Stenciling Tips And Footstool Upcycle

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Hi Friends,

I’ve paired up with a group of talented ladies to bring you a monthly Thrift Store Decor Upcycle Challenge. Each month we will create a new home decor piece from an item(s) we’ve found at a thrift store, yard sale, resale shop etc. There is no budget or specific theme so we are free to let our creativity run wild! 

Thrift Store DecorUpcycle Challenge


Amanda | The Kolb Corner     Chelc | Inside the Fox Den     Erlene | My Pinterventures

Kim | Made in a Day     Sara | Twelve on Main     Debra | Shoppe No. 5

Shirley | Intelligent Domestications     Marie | DIY Adulation     Lindsay | Crazy Organized

Michelle | Our Crafty Mom     Julie | Live From Julie’s House     Colleen | Life on Kaydeross Creek

Maureen | Red Cottage Chronicles     Pili | Sweet Things     Sherry | Savvy Apron

Ann | Duct Tape and Denim     Dru | Polka Dot Poplars

Megan | C’mon Get Crafty     Jennifer | Hydrangea Hippo 

You can also follow our board on Pinterest for more upcycled decor inspiration!

Through the years I’ve stenciled a lot. Walls, clothing, pots, furniture; the list goes on and on. After trying several different techniques and with lots of frustration I’ve decided there’s one way that always works well for me that I want to share. Here are my tips for a successful stenciling experience. It’s easy and doesn’t take any fancy supplies. 

Such a fun way to give a footstool a new look.

Stenciling has been used for lots of years and lucky for us there are 1000’s of stencils available. You can even make your own using a sheet of plastic. Today I’m using a large stencil from Americana Decor by DecoArt and stenciling a replacement cover for this footstool. 

Footstool Upcycle

Here’s what I’m using for this project:

Footstool Stenciling

Stenciling Supplies

  • Americana Decor Stencil
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Makeup Sponge
  • Tape
  • Protected Surface
  • Paper Towels 

Stenciling Tips

  • I always tape down my stencil on any surface I paint to keep it from moving while I stencil.
  • There are lots of different tools you can use to apply your paint, but a makeup sponge is the best, in my opinion. It’s easy, cheap, and can be used for a variety of looks. I also like the look it gives.
  • Less is more when loading the sponge with paint.

How to stencil

  • Dab, dab, dab. Be sure to dab the painted loaded sponge several times before applying the paint to your surface.
  • Layering paper towels under any fabric you are stencil will help prevent bleeding by soaking up the paint rather than have it move under the stencil.
  • If the fabric you will be stenciling will be washed frequently add a fabric medium to your paint to keep it from fading.

For my footstool I am using a painter’s drop cloth that I’ve washed. 


I’ve used a plastic garbage bag and a few paper towels under the fabric.

Tape the stencil into place.

Taping Stencil

Got my paint, sponge, and paper towels ready.

Stencil with a sponge

Start stenciling.


Here’s my finished piece ready to be applied to the footstool. When going for a vintage look I like to variegate the paint, parts are lighter than the other.

Stencil DIY

Because my stool is so old I am going to keep the old fabric in place rather than disrupt the wood and cushioning. I vacuumed it really well and painted the legs just for fun.

I added some additional quilt batting to give additional padding.

My finished footstool. I love it.

Footstool Upcycle DIY

Here’s some other posts you might like:

Stenciled Ladder

Picnic Caddy


Be sure to check out all of the other creative upcycle projects my fellow bloggers have come up with! 


Dru About Dru

There are so many things I could say but I will just start with the basics. Mother to 4. Grandmother to 11 (Yes, 11. All under the age of 9.) I am a former Army wife and we spent 15 years traveling around the world. It was such a thrill to have seen so many places and meeting lifetime friends. I spent many years working in the craft industry and love getting together with friends and creating. I have a lifelong love of thrift shops, antiques, and yard sales.


  1. The stool looks great. Stencils are a wonderful way to create many looks. Thanks for the tips on how to stencil.

  2. You are SOOOOOO creative! I would have never thought of this! I was so excited to see what you were going to make this month!

  3. Thanks for the makeup sponge tip. I like that idea for stenciling. Your foot stool looks completely new!

  4. Love your makeover! My feet barely touch the ground and this would be perfect for me when sitting.

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