24 February 2017

How to use my Stencil Collection to create pattern

I created the designs in my Stencil Collection to be diverse in style and to work perfectly as on their own, as well as together. I love creating new unique patterns by overlapping one, two or three different stencils. This overprinting is one of my favourite techniques – and today I’m sharing my top tips on how to get a cohesive look (hint – it’s all about colour!)

Stencilled school desk

I always let the shape and style of furniture guide me when it comes to adding a design or creating a pattern. The inspiration for the vintage school desk came from the graffitied desks that we can all remember from schools. I replaced the graffiti with my stencils and ran with the idea, using every single one of the stencils in my collection on this one desk! To counteract the busyness of the pattern, I kept to a simple monochrome colour palette, using Chalk Paint® in Paris Grey as the base colour and Old White for the stencils. To give the piece a lift of colour, I added pops of Barcelona Orange and Provence. I finished with a coat of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax which keeps it wipeable (and resistant to any real life graffiti)! The end result is fun, a little cheeky and full of creativity.

Tip: Don’t worry about things getting too overcrowded here. If things start to look cluttered, you can paint over any areas that you aren't happy with.

If I’m using just one stencil but want to create an interesting, overlapping pattern I turn my focus to the colours I’ll be using. I will use a base colour, mid tone and lighter shade. This is so there is enough variation between the colours for the pattern to be seen without getting lost.

In the image above, you can see a pattern I created by overprinting with my Petrushka Stencil. The pattern is loose and random, but the colours are carefully thought through. Here, I chose Antoinette as the background, and then used Aubusson Blue and Barcelona Orange, blending them together in areas and then lightening them with a little Old White.

If you want to see my overlapping stencil technique in action, take a look at my YouTube stencil tutorial here.

My philosophy is very much of a free style of working which is why I love playing with stencils. I don’t like things to be too measured, or precise, and I certainly don’t want to get so bogged down in details that I can’t see when something is right just as it is. The devil may be in the detail, but sometimes you have to rip up the rule book and enjoy finding out where it can take you!

As ever, please share your pictures or tweet your pictures using #anniesloan and make sure you follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @anniesloanhome




  1. This is a beautiful and different idea to use the stencils for creating distinctive art pieces. The table you have painted and stenciled look lovely. I will also give this idea a try.

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