall paper but, it's a little more simple and doesn't look quite as complicated. Easier for first time painters! : ) I like how you improved upon the process with taping a level to the cardboard so the pattern didn't get "wonky", like both you and Jone's Diary alluded to. Nice work!

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  17. i saw something like this, but instead of white paint they used gloss over matte paint so that it was more tone on tone... this is great. i want to do my bedroom. maybe one shade lighter or darker from what i decide on painting my room. THANKS!

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  18. Found this via Pinterest, and I'm soo glad I did! Love how your wall turned out and what a fabulous, yet simple tip with the level!! I'm your newest GFC follower :)

    - Fotini {http://glamorousbride.blogspot.com}

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  19. I can't believe the difference--it looks great. I'm going to do this on a wall in my basement studio.

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  20. I love this too! I want to try it. How did you print the stencil evenly on 4 papers to get it bigger?

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    1. From Adobe Acrobat there is an option to "tile large pages" when you go to print. I usually have it set to "shrink large pages" or something like that... just tell it to tile. Remember your printer will leave margins on the sides of each sheet of paper (since it can't print all the way to the edge) so keep that in mind when taping it back together.

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  21. What kind of paint did you use or do you recommend? :) I love this!

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    1. Hi. I just used leftover paint in my garage. It was just wall paint from Lowes. Nothing special or fancy. Even craft paint will work!

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  22. Looks fantastic. Better than when I tried to do it.

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  23. This is such a great idea! What did you do when you got to the edges though? That seems like a tricky spot to me! Thanks a bunch for the tutorial!

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    1. I used the paper pattern (not the cardboard) on the edges. That way I could just fold it easily right into the corner.

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  24. Very fun and creative idea. I don't honestly think I've ever seen a free DIY project I liked better!

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  25. I'm going to use this in a big canvas and make it into a headboard. great idea

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  26. I was wondering after you traced the pattern with pencil how did you paint the white lines, did you do it on the inside or outside of the pencil line or did you just paid the 1/4 inch right over the pencil line so it was in the middle of the white line? Also did the pencil show through the white at all?

    Thanks again for the stencil and guide I LOVE this idea and can't wait to try it out!

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    1. Hi! I just painted right over the middle of the line. And it's not perfect at all. If you look really close in spots you can see the pencil line but in most places it was light enough that it didn't show through. Try it! :)

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  27. Awesome! I'm doing a bohemian style bedroom (http://www.mynewduds.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-bohemian-bedroom-walls-and-tables.html) and this would look so cool done with shiny gold or silver paint! Thanks for the awesome tutorial!!

    Tania

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  28. This turned out really well!! I am looking for a project for my wall and I think this is a great one to fill up my boring wall space. if i may ask what is the color of your wall? looks almost similar to mine - which is light boring beige.

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    1. The background color was called "Bonjour Beige" by Glidden, purchased at Home Depot. The light beige on top, I think, is the same color with some leftover white mixed in! What can I say, I'm thrifty. :)

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    2. My parents entire house was bonjour beige at one point. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I loved that color. I think It's my favorite to date.

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    3. I think 80% of the main living areas in this house were Bonjour Beige and when we went to sell the house, we had 3 offers in less than 24 hours on the market. I'd say it's a great color! :) Seemed to appeal to a lot of people anyway.

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  29. Really nice and honest advice! I love it, Absolutely Brilliant!
    London Plastering

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  30. Hi! The thickness of your lines look absolutely perfect! DId you use a certain brush to achieve it?

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    1. I used a small crappy craft brush. I think it was one of my kids'. The trick is to choose one with really short bristles. That way, no matter how hard or light you push, the line stays about the same width. If you don't have one with short bristles, cut the bristles down to about 1/4". That should work. :)

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    2. Aw! You replied!!! THANK YOU!!!!! I'm definitely going to try this!!!!!!!! I also have several boxes of pampers laying around! hahaha!!! Love your blog!!!!

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  31. Your wall looks amazing! I came across this on Pinterest and want to try it when I paint the nursery (first baby, yay!). Would you recommend sticking with a relatively low-contrast and the painted lines being lighter or do you think there is some room for flexibility there... I'm doing bamboo green walls with chocolate accents in the room.

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    1. Hi Linda. When I first did this I would have said stay low contrast so it's not too busy. But a reader just sent me a pic of a wall she did in her house... navy blue walls and white lines (I think) and it looks soooo good! I never would have thought to do high contrast but it's striking. I'm going to do an update post soon on all the people who have done walls of their own. Then you'll be able to see a variety. :)

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  32. We just bought a house, and I pace the floors every night staring at white walls. I knew I wanted to do stencil but did not know how to go about doing it. This is an awesome tutorial, I am doing this in my bedroom with violet and silver!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

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    1. Thanks! It's cheap too... let me know how it goes :)

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  33. I can't wait to try this in my kitchen nook! Thanks!

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  34. I used this to stencil a horrible looking rug (they were on sale at home depot) and it saved the room. Thanks!

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    1. Yay! Welcome. I want to do a rug too. Our living room area rug is on it's last legs so when we finally toss it... I'm going to stencil :)

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  35. WOW, You are awesome !!! I will try it on some of my walls, very soon. Cheers !!!

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  36. Thank you so much for posting this!!! How tall was your stencil H&W???

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    1. Welcome! Actual shape was 18" wide x 20" tall. Hope that helps.

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  37. hiii
    i love it!
    great idea!
    have a nice day!
    kiss

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  38. Just used your tutorial in my room! Thanks so much!

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    1. Great! Send me some pictures so I can show everybody! :)

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  39. I want to do something like this in my new baby's room, thank you for the tutorial! Just pinned it :)

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  40. I love this idea! Where can i find a level this size?
    Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Hi Martie. Glad you like it. That little level came with a small starter toolkit my parents bought me when I got my first house. But, I found a similar one at Walmart. I think they're pretty common. Here's the link http://www.walmart.com/ip/Swanson-TL011-9-Inch-Speedlite-Torpedo-Level/22980089
      Hope that helps!

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  41. I love this idea! Where can i find a level this size?
    Thank you for sharing!

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  42. I have the perfect wall for this! So doing this project soon!

    Princess Splendor
    www.princesssplendor.com

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    1. Cool! I hope you post about it! I wanna see :)

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  43. Hi! I found your tutorial extremely helpful and used the stencil you have for my Memorial Day DIY project... About to blog about it and I'm going to link your page to it! Thanks so much!!

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  45. I did this on a guest room wall and it turned out fabulous! If I can do it, anyone can- believe me! I did a light grey on the walls, and then I mixed a 1:1 of they grey with white to do the stencil work. I wanted a subtle effect (plus I figured if I inevitably messed up it wouldn't be so obvious!). I love it, it's now my favorite room in the house. Funny though, everyone who sees it thinks it's wallpaper! I wish I could post a pic for you, that's how proud I am of it. Great idea, thank you so much!

    PS- I couldn't cut the cardboard no matter how many times I tried, so I used heavy cardstock instead. It worked like a charm!

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    1. Yay!!!! Great ideas with the card stock. I'm totally doing that next time. Cutting the cardboard was the hardest part. haha So glad it turned out well for you!

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  46. Just love it. and When you asked if what you said was understandable, I said YES!!! aloud because that was precisely the info I was looking for. Ha! Thanks for posting!!

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    1. You're welcome! I'm glad somebody gets me. hahaha

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  47. Thank you, thank you! I did this in my master bedroom in two shades of Tuscan green. It turned out beautifully and everyone thinks its wallpaper. They also say how hard it must have been...with your instructions, it was so easy!

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    1. Thanks Jen! So glad you tried it! I keep telling people it's easy and it does not have to be perfect to look great. Thanks for letting me know!

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  48. Wow this looks awesome & so beautiful. I would try this in my new home :)

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  49. This is just awesome, it looks amazing!!! I had been looking for this pin for weeks, I saw it and I pin it in the past to one of my boards but couldn't remember where I put it. So today I am one happy girl, I'm going to get started!
    Thank you so much for sharing, YOU ROCK!!!

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    1. Thanks Laura! No problem! I knew there had to be a way to get the look of expensive wall paper for cheap (or free). Ta-daa! Let me know how it goes :)

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  50. Hi! It'great:) I would like you question: What color did you paint your pattern models?
    My badroom here (Please, see you): https://plus.google.com/photos/108833289011112138361/albums/5897514450966164289?banner=pwa
    What think you?
    Thank you: Alíz

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  51. Replies
    1. Ohhh, I like being called "epic". Okay, well the design is epic, but I'm still taking credit. haha Thanks!

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  52. I did this, thank you so much! I always get compliments on it. I have to say, at first I was intimated by this-I mean, I put it off time and time again because it just looks so daunting. When I got down to it, it only took two hours, MAYBE three (without dry time). I love it so much. Thanks!

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    1. Yay! I know, when I first did it at my house and posted to my facebook page people thought I was crazy. I was like... really, it didn't take that long! :) Glad you went for it! And 3 hours is way less time that it would take to wallpaper, right?! :) Thanks!

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  53. Fantastic idea!!
    I have a little question, you draw a single line with the pencil and then paint it thicker, or you draw it separating the stencil from the previous drawing.
    (I don't know if I've explained well)

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    1. Hi Raquel. I just drew a single line with my pencil and lined my next one right up against the line before. No space in between. Then I painted a slightly thicker line right over top of the pencil line. Hope that helps!

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  54. I know this post was a while ago but just found you thanks for the tutorial I am going to give this a try. Your newest follower. ~ Lisa

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  55. I pinned this forever ago and kept thinking about it. Today I did this in my living room and LOVE IT! Thank you so much!

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  56. Your wall turned really great. It looks perfectly different from what it was before. Really good job there.


    Canvas Prints

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  57. how did you tackle the end of the walls? if it only needed 1/2 of the stencil, did you just bend the stencil to accomodate?

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  58. Oh my god you're a genius!! I'm so doing this in my bedroom! And cheap!! Love it, thank you so much for sharing!

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  59. Your wall looks incredible! Genius idea with the level. Thanks for the great tutorial!
    Found you via pinterest.

    Val @ artsybuildinglady.blogspot.ca

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    1. Thanks Val! Sorry about the delay in response. Love the name of your blog! :)

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  60. hi sarah, greetings from Malaysia... my sister and i really love your wall and we keep coming back and forth to your blog to read the tutorial again and again.. today we finally have the courage to make this idea on our wall and it turned out great although its only 60% in progress. its kinda hard at first as we're not that great in art dept.. anyhow, i just wanted to thank you for the great idea...

    here's the link to my wall
    http://instagram.com/p/kUjnpZmasu/

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    1. Awesome! I'm glad you tried it. The link won't work for me but I'd love to see it! Thank you!!!

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    2. hi.. i don't know why the link wont work on you, but anyhow thanks for replying my comment. I'm gonna make your chevron and stencil curtain ideas for my next project..do keep the good ideas coming Sarah!! ;)

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  61. Bravo to you for both a wonderfully clever technique and a fabulous job. It is absolutely lovely!

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  62. It looks so nice. I also like the colours. Too bad I'm the worst painter in the world lol.

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    1. Thanks! Give it a shot... All it takes is a bunch of tracing over and over again. You can do it! And if it looks bad, it's only paint. Just paint over it. :)

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  63. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I worked on a wall in my bedroom using your template, and it came out beautifully ! I was so proud of it that I posted a photo of it on my Facebook timeline for all to see.
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/10419988_10204587794322985_1402214406372392633_n.jpg?oh=49f585c7452590331977d62ec72c4736&oe=546F154D&__gda__=1416555168_ee17dd14d4fa4c814b58a2bfb61e0f0e

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    1. Awesome job! That looks so good and I love your colors (your lamp too!) Thanks for letting me know. Would it be okay if I shared your photo on the While They Snooze Facebook wall? Let me know!

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  64. Thanks. Yes, absolutely you can post the picture as well.

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