You’ll hear sleigh bells jingling as you work on this DIY Christmas craft. And because vintage farmhouse style is still very cool – especially at Christmas – I stenciled a vintage Farmhouse Christmas sign – complete with a classic truck!
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Stenciling is a great DIY technique to use, as long as you know the secret: use very little paint! How do you do that and get a clean look with good coverage? Find out all the tips and tricks by watching the video tutorial, or keep scrolling down to read step-by-step instructions.
EVERYTHING YOU’LL NEED TO DIY SOME CHRISTMAS STENCIL MAGIC
Stencil Brush (large and small)
Plain, thin paper
Paper plate for paint
Wood for sign
Before you get to stenciling, make sure your space is all prepped. You can tape down old newspapers on your work surface, or use a Silpat that’s just for your crafting. Because – paint spills when you least expect it.
FIRST, GIVE YOUR WOOD SURFACE A COAT OF CHALK PAINT
STEP 1: PREP AND PAINT YOUR SIGN BOARD
The board I’m using for my sign is actually a drawer front from an old dresser that was falling apart. If you save wood or can find some to upcycle with – your Christmas decoration costs will be next to nothing!
If you’re reusing wood from somewhere/something, you may need to do a bit of pre-crafting cleaning and a little light sanding.
Whatever you choose for your signboard, the first step is to paint the top and edges with a light topcoat. I blended a little of the Wise Owl Linen in with Antique Villa. The Linen softened the whiteness and gave it a bit of an antiqued color.
Let the chalk paint dry overnight. You’ll be using frog tape (or painter’s tape) with the stencils, and with the chalk paint completely dry, you’ll avoid tape peeling some paint off.
STEP 2: USING THE FIRST STENCIL
I started with the lettering stencil first. The “Farmhouse Christmas” stencil fits perfectly on my board. I practiced laying it out with the vintage truck stencil to get the design lined up. Then I grabbed my Frog Tape.
You’ll only need small pieces of tape added to all four sides of the stencil, but make sure the stencil is secured to keep it from slipping. Pro Tip: I work with one hand on the bridges (spaces between the letters) and one hand holding the stencil brush.
Because my old dresser drawer front is slightly bowed, it caused the stencil to bow a bit, too. I made sure I pressed firmly on the stencil bridges as I stenciled the paint in that area.
STEP 3: ADDING CHALK PAINT
I used Wise Owl Chalk paint in Peppercorn for the words on my sign. It’s a softer dark gray compared to using a pure black. The first step is pouring a little paint onto a paper plate (my palette) and then resealing the paint can right away.
The stencil brush I chose for the words is smaller, which is perfect for the narrow letters in this stencil. Grab the brush and get a little paint on it, then take a folded paper towel and offload most of that paint by rubbing and dabbing it. Remember the secret: use very little paint!
Begin tapping the stencil brush on the letters in the stencil. I use the “Pounce” method of adding paint to the stencil, but you can also use a circle, pound, or up and down method. You may need to go over the stencil one or two more times to get the coverage you’re looking for.
You’ll find the stencil brush holds a lot of paint, even after you offload most of it. I did very little re-dipping as I painted in the letters. Halfway through, I stopped and pulled up two pieces of the frog tape so I could see how the stenciled letters were looking. It’s easy to realign the stencil and refasten the tape. Then keep dabbing/pouncing!
Once the letters are complete, go ahead and remove the tape and the stencil. Now you’re ready for the Truck!
STEP 4: READY FOR THE VINTAGE TRUCK STENCIL
Time to grab a second paper plate, more paper towels, a larger stencil brush, and the can of Republic Red Wise Owl Chalk Paint. My can of Republic Red was new and needed a thorough stirring before I could pour a small amount on the plate. (Don’t forget to firmly close your paint can right away.)
Taping down the Vintage Truck stencil was only possible on the ends because the sides of the stencil were larger than my board surface. I wanted to paint the wheels and a couple of other elements of the stencil with the peppercorn, after applying the red, so I “masked” those areas with paper and frog tape.
I did this by slipping a very thin sheet of paper under the wheels and tracing the shape with a pencil. Removing the paper, I cut out the circle about ⅛” larger than the penciled circle to make sure it would cover the wheel completely.
Slip the circles under the stencil, placing them to completely cover the area. Using frog tape, secure the paper in place for both wheels. Then use more frog tape to cover the smaller areas on the stencil that won’t be painted red.
Now dip the larger stencil brush into the paint and then offload most of it onto a paper towel. When you begin dabbing the paint onto the stencil, you’ll be able to tell quickly if there’s too much paint. If so – go back to the paper towel and offload more.
Again, I use the pounce method to add the red paint. Go over the truck two or three times to make sure you get the coverage you want and lift up an edge halfway through to check your progress. Then refasten your tape and keep pouncing on the paint.
STEP 5: UNMASK THE WHEELS
Carefully remove the tape you applied to hold the paper masks in place under the wheels, then slip the paper out from beneath the stencil. Dab a little peppercorn chalk paint on the smaller brush, offload onto the paper towel and begin to pounce the wheels with the paint.
There are small areas next to the wheel that were taped over and these get peppercorns pounced in as well. Add the peppercorn onto the trucks’ grill and anywhere else you want that metal look to pop out.
Remove all the tape and lift off the stencil to make sure the truck is complete.
STEP 6: ADD A CHALK PAINT FRAME
To give the piece a finished look, take the smaller brush that still has peppercorn chalk paint and lightly paint an edge around the entire board. Try to keep your pressure uniform so the intensity of the color is the same all the way around.
The edging doesn’t need to be uniform in the width or perfectly aligned but just continue on around the board to give a slight border to the sign.
Step back and contemplate your beautiful vintage Christmas sign! Simple, easy, and low cost – but a perfect addition to your new Christmas decor collection!
When you’re finished, snap a picture and share it with me! Did I mention I love Christmas?