Curtains, Blinds and Bath Summer Block Party {Part 2}

So, when last I left you…

…I was chatting about those two lovely ladies on either side of me and the wild shenanigans we got into over the weekend at Curtains, Blinds and Bath’s Summer Block Party event. In case you missed “Part 1” of this story, the event was first and foremost a fundraiser and charity drive to assist the Oklahoma tornado victims, but also sought to bring together a number of local businesses in our area.

Ashley and Cori, the masterminds behind the event, kindly asked me to bring my DIY skills to the table, and I was all too happy to oblige. But I wasn’t the ONLY one doing a do-it-yourelf demonstration that day.

My gal pals were set up a mere 10 or so feet from my own paper pinwheel table, giving visitors a quick tutorial on painted stenciled napkins. You know that I couldn’t help but take part, especially with all of that colorful decor and with lines of paint and paint brushes within easy reach.

Although one of you was actually able to make it to the event in person (great to meet you, by the way, Suzanna!), I thought it was only fair to share the demo in a step-by-step play-by-play because, well…You know that’s how we roll around here. So first up, I grabbed my napkin, choosing a simple white one. Then I slipped a piece of cardboard beneath the corner that I planned to paint – This prevented any bleed through onto the other folds of the fabric.

Next, I mixed my paint. The generic Craft Smart color in the bottle was a little brighter than I wanted (I was going for a slightly muted minty teal), so I grabbed the yellow and the white and mixed things up until I got the shade I wanted. For the stencil itself, Ashley totally inspired me with her “Eat” napkin seen several photos up and, since she had already cut and taped the lettered stencils together, I was able to skip ahead. In case you want to try this at home, she used Martha Stewart brand stencils.

After the prep work was complete, it was time to get painting. I situated my stencil right in the corner of my napkin, grabbed a foam pouncer and lightly dipped it a couple of times in the paint. Then I brought it over and lightly dipped again, this time over the stencil itself. The key is to use a small amount of paint and a small amount of pressure. You definitely don’t want to rush this or else you won’t get a nice crisp edge.

(It’s not very often that I get photographic evidence of me actually DOING these crafts – Thanks for capturing the moment, Cori!) 

Soon afterwards with my two napkins complete, we decided to break for lunch (and to play with kittens, as you saw in Wednesday’s post) but when we came back, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing from the napkins. They were super cute and I loved the color, but they were a tiny bit hard to read and I couldn’t stop at just the stencil – It needed a little extra to make it feel “mine.”

Ultimately, I decided that the letters could use an outline to make them pop. So I grabbed a skewer (from my pile of paper pinwheel supplies) and dipped it in a drop of black paint, then drew around the lines of my stenciled letters. It was definitely slow going since I had to “reink” every centimeter or so, but I think the napkins look more finished this way.

Ten minutes was all it took for my stenciled words to dry, and because we used acrylic paint, they are completely washable and useable. The great thing about this project is that you can customize it any way you want. The particular stack of stencils that Ashley and Cori bought included letters, lace patterns, chevron, bird cut outs, hearts – Nearly any kind of shape you can think of. This is definitely one of those perfect summer afternoon projects to while away the hours and leave you with something that you can enjoy season after season.

Below you’ll see how I styled my new napkin with one of the tea towels I bought at the event, as well as a fun ikat place mat that I also picked up at Curtains, Blinds and Bath. Simple, affordable and stylish – My kind of place setting…

Have a great weekend!

P.S. The winner of the Home Depot giveaway has been announced! Click through to see if it was you.

P.P.S. I know it’s been forever since I threw together a “Friday Feature Round Up.” But this week I kept things light and manageable – Just a quick “Pin of the Day” post for Le Papier Studio and a wine feature for Glitter Guide. Enjoy!

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