How to Stencil a Sisal or Jute Area Rug

Basic Sisal Rug

Plain Sisal Rug
Plain Sisal Rug

What you will need and the process

With the availability of artistic craft stencils in a myriad of styles, there is no excuse for having a bland, boring, basic sisal rug. While these rugs are fairly commonplace and can be purchased at most decor stores and even home improvement stores, you don't have to settle for a sisal rug that is plain.

If you have even a little artistic ability, about 2 hours of time and the proper tools, you can transform your basic sisal rug into a unique work of art. Not only will it be functional, but it will be attractive as well.

For this project you will need, a marker, a craft knife, foam board, 2-inch fine tip brush and a small artist brush. You will also need brown craft paper, stencil sheet, a 5 X 7 sisal rug, and interior flat enamel paint in cream and leaf green. This design will create a modern leaf design.

Sisal rugs actually absorb quite a bit of paint, so keep that in mind as you are working. In addition, if you purchase a rug without a border, you can mark off the perimeter of the rug your desired width and paint with your favorite color. Use a straightedge for a clean line, and mark with either chalk or a non-permanent marker.

Begin by creating your stencil. Make a trial copy of the design first. Determine whether it is too big or too small for the finished look you want. Trace or use freehand design to draw your leaf stencil design onto the stencil sheet.

Now you will cut out the stencil using the craft knife. Place the stencil on a flat surface. Protect the surface by putting the stencil on the foam board. Cut out the stencil with the fine tapered craft knife following the outline carefully.

Position the stencil on the sisal rug and apply the paint. Use a random pattern. Apply the leaf green paint with a dabbing motion until the cutout portion of the stencil is completely filled in. Repeat until you have achieved a pattern that you like.

Because sisal has a tendency to absorb so much paint, fill in any lines with paint using the fine tip brush or artist brush. Allow the green paint to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Finish the design by hand painting in some detail on each of the leaves using the cream paint. Use the fine tip brush and paint lines like those found on leaves. This should like like typical veins found on leaves.

For variation in stencil design, you can be as creative as you like. Start with basic shapes to make the stencil cutting easier. Once you feel more comfortable, you can add more complexity to your design. There is no limit to creativity when it comes to stencils.

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