Outdoor garden decor is the focus of our very first stencil project using Cutting Edge Stencils! Typically the kind of stencil we’re using would go on a wall. But we’re not typical. I can’t wait for you to see our unique idea to turn a wall stencil into stencil art for the garden! But if you read to the very end, we have a giveaway so you can try it out stencilling too.
I originally had a different garbage find in mind for this project. But when we stumbled on this rustic frame during our morning walk, we changed direction.
We’re using one of Cutting Edge Stencils wall stencils, called Birds on a Vine. Kind of apropos for a blog called Birdz of a Feather, don’t you think? Can you believe this is our first bird-related project? Lots of firsts today!
The company sent along some stencil brushes (which I’ll use next time). In addition, they threw in a few bonus stencils which were perfect for trying out on this outdoor fabric, leftover from our garden trellis projects.
Before starting this project, we did a PPG BreakThrough paint test to test the durability of the paint on the fabric. Feel free to check out that post and video if you like to watch paint dry 😉.
After the paint samples were stencilled, we set them outside on a chair to further test the paint against the elements. We finally got some much need rain. Perfect!!
It’s always a good idea to work outdoors when you’re painting, so head outside. We’re working in the garage.
Materials to Make Your Own Outdoor Garden Decor
[If you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered (disclosure): Clicking on the affiliate links below, means we may receive a commission. But don’t worry, you don’t pay a cent more and it helps us make more unique crafts to share with you! Thanks for helping to support our blog!]
- Birds on a Vine Wall Stencil
- Foam pouncers
- Painters tape
- PPG BreakThrough or comparable paint in black, red and green
- Paper towels
- Repurposed plastic containers for holding paint
- Outdoor fabric
- Arrow PT50 Pneumatic Stapler
- Air compressor
- T-50 !/4″ staples
- Varathane Natural Oil Finish, clear
If you would rather watch than read, we have a video for you half way down that complements the written tutorial. To start, measure the dimensions of the back of the frame and cut out a piece of outdoor fabric to fit. Our fabric is 15 1/4″ wide x 30 1/2″ long.
Lay down a plastic sheet under the fabric on the surface where you are stencilling. Tape down the stencil at the top and bottom, and along the edge of the fabric.
Pour the first colour into a plastic container.
Pounce the applicator in an up and down motion.
Apply several light coats to the areas you want green. PPG BreakThrough dries really fast so this is a quick process.
Apply black to the birds and red to the berries, Because red tends to be a transparent colour, I just pounced right over the green so I didn’t have to do as many coats.
When you’re applying additional colours, it helps to apply green tape across the parts you don’t want to get paint on, as shown below around the birds.
Carefully lift off the stencil and put is aside so you can complete the top and bottom edges.
Tip for Storing Stencils as You Work
Since this stencil is made for a wall, it’s fairly large. Outside in the garage there’s really no additional surface to put it down when it’s not in use. So connect two bungy cords and string them across a shelf, if you have one.
Then you can clip your stencils to the bungy with clothes pegs. That will keep them out of the way as you work.
Stencil Touch Ups
If you do happen to smudge, or just want to add additional paint don’t worry. Where touch-ups are needed, just use a fine paint brush as shown below.
With each wall stencil, Cutting Edge Stencils also includes an additional top portion. It’s a brilliant idea, because it’s so easy to handle – whether or not it’s being used on a wall! Since I’m working with a narrower width than the stencil, I couldn’t use the ‘real’ registration marks to line it up, but It was easy enough to figure out:
Again, cover the edges with painters tape.
Once finished with the top section, bring the larger stencil back to complete the bottom portion.
My fabric ended up being half an inch bigger than the stencil along the top and bottom edges.
Watch the video below and you’ll see how I handled that with a regular foam brush like the one shown above.
Set aside the fabric to dry on a flat surface.
Seal Outdoor Garden Decor Frame with Oil
To seal the frame and bring out the natural colour of the wood, use a natural oil finish such as this product from Varathane. You’ll notice that all the products we’re using are low VOC (volatile organic compound) formulations. They’re better for the environment and don’t give off strong fumes.
Apply the first coat with a natural fibre cloth (or in our case, an old sock). Let it soak in, then come back with a dry white cloth to wipe off any excess oil. Be sure to use a white rag or t-shirt for this step as colour can sometimes transfer.
Let the coats dry in between according to the manufacturer’s directions.
We applied three coats of oil. With each application, lay out all your cloths flat and allow to dry. Do NOT roll these into a ball as they are drying. That could cause them to ignite and catch fire (don’t ask me how I know). Dispose of them in a plastic container filled with a bit of water to be on the safe side when ready to toss into the garbage.
Putting the frame on wood blocks helps encourage air flow as it dries.
At this point, leave everything overnight.
Stencil Clean Up
Jump to our last post where you can read more about Cleaning Cutting Edge Stencils.
Staple on Outdoor Fabric
The next day, we assembled our air gun.
It’s a good idea to test out the air pressure on a piece of scrap wood with a piece of tester fabric. We’re using 1/4″ staples.
Put the fabric face down onto the back of the frame. Apply one staple along one edge in the middle. Pull the fabric directly across to the opposite side and put in another staple. Continue with a single staple in the adjacent edges of the frame.
Place the staples about 4″ apart, then cut off any excess fabric.
Measure 1/3 of the length of the frame and screw in these picture hangers. Then, twist on a piece of stainless steel wire. Leave 4 – 6″ of slack. Watch the video above to see a demonstration of exactly how this part is done.
We hammered a pair of picture hanger hooks onto a fence board (measure for level first). Two hooks will ensure that the picture hangs level.
Ready to hang:
Outdoor Garden Decor Ideas
Here is our finished stencil artwork hanging at the entrance to our back garden. You may remember this garden mirror and bathroom light fixture planter we completed last year. Every single DIY in our garden is upcycled from junk finds and this project is no exception. We’re slowly building our collection of DIY upcycles throughout the garden.
Isn’t it nice of that day lilly to bloom for us right on cue?
Here’s how the fence looked before our outdoor garden decor:
Outdoor Fence Decor
I just love how the mirror reflects our other upcycled outdoor garden decor pieces – and of course, the flowers:
But I may have other plans for that real estate along the fence so Hubs obliged me and drilled this hanging hardware…..
… into this brick at the front of our house.
The freshly oiled frame looks lovely against the red brick and the colours really pop.
But now I have a dilemma that maybe you can help us resolve. Should our new outdoor garden decor stay in the front or the back? I can’t decide so, if you have an opinion either way, let us know in the comments!
There’s nothing like a little yard art by our front pond to add to the curb appeal!
Would I Use Cutting Edge Stencils Again?*
The selection at Cutting Edge Stencils can’t be beat! However, the most important thing to me is quality. I got crisp, clean lines with absolutely no bleed whatsoever. On a challenging fabric, like this plasticky outdoor one, that’s impressive. I’m so pleased with Cutting Edge Stencils and how this outdoor wall decor project turned out.
Stencil Giveaway – Now Closed
Would you like to add some zing to your home or project with a Cutting Edge Stencil? Head on over to Cutting Edge Stencils and choose a stencil for yourself too because it’s give-away time!
Here’s how to enter:
Prize: One stencil valued up to $50 from Cutting Edge Stencils, shipped free (U.S. and Canadian residents only, please)
- Subscribe to Birdz of a Feather
- Like this Instagram post
- Visit Cutting Edge Stencils and come back here to tell me which one is your favourite, and where you’d use it.
I’ll choose a random winner from the qualifying comments below. Contest ends at 5:00 pm EDT on Monday, August 31st, 2020. Good luck to all!
Pinning is always welcome and appreciated.
Unique garden decor is becoming a specialty at Birdz of a Feather. So feel free to browse for more Garden Decor Ideas.
* Cutting Edge Stencils generously provided the stencil for this outdoor garden decor DIY. Of course, all opinions are my own. Our posts may contain affiliate links, and if you purchase a product through those links, you don’t pay a cent more, but we may receive a small commission for referring.