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Easy decorating: Renew your cushions with stencils in 5 steps

Are you bored of always seeing the same ones on the sofa or bed? Try stenciling; it's cheap and won't take much time.

The stencil technique is one of the most appreciated in the DIY world, as it does not require any special skills and guarantees fantastic results. It consists of stamping a drawing using a stencil and is widely used in street art, known in this field by its English voice stencil and popularized by the ingenious artist Banksy. So get your creative juices flowing and note these tips to revamp your fleet of outdated cushions by decorating them with stencils and textile paint. Updating cushion covers around the house is a very inexpensive way to refresh the look of your décor without a lot of effort. Small gestures such as repositioning the sofa and adding a different color cover and custom pillows will bring a dull living room new life.

We propose to give cushions a 180-degree turn by painting them with stencils, a technique practiced by the Romans and popularized by Pop artists in the fifties and sixties. It is currently one of the most common practices in street art. It consists of decorating surfaces through a stencil that presents a cut-out design; by placing it on a surface -either a wall or a textile- and applying paint to it, the drawing is stamped. First of all, choose the design. It is unnecessary to know how to draw to make a suitable stencil because you always have the option of buying one already made. There are many stores where they sell them, even online as the Valencian Todo Stencil.

If you can't think of a specific design, try taking inspiration from nature: flowers, leaves, fruits, butterflies, birds, dragonflies, fish, or seashells. Moreover, look for different themes for each room: the sea for the living room if you want to give it a Mediterranean touch, flowers for a romantic style room, balloons, stars, and polka dots in the children's room. The next step is to buy textile paint. Make sure that the color you will use is unique for this material and that it does not wash off. Before stenciling, it is advisable to wash the cushion covers without fabric softener, let them dry and iron them. This will help the paint to adhere better. Also, when choosing which cushions to decorate, keep in mind that the fabric that best absorbs color is 100% cotton. If you intend to paint on silk or other satin material, consult the store for the type of paint that suits you best.

Fix the stencil on the cushion cover making sure that it well adheres; this is very important because its surface is not entirely smooth. A trick that never fails is to use some stencil adhesive spray that guarantees better results. If the paint you will use is liquid, which usually is, place cardboard or plastic inside the cushion cover to protect it so that it does not transfer to the other side of the body.

Once you have the stencil well placed, you must apply the textile paint with a special stencil brush, which you can buy in any specialized craft store or paint store. It is about filling the free hole of the stencil; it has no more mystery. When finished, remove the stencil and follow the drying instructions of the paint manufacturer, and you have new cushions!

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