Stencil Me In
- Beginners will learn how to apply the stencils to diverse surfaces, working with materials ranging from paint and ink to spray, etching cream, and even bleach. See how to combine colors, do overlays, create masks, and produce personalized, handmade stencils.
Have students read about and discuss the rich history of stenciling. Ask them to think about how they could use this skill in their own lives. If the pillows are made around a gift giving holiday, the pillows could be used for that purpose if desired.
Teacher prepares muslin by cutting it, then folding it in half and ironing it so that one side does not have to be sewn. Any size can be used, but the example piece is 12" by 18" (30.5 x 46 cm) unfolded and 9" by 12" (23 x 30.5 cm) folded. Student creates two stencils using cardstock; place cardstock between folded muslin to keep the halves from sticking together; using a stencil brush and one color of Acrylic Paint, stencil the first pattern on the muslin, a good way to do it without measuring is to put one in each corner (this is for a two shape pattern), and one in the center, be sure not to get too close to the edges because they need to be sewn together; after student finishes the first color and shape, fill in the blank spaces with the second color and shape, although the other shapes are still wet, as long as the paint is not applied too thickly it does not smear, therefore this can be done in one 45 min. class period.
After the paint dries, students can sew two sides together (remember, one side is folded) with a blanket or running stitch. Pillow should be folded inside out at this point. After sewing two sides, turn the pillow right side out and stuff it. Sew the end shut. To speed things up, the teacher can sew two sides with a sewing machine (or enlist some parents to help).
To create the tassels, wrap yarn five times around a 3" (7.6 cm) piece of cardboard; tie a 4" (4 cm) piece of yarn around the top edge of the coiled yarn (to hold the loops together, the extra yarn on the 4" (4 cm) piece will be used to secure the tassel to the corner of the pillow); pull the yarn off of the cardboard; tie another piece of yarn just under where you tied the first piece to create the "ball" at the top of the tassel; cut the loops at the bottom of the tassel apart to create the fringe. Thread the extra yarn at the top of the tassel (the 4" piece that secured the loops) through a large eyed needle (a strip of strong, thin paper folded around the yarn is helpful as a needle threader); pull the needle and yarn through the corner of the pillow; take off needle, then tie the yarn together to secure the tassel; repeat for each corner.
Stencil shapes are clearly printed with no smearing; edges are neatly sewn; tassels are even and well crafted/tightly held together and attached.