Mad Men-Inspired Décor Stencil

MadMen Inspired Stencil by The Silly Pearl

Hi everyone! My name is Steph and I write the blog The Silly Pearl, about the crafts I make in between married life and twin mamahood. It is such an honor to be on Jessica’s blog today for her Mad for Mad Men series! She has been so supportive of me and I’m so excited to be here with a project inspired by one of my favorite shows.

I’ve always been attracted to 60s style and décor, mainly because my parents met and married in England in the 60s. I love looking through their old photos…my mom rockin’ a sheath dress and my dad stylin’ in his black-rimmed glasses. Peter and Trudy Campbell were also newlyweds in the same era, and I LOVE their apartment. The screen that serves as a room divider between the living room and the dining room really caught my eye.

Mad Men Peter Campbell Apartment Screen

So I created a stencil using Picnik (yes I’m still using it!) inspired by the screen’s pattern. Here was my first mock-up…you can stencil both the positive space (top) and negative space (bottom), and make the stencil in different sizes.

MadMenStencilPositiveSpace

MadMenStencilNegativeSpace

And here’s the final stencil I created. I will show you how I cut the stencils out by hand, but you could use a fancy cutting machine to do it automatically if you have one (like a Silhouette or a Cricut with a Gypsy).

MadMenStencil_TheSillyPearl
I love thrifting and I always have my eyes peeled for décor items from the 60s. A few months ago, I found this cool side table and glassware set! I also found this sparkly gold melamine tray (which might be more 80s than 60s but that’s like my other favorite decade). I thought a lining inside the tray plus a table runner would tie everything together while providing some color.

MadMenStencil0

Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  • Freezer paper
  • Printer
  • Craft knife
  • Self-healing mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Stencil paint and brushes, and fabric medium (optional)
  • Sewing machine
So let’s get started with the stencil. I’ll be making a larger stencil and a smaller one. The large one will be of the positive space (the blue one in the tray), and the small one will be of the negative space (the orange one on the table runner).
I used freezer paper to make the stencils. First, cut out a piece of freezer paper the same size as printer paper. For the larger stencil, the pattern goes all the way to the edge, so tape the paper very close to the edge. Print two of each size.

MadMenStencil1

Click to download the PDFs for the small stencil and the large stencil from scribd.com. Note: The graphics were slightly altered when I converted the documents to PDF, so they won’t look exactly the same as the stencils in these pictures.
Let’s do the large/positive space stencil first. I laid the printed freezer paper in the tray to check for sizing. I’m only going to use two rows of each of the large stencils.

MadMenStencil3
To stencil the positive space, you need to use the negative space of the stencil, i.e. the white parts that are shaped like L’s, T’s and rectangles. Hope that makes sense! As you cut, you can lay them out. Again, just cut out the two middle “rows” of the stencil, for both pieces of freezer paper.

MadMenStencil4

We will also need to create the outside border of the stencil. So cut out 4 strips of freezer paper to create a frame around the shapes.

MadMenStencil5

Cut out a piece of cotton fabric to fit inside the tray. Measure the length and width inside the tray and add 1 inch to each dimension for hemming the edges. Then mark the middle of the fabric and start placing the T’s, L’s and rectangles starting from the middle. Use a ruler to line them up, and you can press the shapes as you go. Then press the long strips to form the frame.

MadMenStencil6

Now let’s create the small/negative space stencil. As before, tape a piece of freezer paper to a piece of printer paper and print two copies. Use your craft knife to cut out the white L’s, T’s and rectangles, but you can just set those aside (save them if you wish).

MadMenStencil7

Press the two small stencils plus one of the big stencils (the positive space you didn’t use for the tray). Center the large stencil in the middle and the two smaller ones on either side. Here’s what it will look like draped this way on the side table.

MadMenStencil8

Now it’s time to paint. I used a shimmery pearl finish paint for the large blue stencil (Martha Stewart Crafts Pearl Paint in Aquamarine) and a satin finish paint for the small stencil (Martha Stewart Crafts Satin Paint in Carrot) with some fabric medium added. I used these roller attachments but you can use any type of stencil brush.

MadMenStencil9

I rolled the shimmery aqua paint over the large stencil, then lifted the individual pieces to reveal the negative space. Love the shine!

MadMenStencil10

I painted the orange paint over the negative space stencils to reveal the positive space. After the paint dried, I heat set it with an iron and hemmed the sides with my sewing machine.

MadMenStencil11

All done! Just need Sally Draper to make me a Vodka Gimlet.

MadMen-InspiredStencil

The main drawback to using freezer paper is that you can only use it once. I definitely plan to use this stencil again, but instead I would either invest in some plastic stencil film, or I would use a screen printing kit to burn the image onto a screen. My head is swimming with ideas on what to stencil next.
Hope you’ll come visit me at The Silly Pearl for more crafting, sewing, stenciling and screen printing, thrifty upcycling, and jewelry making tutorials. And please visit the Multiples and More Blog Network where I write the monthly series Multiples In the Kitchen, where I cook with my almost 5-year old twin girls.

TheSillyPearl

Thank you again Jessica for hosting Mad for Mad Men! I couldn’t be more excited for the new season to start!

Thanks, Stephanie, for this authentic-looking 60s project.  I am amazed by your meticulous work! 

Stephanie has an eye for beautiful, clean home décor.  Everything she makes just looks happy!  Check out her blog, The Silly Pearl, to see what I mean.

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