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Stencil DIY: A Gorgeous Hardboard Frame Insert

Hardboard Frame Insert | Small Margarita Lace Stencil | Royal Design Studio

I have been struck by an on-going passion for all things white. Walls, accessories, furniture, you name it. Having come from a faux finishing background, where color used to be my passion, this is a new look for our home. No, I am not going all white, but it is sneaking in here and there. A few months ago I painted this old flea market frame Old White Chalk Paint®, then added a hand-made pottery piece filled with dried hydrangeas. After looking at it for a while, on top of the white walls, it was just too bland for me.

What about you? Are you a white lover who needs to add SOME color to be content? Here’s an easy, inexpensive stenciling project. If you have flea market finds, this is perfect.

Any frame will work, but I especially like the wide older ones with lots of detail. I used a pottery vessel, but a wreath would be lovely too.


Stencil Supplies by Royal Design Studio

  • Royal Design Studio Small Margarita Lace stencil
  • Royal Design Studio ½” stencil brush
  • Old White Chalk Paint® (and another color like Duck Egg or Versailles, if you need to paint your inset)
  • Large frame
  • Material for the insert, like old bead board, hardboard or foam core
  • Power tools, if you cut a wood inset
  • 220 grit sandpaper, rags, ribbon or wire to hang the decorative piece, absorbent paper towels like Bounty, hammer, picture frame hanger, screws, flat metal bars or any other hardware to mount the inset inside the frame


Board for DIY Hardboard Frame Insert | Paint + Pattern

Turn your frame over and determine the depth of the inset where you will add an insert. This is where the art and glass would have been. My old frame inset was really deep, and after looking around my house, I found a spare piece of old bead board from a headboard project that was perfect. I just placed the pieces upside down, put paint sticks on top and used short screws to put it all together, then cut to fit.

You can also use a piece of hardboard (also called Masonite) from the hardware store that is about ¼” thick, or even a piece of foam core from the dollar store. The hardboard can be cut at a hardware store and you can cut the foam core your self with a sharp knife.

Cut your inset to fit.

If you are not using an old, painted board like I did, paint your inset with two coats of Chalk Paint® in the color of your choice. For this look, Versailles or Duck Egg would be pretty.


Stenciling on Hardboard for DIY Frame Insert | Margarita Lace Stencil by Royal Design Studio

Find the center of the insert. Lay the stencil on top and stencil with one coat of Old White Chalk Paint®. My board had lots of nooks and crannies for the paint to leak into, so you can turn the stencil over each time you move it and wipe it off. After completing the entire inset, let the paint dry for a few minutes. Sand the surface then wipe it off. This post on basic brush stenciling by Royal Design Studio gives you a handy dandy tutorial on the dry brush technique for a crisp stencil pattern.


DIY Hardboard Frame Insert | Small Margarita Lace Stencil by Royal Design Studio

Lay the inset into the frame and attach it. Just use whatever you have left over from other projects. I found these flat metal pieces and used short screws. After finishing all four corners, lay your wreath or decorative element on top, centered top to bottom, and hammer in a nail to hang it on. Decide where you want to hang the finished piece and hammer in the appropriate nail and hanger.

DIY Hardboard Frame Insert | Small Margarita Lace Stencil by Royal Design Studio

DIY Hardboard Frame Insert | Small Margarita Lace Stencil by Royal Design Studio

Isn’t it fun to pull this simple look together with very few supplies, and even stuff from the garage waiting for inspiration? Stay tuned to Paint + Pattern. There is always new, fabulous inspiration to come! Don’t forget to check the massive How-to + DIY archives for ideas too.

Royal Design Studio Wall Stencils and Paint Supplies for DIY Projects


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