Music Room Walls Progress – Stenciled Trellis Design

Well, I didn’t get my music room walls finished as I had hoped, and that’s mainly because I spent a good deal of time this weekend just standing around staring at my walls wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into and how I was going to pull this one off.

By now you know that the stenciled trellis design won out over the zebra design (which may make an appearance in my studio in two very subtle shades of lavender). It wasn’t even a close contest. Out of the 700-ish votes, I’d guess that trellis got at least 80% of those votes. It really didn’t even matter to me. I liked both designs equally, and would have been satisfied with either one, but I was a bit shocked to see that it wasn’t closer than it was.

Anyway, I used this large 16″ x 17″ stencil that I got here (but it’s discontinued)…

stenciled trellis design in Behr Polar Bear and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on music room walls - 3

…and started on the large open area on the kitchen side of the dining room. It went really well, and was much easier than I had anticipated. I started at the kitchen doorway and worked my way towards the entryway.

stenciled trellis design in Behr Polar Bear and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on music room walls - 10

This was actually my first time to use anything larger than a small craft stencil, and I’ve never stenciled a wall before, so this was all new to me. I just taped the stencil to the wall with painters tape and used a 6-inch “smooth surface” roller to roll on the paint color. My walls were painted Behr Polar Bear and then I did the stencil in Benjamin Moore Classic Gray. After rolling the paint on, I’d remove the stencil, use my hair dryer to dry the paint along the edges (where the stencil would overlay the design I just painted), and then repeat the process.

After completing each row, I put the stencil in my kitchen sink and washed it off with the scrubby side of a sponge to remove the paint buildup.

stenciled trellis design in Behr Polar Bear and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on music room walls - 4

Then I dried it off and started on the next row.

So doing those big open areas is quite easy, and it goes pretty quickly.

stenciled trellis design in Behr Polar Bear and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on music room walls - 2

But then I got stuck. I’m really conflicted on how to proceed from here. Somehow I need to get all of these areas around the edges, over the doorway, and then that little sliver of wall between the door trim and the bookcase…

stenciled trellis design in Behr Polar Bear and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on music room walls - 5

stenciled trellis design in Behr Polar Bear and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on music room walls - 6

And then going the other direction, there’s a whole lot of little tiny slivers of wall around doorways and such before I get to another large open space on the opposite wall.

I’ve watched videos on how to stencil corners, and they basically say just press the stencil into the corner as much as you can. Well, my stencil is very thick, so that method hasn’t been working well. I’m afraid if I press it too hard into the corner or around the edges up against the trim, I’ll end up crimping the plastic and then it’ll be worthless to me by the time I get around to the large open space on the opposite wall.

So my only other option is to start the opposite wall at the bookcase and work my way towards the entryway so that I can get all of the big open wall space finished, leaving only the edges and areas above and around door trim and bookcases. At that point, since the big stuff will be done, I can actually cut the stencil to fit into different areas as needed, then tape it back together and recut for the next area.

stenciled trellis design in Behr Polar Bear and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on music room walls - 9

I have no problem cutting the stencil, as there’s zero chance I’ll use this again now that I’ve used this pattern on my music room walls. But my one issue with that method is that I’ll end up with a corner where the patterns meet but don’t match up.

stenciled trellis design in Behr Polar Bear and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on music room walls - 7

I hate that, but I don’t know that there’s any other option. I’m trying to convince myself that probably no one else would even notice the mismatched pattern in such a small area (about 3.5 inches of height) so high on the wall, but I would notice it.

But like I said, I don’t know that there’s any other option. There’s no way that thick plastic stencil is going to bend enough for me to actually get it into that tiny space above the doorways without crimping and ruining the stencil.

So that’s my progress and my dilemma.

But overall, I’m really pleased with the design and the colors. I know many people said it would be too busy, but the colors are so subtle that from the front door, the pattern is barely noticeable.

stenciled trellis design in Behr Polar Bear and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on music room walls - 1

And I really like the way it looks with the grasscloth in the entryway…

stenciled trellis design in Behr Polar Bear and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on music room walls - 8

Of course, that credenza that’s sitting there didn’t make the cut. Neither did the console table sitting on the other side of the front door. I ordered a new piece from Pier 1 to sit in front of the grasscloth, so it should be here soon.

So I need to make peace with the mismatched design in the top left corner so that I can get these walls finished. Unless, of course, any of you have a brilliant solution for me to eliminate the need for a mismatched pattern.



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      1. Would tracing it onto a piece of paper then copying it and then cutting it out on a different thick paper or vellum work? Or even trace it onto mylar and cut it out from there…that’s pretty sturdy and pliable. (I’ve never stenciled anything, so this is just an idea that I’m throwing out there.)

    1. You could add more molding at the top to hide the mismatch, not a large piece just a narrow piece that would give the illusion of a wider crown molding.

    2. You can purchase flexible stencil material, however, cutting with an exacto would be a pain in the keister, but may solve the problem

  1. Use heavy paper to cut out the small sections you need for that awkward corner. I would normally suggest freezer paper, but the edges will curl too much. So I would use cardstock.

      1. I was going to suggest that also, trace the design on plastic like sheets they actually make to cut out your own stencils. It’s thin and should be able to flex enough to get the job done. They use to sell it at hobby lobby I believe.

          1. Look for quilter’s stencil plastic. It’s made or cutting your own stencils. I might try something more flexible like acetate sheets for the corners where you need it to be bendy.

            Good luck! It looks terrific so far!

            1. First, it looks fabulous! I agree with the others, create one or more copies of the stencil and cut them to fit the areas you need. If it bothers you now, it will continue to bother you and will be a trial to live with.

            2. I agree with everyone here, make some additional partial patterns to fill in those small spaces. Don’t destroy that stencil! Hold a contest among your readers, we all love it, a contest for it would be fun!

    1. If the patterns can’t match there, I wouldn’t take the pattern quite all the way to the corner in that very small section. Leave a very small “buffer zone” of background color without the pattern then continue with the stencil as planned just past the corner.

      1. This is what I was going to say. I see no reason to go up against the wall trim, if you can end the pattern nicely, like you started it at the kitchen door. It frames the pattern and it looks very finished to me. Then at the top just use what part of the stencil looks the like the best pattern, or leave it white [that would be me]You can buy stencil blanks anywhere they have crafts/art supplies, and you use a wood burning tool to cut them.
        I know you’ll get it right! I love how it looks, by the way.

        1. After going back and looking closer, I don’t think you need to do those ares. Just do your wall area with the edges left white and don’t worry about the tiny areas. It will look purposeful and elegant! IMHO!

    2. I have pretty much the same recommendation, except I was going to recommend going to the office supply store and getting a package of acetate-style page protectors. I’m trying to find an example link, but it seems the soft polypropylene ones are more common now. You could probably get acetate at an art supply store.

      Anyway, you could cut a small partial stencil with a sharpie and an exacto knife and then use the smaller stencils to do the nooks and crannies.

      I can’t find the sheet protectors, but they do make acetate sheets:×12-Inch-Sheets-Clear/dp/B004QJX1JI/

      These would bend for corners and stay bent if you’re careful about bending them around a straight-edge like a ruler.

      If memory serves me right, they make 8.5×11 versions of these for overhead projection projects that will go through a printer. So even if you had to design your own pattern or something (or scan, manipulate, then re-print), you could.

      Of course, cardboard would work too if you are only going to use it for one or two applications. After that, it’ll probably saturate and/or bleed.

      1. It looks so good!! I’m with Justin – those acetate sheets would be perfect. You could custom cut one for each of the spots you need to do the edges. I don’t think that one place where the edges won’t meet is an issue. You may notice it, but no one else will. You’ll have plenty of beautiful things for people to look at that will draw the eye.

      2. The craft stores also sell sheets of plastic (the same stuff the stencils are made from) that can be used to create partial stencils. They may also be a little thinner than the one you’re working with.

    3. I have used old X-rays to make stensils. It is much like the material that stensils are made from. Maybe your local hospital has some old x-rays that they can cut off patient information from before they give to you.

    4. They do make blank stencil sheets. I agree: get several, trace the part you need for the sliver of space left, and paint away.

      The mismatch in the corner is one that wallpaperers always have to deal with…that’s why you start and end in the least conspicuous corner and convince yourself not to notice it. No one else will.

      I love the subtle texture of this! It is so lovely and such a nice change and better fit with the new direction than the black walls.

  2. Have you thought of tracing a little of the stencil onto a manila folder or a lighter weight plastic that would bend easier? Just cut out the design with a box cutter.

  3. Two options for the tiny space – make a smaller stencil out of cardstock. Either use the stencil like you did before or just lightly trace it onto the wall and handpaint the tight sections.

  4. Do you have a Cricut or Silhouette machine? Not sure how they work, but I think you can copy and make another stencil out of the one you have so you can get into those smaller spaces. Or I’m sure you could use an exacto knife and just trace the stencil you have to make another stencil. You could actually repeat that process for each unique design you need. A lot of work, but whether you take it on or not directly correlates to how much that corner will bug you 🙂 Personally, I’d go with the plan you have in place and forget about the corner. Good luck!

      1. You could also use the inexpensive kitchen cutting mats, I think I got mine at Walmart, to cut out the different sections of the stencil that you need using a box cutter or Exacto knife and they would be sturdy enough and reusable for your purpose. Mine came in a pkg of 6 or 7 sheets and that would be plenty for your use. Here is the Walmart website with several choices. good luck

      2. They are pretty easy to use. You should be able to take a picture of the stencil and then trace it in silhouette studio and cut your own stencils. The picscan mat makes it even easier but is only 12×12. I’d use the silhouette and then cut out of stencil vinyl for the small areas because you could fold and curve it to fit the corners. Stencil vinyl is called oramask and it’s made by orafol. There are several stores you can buy it from. You’d just have to make sure you get the photo to the correct size before tracing it or cutting it so it will all match.

    1. I was going to suggest finding a friend with a Cameo. Since you have one, go to Walmart and buy solid colored contact paper and recreate the stencil. Then you can cut any part of the stencil you need. There is a lot of trial and error with the machine, but you are a smart cookie and will figure it out.

  5. Have you tried contacting the shop owner to see if you can get another stencil? If she cut them herself she might be willing to do it again. I have a shop and will make “discontinued” items if someone makes the request.

    You try eBay? If you could get a hold of a second stencil you could cut it up to continue working around the room.

    If you had a silhouette you could totally cut your own stencil. Maybe you know someone close by that could help you out?

  6. I think your idea to cut the stencil after finishing the large areas is the best way. Copying and recutting the stencil would be hard to get just exactly right.
    As for that little section that won’t match- it’s just like wallpaper. You have to start and stop somewhere, and I think that’s the least obvious spot. It’ll be out of your line of vision from either entrance to the room.
    I didn’t vote, but I would have voted for the trellis. I like the way it relates to the pattern on the doors.

  7. Get some thinner plastic or shrinky sheets and use them to duplicate the stencil. That way you don’t destroy the original and you can make the exact sizes you need for each space. Love what you have done so far!!

  8. I don’t see it as looking unfinished, except at the very to. It looks fine elsewhere. Personally, I wouldn’t want to destroy the stencil by trimming it since it’s discontinued. You can re-create the sections you need with an crafting knife and a piece of stencil medium from a craft store. Trace the areas you need and trim to size so you can make it fit snug in the areas your needing to touch up.

  9. Its so pretty, Have you thought about going in the opposite direction of your arrows? Keep going around the room from where you’ve ended and see what happens as far as the meeting up where you started? (Don’t know if I’m explaining this right, lol) either way, its so pretty!

  10. I think it would be fine if you could bring the design up to the edge of the trim and not bother with the top or the slivers at all. It will look intentional. Who will notice once you have art etc. in the room? You could make a partial stencil out of card stock to complete those two open wall areas.

    1. I agree. I like the way the stencil creates a scalloped edge at the top, which echoes the scallops in your ceiling light fixture. 🙂

  11. Suggestion for tiny space looking front door… paint it solid grey. Or freehand it all with some shapes created from tracing the curves from the stencil and use that. Or have the overlap happen in the center and free hand something to dress it up that way it’s symmetrical. Either way it looks good so far!

  12. They sell stencil material that you could trace your design on an cut to fit your needs. I think I would give that a try.

  13. You can get template plastic at Joanne’s Fabric (used by quilters and other sewists to cut out shapes for quilt blocks) in various sized sheets. Trace your stencil onto it and then cut out the parts you want with an exacto knife and straight edge. You can make whatever size stencils you want.

  14. I love the design and it goes well with the doors you custom made. Your idea of cutting the stencil after you’re done with the large areas should work well. I personally wouldn’t worry about the corner where the design may not be complete. It is not in a noticebale area and who knows, when you get to the end it may surprise you and match up well enough to not be noticeable at all. I’m confident you’ll figure it out! I always look forward to your posts!

  15. I see everyone else has already made the suggestion of making a custom stencil, which was my thought too. I personally don’t think I would stencil above the doors. Too much room for error for such a tiny space. But the small sliver of wall exiting the music room, yes, I would make another stencil that you can manipulate, or trace onto the wall and hand paint those small sections. A pain, but not as labor intensive as it could be!

  16. First of all, it’s looking wonderful! But I agree, it would bug me too if the walls didn’t match up where they came together. I would do as others here have suggested and make your own copies of the stencil. You can copy just the bits you need for each space onto a plastic page divider from the office supply store and use a craft knife to cut it out. Doable and worth it to do it right.

  17. I make temporary stencils out of cereal boxes. Just trace the current stencil, cut with razor and use whatever sections you’d want. Plus, the cereal boxes bend easier.

  18. I absolutely love how this is coming out. I would do as others have suggested and duplicate your stencil based on the areas you need it then you can make it match exactly. It will probably be tedious to make half a dozen extra stencils but i think it will get you the results you are looking for.

  19. For that tiny spot that won’t match up, can you just cover it with a vertical piece of molding? I actually like seeing the curves at the top with the blank wall above — i’d leave that spot blank.

  20. Kristi, You can buy blank stencil plastic and cut with and exacto knife. As folks have said, you can customize a section to match up the corners more to you liking than what you’ll get by cutting the existing stencil. I would save that large stencil and not cut it up. You’ll be happier that you have it should you ever need to make a repair or patch the wall.

  21. I can only confirm what the others have already written: Make your own copy of the stencil! If you don’t fancy getting accustomed with your Silhouette for this project (believe me, it takes some time – and I have the nagging feeling you haven’t really tried a lot with it yet :)) then do it by hand and chose a material that bends easier then the stencil.
    Having said that if it were my room I would probably not do the small parts at all. As you’ve very wisely alreday decided to not do the stencil up to the ceiling (it looks fabulous now!!) you can always play it off as intentional. I love the look of that one wall already and admire you for your precise work – stencilling can be very exhausting! How did you achieve the difference in sheen – is the stencil colour shiny?

    1. Agree with Karen, I think it looks intentional and I like it 🙂 I would not do anything in the small areas over the doors, this way, the way the top and sides are looks that is how you meant for it to turn out…..a work of art !!

      1. I also agree – don’t mess with the strip over the doors, or around the edges. The way you have it looks open and lacy and lovely just as it is!
        And then you can create your own/cut the large stencil to finish the pattern on the walls when you get to that point. No muss, no fuss!

    2. I skimmed the pictures first and then read – to me it looked intentional as it was. I’m torn. I can understand the desire to want to “finish it” but to me it looked finished already!

    3. The white is a satin finish, and the gray is matte. I didn’t think the difference between satin and matte would be so noticeable, and it’s not nearly as noticeable as the difference between gloss (or semi-gloss) and matte (obviously). But it’s enough difference to show, and I love how it looks. It wasn’t intentional, but I’m so glad those are the two sheens I happened to have on hand. 🙂

  22. I am not sure you need to do anything. I love the arched scallop at the top and the white space on top and sides almost makes the stenciled design look like a piece of art. Looks lovely.

    1. I agree. I love the arches at the top. It adds a texture, like a molding that really makes it mor unique than just another stenceled wall. My mind keep jumping to your lamps from Turkey you shared years ago.

  23. Originally, I liked the other pattern better, mostly cause I thought it fit her design better, but now that I see it on the wall, it would have been a mistake if she listened to me. This pattern is perfect. Fabulously elegant.

    1. Matt, I see you understand the “yes dear” part very well. Lol….seriously, Kristi is amazing and I love whatever she comes up with, but trellis had my vote 🙂 You are a very lucky guy to have such a talented wife. What a beautiful home you have and it only gets better. Kristi, dont stress the small stuff. I love just the two main walls stenciled. Do you really need to do the very small areas above the doorways???

  24. Wow, it looks great! I am glad there are a lot of great suggestions about creating a small piece of stencil on cardstock or lightweight plastic (we used to use the plastic out of bacon for cutting shapes for quilting, etc.).

    But my idea (and I am pretty sure that you’ll nix it) is t just leave the ray at the top and the sides. Take the stencil around on the other big wall but I think it looks good the way it is. It looks intentional to me.

    Just my two cents worth.


    1. Agree, just do the big walls. My added suggestion was to paint the small walls around shelves, etc. the gray.

  25. If you can handle waiting a couple days, get some stencil plastic and transfer the parts you need onto a few different sheets and cut them to the exact sizes you need. Take a look at this one:
    I purchased the .007 thickness a while back and liked the quality, but felt that the thickness I chose was a little too flimsy for my project and I suspect for yours, too, so I linked you to the thicker stuff. 🙂 Prime to the rescue! 😀

  26. Create your own stencil with card stock, then you don’t have to cut the stencil, you can make the exact part you need for each small area and then there would be no taping back together. card stock and a sharp xacto knife, don’t over think it, cardstock is cheap 😀

  27. I think that you can buy blank stencil plastic at Hobby Lobby. Maybe Michaels or Jo Anns. You can trace the part of the stencil you need and cut it out making a new stencil.

  28. Yes, card stock and make your own stencil for corners, but I’m curious why you feel you need to do around the bookcases, etc, other than the main accent wall. Just do around the bookcases in the gray. It will tie everything together. Might be too busy with the stencil everywhere especially in small spaces.

      1. Walls around the bookcases was what I was thinking. Looks beautiful though cannot wait to see the finished product

  29. Jan Dressler is a stencil artist I saw on Carole Duval’s show in ’90s; she has books that might address this issue. I’m constantly amazed how you paint a room in an afternoon; even if I’m off work it takes me multiple days!! You’ve accomplished a lot!!

  30. I love the trellis! So glad you went that direction. You did a wonderful job! I’ve read all the suggestions and I agree that your best bet is to make another stencil and cut it into the sizes you need.

  31. The trellis design looks amazing Kristi. Love the color!! I agree with the other ideas, to copy the pattern onto cardboard or an old cereal box and use the parts of the design that you need for all the tight areas. I would definitely do the next big wall first before tackling all the small areas. The room is looking fantastic and soon you’ll have another room ready for furniture/decor. It’s so exciting how quickly things are happening now that you have your new design/color scheme. Love, love, love following your blog!

  32. I am probably in the minority here, but why do you need to stencil the small areas? With the wide border at the top the white flows into those spaces and makes sense. I (personally) wouldn’t make myself nuts (I do over SO many things) over this. The trellis on the two facing walls looks fantastic and if you stand in door of the music room and take in the entire space – envisioning the bookcases filled; the white around them will not detract. I personally LOVE it just as it is. Just my thoughts!

    1. I agree. I think it looks fine with white borders and not painting the smaller spaces. I also thought it might look too busy if you paint all the small areas.

  33. Make a copy or two on lighter plastic basically making your own stencil to cut up and bend into those corners. Not hard to do. And as in wallpapering, they say to end in inconspicuous area. No one but you will notice. Looks great though. It’s my choice!!

    1. I agree! They sell cheap clear flexible cutting boards that you could trace directly on and cut out. It would be inexpensive and you could make whatever sections that you need.

  34. Even if you create another stencil, you will still have the matching issue. It would bother me too. I would just make the two big walls be “panels” and leave the small edges around the doors and bookcass the solid color. It will stand out more that way, too…

    1. I agree – I like the white showing above, below and on the sides of what you have done so far. Over the doors don’t need it.

  35. It is turning out beautifully! I was going to suggest tracing the stencil onto a thinner plastic and cutting out the design. For example, I have used an old plastic folder as a template for making my own envelopes. The plastic was thin enough to cut and flexible enough to bend. But thick enough so no paint will bleed through.

  36. I love the new look! As others have said, you can use the hard stencil to cut softer/smaller ones – maybe you can even use the opposite pieces too in some cases (the ones that are missing from your current one).

    There’s another option though – the design looks like a greige wall with white patterns drawn on it. So you could just paint the border in the gray paint, following the lines your stencil pattern has at the edges. (I hope what I mean is clear, otherwise I’ll have to find some photo…)

  37. I think they make blank stencil sheets-solid so you can cut your own design. Or but a pack of the cheap flexible plastic cutting boards and make your own “copy” so you can cut up as needed. The payoff for one giant continuous pattern will be so gorgeous!

  38. I agree with the comments above about creating copies of the stencil in card stock or some other product that you could then cut up for the various sections that you need.

    Also, a thought about the wall facing the entry way… Could you continue on the kitchen wall and around the corner, and go about 1/3 of the way across the cased opening. Then start on the hallway wall (near the bookcases), and work your way toward the front door and around the corner, and then about 1/3 of the way on the entry way wall. Then, in the space above the cased opening that looks toward the front door, could you create some sort of medallion or other design in the center and bring the 2 patterns toward that design in the middle? That way the design wouldn’t have to match up on that wall. Just a thought.

  39. Leave the stencil as it is. Add an additional 1-2″ chair rail or similar molding about 2″ below the crown to take up the awkward space.

  40. Cardstock will work…may need to cut a couple …and stencil with a brush. Looks fabulous. You can cut the size you need and just carry over the areas where you need it. The brush will get the paint into the close areas better.

  41. How would you deal with it if it was wallpaper. No matter what I’d think you’d end up with a mismatched corner.

  42. I would buy a piece of flexible ninyl protector for table and cut the pattern. It will bend easily and that vinyl is washable to be reused too. I wouldn’t add the pattern on top of the door. I hope my tips was helpful. Good luck

  43. I don’t think you have to stencil above the door either but I know there’s some other nooks and crannies you still need to get into and making another stencil out of a hard plaster folder sounds smart. My 1st thought was to hold up the stencil as if you were going to keep going, marking the wall with pencil in an area that you would know to line up. Then figure out where to start the next open area and finish that area. Then you can cut the stencil and line back up with the premarked areas. Hope that makes sense as I am having a hard time trying to explain exactly what I mean! BTW, it’s looking fantastic!

  44. Beautiful Kristi! I had ‘voted’ against both the trellis and the zebra… liked the plain walls…but after seeing this, I agree that ‘trellis’ is the way to go.

  45. Such a nice job and I love how it goes with your doors! Animal print makes me think of a woman with high heels, red lipstick and a tight skirt- ha! Your zebra design in your work room will look great though.
    My take is that if you use the stencil pattern around the edges and the small bits it Has to match. It’s like wallpaper- you would never not match wallpaper. So, I hope one of the ideas above appeals to you to make your stencil or you can just do the big areas and leave it alone. I’m rooting that you find a way to make a smaller stencil.

  46. I’ve done a lot of stencil work. I usually do the math before I start, like working with tiles. I measure to get a center line on the wall and on the corners. I space out/stretch the design slightly where needed. It’s a pain in the butt, but it looks good and, for my own house, was always worth the extra time. To do the bits and pieces, I copy the stencil. I use file folders, trace and cut a new stencil. I make about six. Then I spray paint them with a clear coat to give them stability and paint resistance. I cut those to fit the spaces and toss when I’m done. My original stays whole. You never know when wall repair work will need to be done and you may need to redo the stencil work. Try to keep your original stencil in one piece.

  47. I have used these stencils in my guest room and guest bath. The corners are a real pain. I did press my stencil in and it did not ruin it. However, I think cutting the stencil is definitely better as it will lay flat and you won’t have to touch up as much. I ended up doing a lot of free-hand painting to make things match up.
    Your work looks lovely so far. Nice and crisp and clean. Love the color choice! You’ve got this!

  48. I would leave all the small areas plain. That stencil is beautiful on the large walls, but not necessary over doors and sliver spaces. It wil look like you intended it to be to be that way. Whatever you decide will be gorgeous!

  49. It’s so beautiful! A note on your surprise that the zebra received so few votes: I was a fan of the zebra from day one but the trellis looked so great in your mockups from the last post that it was no contest. The zebra is absolutely beautiful though and I can’t wait to see how/if you use it elsewhere!

  50. If I remember right, you have a overhead projector…. why not put your stencil on that and free hand paint the really small areas. Then you don’t have to cut the stencil at all or worry about it getting crinkly. As we know from past painting projects, you have a very steady paint hand. BTW….just the part that you stenciled look gorgeous!!!

    1. I was thinking the exact same thing. You do so well free handing, the small areas would be easy to do using the overhead. It all looks so good.

  51. To be truthful I like the way it looks. More of artwork than wallpaper. I like the blank spaces above the door and around the trim!

  52. How about making copies of the stencil on card stock and cut them as you might need. The only other thing I’ve seen people use for stencils is vinyl cut out, but I don’t know how they work. Hope that helps.

  53. If you go to Michael’s they have rolls of very thin stencil plastic, one version is contact plastic. You can duplicate your large stencil as many times as you want… small sections if you want.
    We bought it to stencil recycle logos onto rough siding. I wanted the plastic to be really thin so I could adhere it into all the nooks and crannies and then there wouldn’t be that bad overspray look when we peeled it off.

  54. As much as this looks pretty and elegant I do not think that this is the final wall treatment we will see here. I am thinking that this will last maybe a few days. I have been the blog follower for a few years and I just think that this is just too safe and too plain and just so not you. And no matter how you end up finishing wall edges it will bother you that design will not line up. I was so hoping to see zebra design. Can’t wait to see final result either way.

  55. If it were me, I’d not do those tiny spaces. I’d leave just the big area, which makes it look like a big art piece. (Kinda like the small grass cloth space.) I think it would look more like art that way. That’s just MHO.

  56. It looks fabulous! There are actually printing companies who can recreate the stencil you have in whatever size you need it to be. I did that here in Richmond, VA. Sent them the design and they printed on a slightly thinner mil (I think that’s the right term), which was a great deal more flexible.

    Also, this is probably 73 posts ago, but I’m totally digging that sweet green console table. I’m hoping it’s something you built and did a tutorial on??

  57. Why not just frame it out like you did with the grass cloth and make it a focal point on that wall instead of doing it on all the walls? Just a suggestion so that you don’t have to worry about designs not matching up and there would be no need to cut the stencil, just in case you change your mind and want to use it again.

  58. The color combination on the stenciled wall looks so serene and elegant. I loved it in the turquoise but this combination is great! I left a post about where to get larger sizes of acetate sheets at Dick Blick dot com if you decide to do the small sections and slivers. But, personally, I don’t think you need to do them. I agree with those who said it would look intentional. Like you, it would bother me. But only for a short time; then I wouldn’t notice it at all anymore. I say this from 71+ years of experience. 😉

  59. I agree with leaving the small spaces as they are. How about adding a solid painted line around the stenciled areas to frame them as though they are art panels?

  60. Ok, first I will admit I did not read all the previous comments, so if this is a duplicate, I apologize.

    Here goes. What if you stencil the pattern for that stretch above the opening to your entry way from right to left to “almost the center” of the opening. Then from left to right to “almost the center.” Since it is so small, you can then either fudge the spacing until the two directions meet up nicely, OR you can put some other part of the design in the exact center.

    Hope that makes sense. That w

  61. Craft stores sell stencil plastic that’s uncut. Get some of that and trace what you need from your original stencil and cut it out at the size that works for the space that’s left.

    Where the patterns meet, it’ll be just like wallpapering where you have to choose an. inconspicuous spot for the ends to meet. 😊

  62. I agree, make your own stencils for the edges/corners. But consider contact paper. You know, the stuff you line your shelves with. I’ve made my own stencils out of this before. It would easily mold into a corner as it is much more flexible than card stock or plastic stencils. You just have to be careful not to accidentally stick it to itself. It’s a poor man’s version of a Silhouette cutter (which is on my wish list), but works in a pinch.

  63. After reading most of the comments and thinking about it for awhile, I’m firmly in the “don’t take the stencil all the way to the edges” camp. If the band of white at the top is too much, what about adding a couple of inch band of the Benjamin Moore color under the crown moulding (or even from the crown to the top of the stencil area). Then you could also paint the other tight sliver in the BM color and have the stenciled area look very intentional, like lace panels, and less like wallpaper-wanna-be

    Anyway, I know whatever you do it will be gorgeous. I look forward to see the room. It already looks so gorgeous!!!

  64. Sorry to disagree, but I think leaving the “slivers” and not going to the ceiling shout “I didn’t finish”. Currently having the same problem in my first stencil project. I ended up ordering a 2nd stencil and cutting up the first one. Thank you for the hair dryer tip!

  65. If I wanted to get the project done without going to the store or cutting plastic I would use cardstock or cardboard and then use a spray can of poly to coat it so the cardboard wouldn’t get saturated. Or I would do some meticulous and tedious measuring to see where the stencil would end up. I did something similar in my bathroom for the corners though it wasn’t around trim like that. I basically measured the space the stencil would take in the corner and left it blank and started at the next full one. Then I finished the corners last by cutting the stencil. You’d have more measuring to do to get to the next wall but it could still work.

  66. Why do you have to paint the trellis design in the small areas? It looks good like it is. I really like the top of the design where it just stops. It looks very “finished.” I don’t see why there has to be a trellis design over doors and in small areas. why can’t you just do the other wall on the other side and call it a day? Looks great! gorgeous!

  67. Can you leave the area above the doorway where they meet un-stenciled? You don’t seem to have stencil planned for above the doorway on the opposite wall. In any case, the wall is gorgeous and your “fix” will be great!

  68. Could you just paint that small section over the doors with the same grey color? Then it would blend but the pattern wouldn’t need to be matched in either corner of such a small area…

  69. Blank stencil sheets google search showed this at Michaels: FolkArt® Painting Stencils, Blanks $7.99.
    Jo-Ann Fabrics: Simply Stencils Stencils 10″X 18″&8″X10″ – Blank, $4.49.

    Photos over at Amazon show stencil going to ceiling. For those of us who have never stenciled this is a good heads up of what to expect and prepare for. I will be buying stencil blanks along with my stencil when I get around to painting our bedroom. Your walls look great, but do take the stencil to the ceiling and door frames.

  70. I can’t tell what part of the stencil would go up to the crown, but if you created a very small stencil of the important part of that pattern (say, the diamond), you could shift it just the teensiest bit in between each piece on the sliding door wall (math ya know) to accommodate the difference to make both ends look like the pattern is continuous with no mismatch in the corners. Have done this before and it works. However you finish it, it will be lovely!

  71. I’ve found that using a manila file folder works great in creating a manageable stencil is easy to cut.

  72. I have cut a lot of my own stencils and have used acetate sheets. I cut them with an xacto knife using designs I copied, enlarged on my computer and printed. Some stencilers–such as those who do theorems on velvet with lots of detail–like cutting the stencil on a sheet of glass (be sure to tape the edges so you don’t bleed), which allows you to move the acetate and not put so much pressure on your hand and wrist. They also make heated tools specifically for this purpose. I have used them. They’re not as precise as an xacto, at least in my hands, but they work pretty well. As for those small trim areas—I wouldn’t do them. Stencilling is usually begun in the least visible corner for this very reason–it’s impossible to match it all up. If you don’t want to leave it blank, I would suggest making your own sized-right pieces from your existing pattern. Historically, stenciling often combined patterns–sometimes a lot of them. So it would not be out of keeping to do something that is a variation but coordinates. BTW, it looks terrific. Trellis is usually not a pattern I love, but when I saw your mockup with those doors, I, too, was smitten. Glad you’ll be using the zebra elsewhere, and I adore the idea of it in lavender!

  73. 1. I would make a copy or two on paper, then trace/cut it out of a blank sheet of stencil plastic. DON’T cut your original!!! You can make partial stencils for the edges and ceiling areas. Don’t use cardstock or anything made from paper, as the edges will quickly get “ragged” when wet with paint. And there is no cleaning paint off when you move the stencil.
    2. For over the doors, you can “stretch/shrink” the pattern across the wall by minor shifting of the design as you move along. You may want to make a longer stencil for that narrow space, cut to fit the area. Or lightly trace it all the way across before applying paint to see that it ends in an acceptable spot that will not be noticed with a tiny mismatch.
    If you make additional stencils, be sure the material is as close to the same thickness as the original, or it may make the design “wonky.” DO take the pattern all the way to the edges or it will drive you crazy! Stencils should look like wallpaper when finished. I haven’t checked, but are there any youtube videos out there?

  74. Your pattern lines up nicely with the top of the door molding. It looks finished. I would complete the other side and I’m guessing it will all come together then and will feel cohesive and finished without doing the areas over the door.

    Although I voted for the zebra design…. this is exquisite.

  75. I’ve stencilled a ton, almost always using my own stencils, and I second the notion of using overheads and cutting custom pieces to fit the weird spaces. Use an exacto and a self-healing mat. Steady hands, works great.

  76. Buy stencil plastic from a hobby store, and cut a stencil to complete walls . Ignore door wall ,leave it unstencilled. Ignore slivers around the bookcases. I like scallops at the top of the walls and would leave them untouched.

  77. As much as I love a zebra print, I agree that the trellis was the way to go. My only concern was how to stencil the edges cleanly, as I have stenciled rooms before and that’s always been a challenge. You have plenty of great suggestions on HOW to accomplish that, and am of the opinion at the stencil should be completed on all the walls to look finished. As for the pattern matching at the corner; as someone already stated, wallpaler rarely matches at the final corner and as far as I know, no one has ever noticed the mismatched corners on any of the projects I’ve done. Regardless, I’m sure whatever you choose to do will turn out beautifully.

  78. Easy fix. Trace the stencil on plastic (page protectors or binder divider sheets work well) with a fine tip sharpie and cut the new stencil out with fine tip scissors and an Xacto knife. Make as many as you need to cut up, protecting your thick stencil.

    If you need plastic sheets bigger than a standard 8-1/2″ x 11″ page size, there are thicker acetate sheets available in quilting area of fabric stores or thinner versions used in printmaking in art supply stores.

  79. Possibly, someone has already suggested asking a friend with a scanner/cutter (or purchasing a base model if your own for future projects) and cutting another stencil from blank stencil substrait or clear contact paper, but I wanted to throw that out there. Isn’t shy away from cutting up the original stencil in case you need to make a repair or changed your mind later. And you can alaways pop that on fabric for another awesome project.
    It already looks fantastic! And I was a staunch zebra supporter!
    Best of luck, I know you’ll make it great.

  80. YOu could use 1/4 inch moulding at the top of the stenciled wall and in the corners to end the stenciled area. It cleans up the edges and beefs up the crown moulding around the door facings and crown. I did this in a dining room and it was so elegant. Paint the wall area and to match the wood work. Whatever you do, this is going to be gorgeous!

  81. I am loving the trellis stencil!!! If your like me I would have to finish it off. I would finish stenciling to corners and then bring the stencil around to the other side corner and finish each corner. Then this is were I would fudge my stencil a little to try and get them to meet on all away across. I would first do it on paper the si,e of the space and would redi it until I got the stencied designed to work out and looked right before doing it on the wall. I hope this makes sense. But no matter what you decide, just know it is beautiful.

  82. If you really need to make another stencil don’t buy expensive stencil material. X-ray film is great as a stencil and it has the bonus of being flexible.

  83. My immediate reaction upon seeing what you have done was that you do not need to do the small areas. The stenciled wall looks terrific as is. I love the look created by the open space at the top more than I would if it was all filled in. Reading the comments, I was wondering why no one else seemed to think the look was great just as it is; but then, finally, that point of view started coming in too.

    So, differing opinions, but like everyone else, I know you will make the right choice for you…and your wall and room will be spectacular when you are done. You are so talented. And fast. A fantastic combination. You accomplish so much so quickly and it all comes out so good. I look forward to your blogs; they make my day.

  84. Too late now, but in terms of the pattern, it’s just like wallpaper. Start and end in the least obvious corner. That’s usually behind the entrance door.

    In terms of getting the small spots, here’s what I did in my Don’s room when he was a baby. Get some medium thick Mylar from a drafting store. Copy the design parts you need on a piece of paper. Tape the copied pattern down on a cutting mat. Tape the Mylar on top. Cut the design very carefully with an exact knife. Voila! New stencils! You can make as many as you need in as many sizes for whatever parts of the room. I’m a quilter and that’s how I make stencils for quilting patterns (the quilting part, not the piecing part).

    In my son’s room. I made a series of stencils to match the fabric I used for the dust ruffle on his crib. It had hills, barns, apple trees, and sheep. I made a different stencil for each color paint I used. At the end, I drew the sheeps faces on them with a sharpie. I also used the fabric for a lamp shade. My husband made the base of the lamp out of wood to match the barn, and I glued two “Christmas ornament” sheep I got at a craft fair in front of the barn to the base. I made crib sheets out of solid fabric and made a pieced crib quit. The seat cushion for the rocking chair was the same fabric as the sheets.

      1. I’d be happy to post a picture, but I don’t know how! When I got the photos out to scan them (my son is now 24, so they were taken with a film camera), I realized that it was the bumper pads that I made from the sheep fabric, not the dust ruffle.

  85. Didn’t have time to read all the comments…so this may have already been suggested….go to and buy some of the stencil paper…it actually is plastic or vinyl…not sure…but you can use it to make the smaller versions or extensions of the design for the smaller places…is very inexpensive..if you know someone who has a Cricut and has design space online they can cut it for you…or use and exacto knife to do yourself.

  86. My taste is quirky compared to most but I like it the walls just as they are. If it was me I would paint a frame around the outside and leave the rest of the walls white. To me it’s like modern lace on a satin background.

  87. Your dilemma reminds me of the trim you put down the inside edge of the drapes in the breakfast room. Maybe a simple, unexpected design would work. Step back and let your style and imagination run free. Love everything no mater what you decide.

  88. It will always drive you crazy. After reading your blog for years, you will end up redoing it. I also would notice if i went into that room. I notice stuff like that too peoples houses. Make a stencil.

  89. I would only stencil the side walls, the wall with the side windows would look perfectly fine without the stencil. It would also eliminate time matching up the pattern. You could simply add a piece of molding to fill in the gap if it is still bothersome.

  90. Hi Kristi,
    I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned this… Could you go to a copy store and get some cheap copies done of your stencil. Cut these (as placeholders) to fit the smaller areas and carefully match up the design as you stick them up. Then you’ll know where to start on the big wall. Do this first, then you can go back and cut up the stencil for the smaller ones, with a blueprint for what you’ll need to do.
    With love from Melbourne, Australia!

  91. Create your own wallpaper! Paint and then stencil over some wallpaper and hang. May only work on the skinny wall, but maybe an idea to brainstorm further ways for the edges… It looks lovely already!

  92. Kristi,

    Take the stencil to Kinkos have them copy it on to a blank piece of stencil plastic, cut out the stencil with a craft knife, sand the edges well wash. Bend the stencil to mark the begining of the design that you will need, cut the stencil into appropriate size .

    Start with the large areas so you can contitinue to cut down the stencil on the smaller areas.

    You can also get an edge border stencil in a compatible design but I like it all one design

    Good luck the music room is looking great.


  93. I’ve been a commercial designer for 35 years and have always liked the idea of tone on tone wall design. The whole reason to use a stencil is to have design, pattern and texture on walls. If you go into every corner and edge it looks like wallpaper without the seams. Why not use a simple handpainted border or stencil that finishes off each edge of stenciled wall all around.
    It doesnt have to be a different color but simply finishes off the pattern like your doors have a solid border around thier design. It would be simple and look stunning and handpainted and custom instead of mock wallpaper. Like a mat around a beautiful painting. Having the pattern not match up will put you in the homeowner diy catagory and you are never happy with those results. You are very creative and I wish you luck

  94. I would not stencil the wall with the shelves or the wall opposite it (the opening with the glass panels) at all. I also would not stencil above the doors on the other two walls. In other words, I would just stencil the two large wall expanses and not worry about the small slivers of wall space that will remain without stenciling.

    1. I’m with everyone else on this one. Stencil the large walls only leaving the small slivers to themselves and don’t cut up your original stencil just go to Joann’s and Michael’s, buy the blank sheets of paper and cut as many as you need.

  95. I have never commented before here but I have to say, the stenciling you did looks wonderful.

    Like others probably suggested, try to make a stencil form the stencil then cut it to fit the area you are doing.

    Perhaps there are places online that make stencils from pictures.

  96. I’ve used poster board before. You can just trace your stencil onto it and cut out the holes. Then you can bend it and fold it as needed. Only problem is possible bleeding and the board will only work for a couple paint applications. In tricky areas I have also just used the poster board stencil to fold and get into the area and then traced it with pencil in order to hand paint with a small brush. Good luck with whichever route you take.

  97. I think the design of the stencil is too big to try and force into the small space above the door and bookcases, And I agree with the majority that what you have done looks intentional and beautiful just the way it is…Once the room is finished I don’t think it will be noticeable, that the design doesn’t go there and if it is noticed, it looks intentional. Just my uneducated 5 cents…LOL!