Earlier this week I shared Part 1 of my Indian Inspired Stencil Project, where I began the transformation of an underused storage closet into an exotic, cozy reading nook. But there’s more! To complete the look I did some stenciling on silk fabric to create a jewel-colored bench cushion to complete the look.
During my last trip to India, I found a teal silk dupioni at my favorite sari shop, Nalli, and have saved the fabric since then to decorate with special stencils from the India Stencil Collection on Royal Design Studio. While testing Royal Stencil Cremes on scrap silk before beginning a stenciled tribal lampshade project, I discovered that the Stencil Cremes work wonderfully on silk dupioni. The effect was so effortless, crisp and clean!
So with the Peacock Fancy color Stencil Creme, I stenciled the Rani Paisley Damask Stencil on the top of the seat cushion, and the Taj Tile Border Stencil along the cushion edge. Royal Design Studio stencil brushes, with their soft, natural bristles, are the best choice for fabric stenciling as they allow you to easily control the amount of paint and pressure on your brush and achieve a nice clean print on the fabric.
Here are my best tips for stenciling on silk fabric:
- If you plan to wash your item, wash and dry your silk before stenciling. I skipped this step because I would only spot clean the closet nook cushion if it’s ever needed.
- Iron the silk before stenciling.
- Stencil on a hard surface. I used a card table with a large foam core board on top of it.
- You may want to protect your table surface with something like a foam core board. Some paint bled through my silk a little bit.
- Silk is notoriously slippery. Keep smoothing out the fabric as you go so you don’t paint over any folds. I also found the fabric was shifting so the guides for the damask stencil pattern didn’t always line up perfectly. Keeping your fabric smooth can help avoid this.
- You can see in the photos, I dabbed the brush into the paint on the lid of the Stencil Creme can. This helps avoid putting too much paint on the brush.
- During stenciling the areas painted got a bit ripply so when finished painting, I ironed on the reverse side of the silk with a dry iron (no steam).
The two patterns coordinate well together (0ne is more organic and the other more geometric) and combine to create the look of India’s famed block printed fabrics. Stenciling on silk fabric (or any fabric!) is a great way to make a one-of-a-kind seat cushion in patterns and colors that match your decorating needs.
After stenciling the silk, I cut it and sewed it into a bench cushion. The cushion is a generous 5″ deep foam, custom cut to fit the space. Whew! After all this painting, it’s now time to enjoy this space, flop into those cushions and dream of India…
You can find more fabric painting and stenciling ideas and tips in these other posts here on Paint + Pattern:
- How to Stencil and Chalk Paint Upholstery
- Fabric Stencil How-to: Lace Pillows
- DIY Henna-Inspired Shirts with Tee Juice Pens