DIY Moroccan Wall Stencil (*squeal!)

2 Aug

I’m so excited to write about this, I’m about ready to explode!

This started with an idea I found on Pinterest(of course). That’s where all ideas come from now, don’t you know?

It also came out of desperation.

I had a pinning fit of wall stencils.

And what I had pinned as inspiration for my house, was also something I ended up not being able to let go of.

I kept thinking and dreaming of stencils and was desperate to find one to paint.

Some bold and dramatic, others subdued and barely there but adding so much visual texture it changes the whole space.

Yes, I do believe I fell in love with stencils. We are very happy together.

These are not your ordinary grandma ivy border stencils. Love you Grandma.

These are blow your skirt up, total wall stencils that, if done right, can look like expensive wallpaper.

Wallpaper is back in btw. I already have 37 styles picked out that I want to put in my 5 houses and cottage by the sea.

And stencils are the new paint.

I’m totally with it. Can you tell?


Let me give you an example of a “blow your skirt up” stencil.

Click to go to the inspiration page.

Hello gorgeous.

Seriously, how stunning is that. (<<no question, because there’s no question.)

This was the inspiration room where I fell in love with stencils.

It’s also where I found the free printable for the moroccan shape!

You can find the download at the end of her post.


I also really love this shape.

Click here to print it off.

But, alas, I could only pick one. Maybe next time, pretty stencil.
I know, they’re quite similar, but they look totally different on the wall.


I actually ended up doing a mix between the two.
When I printed off my stencil shape, here, I enlarged it significantly. I printed it on 4 pages and taped them together. Reason being, I felt the smaller version may make my space look a little too busy.

I would have traced the shape onto some cardboard like the tutorial, but sadly, all my exacto knife blades were dull/broken, and there was no fandangling a scissors to cut out the curved lines on the cardboard. So, I stuck with regular copy paper, and it worked just fine. I actually got quite fast at tracing!

Total trace time was about 2 hours. And I’m being generous.

You see how my stencils don’t completely line up?
That’s okay! I lined up the stencil as best I could on the left side, and then traced out the right side, and just kept going. I really only used it as a guideline, and blended the lines together when I brushed over it with paint.

See, it wasn’t perfect. And that’s okay! Once I got going, I realized it didn’t have to be perfect. I would be painting over it later, and smoothing out the lines.

Although, don’t drink too much coffee while attempting to trace and paint a stencil. You’ll at least need a semi-steady hand.

Even those who are lessย artistically inclined, you can do it! It’s stupid easy.

Just remember, back off the coffee, Becky. Fer real.


Let’s paint!

I bought regular old craft paint, white, and metallic gold, which was on sale for .29 cents at Michael’s!

My wall color is a light, sandy, cream color, and I felt stark white was going to be a bit harsh. So I mixed in a few drops of metallic gold to tone it down. You can’t even see the gold in it, but it probably adds some dimention. I say “probably”, because I like to think the few drops actually make a difference. Who knows. It does soften the white a little though by giving it just a tad bit of a cream tone.

I also picked up a cheap, $3.99, 1/2 inch flat shader brush.
Pretty sure the hardest part of this whole process was picking the size of the brush! Every tutorial I found just said to use a “small” brush.

To me, the brush is one of the most important parts!

I recommend a 1/2 inch wide, folks.

The one I have is 1/2 wide and has about 3/4 length bristles. The shorter the better. It gives you more control. But don’t get it so short that you have no play. You want some flexibility. And, when the bristles are longer, there is too much flexibility so when you go to brush on the wall, the brush spreads out too much and you get a thicker line.

When I pressed the brush on the wall, with about as much force as I would need to apply paint..

..Barely any fanning!


Okay, one more of the brush, and I swear I’ll move on.

I promise my walls aren’t bright turquoise.

Okay, so of course once I started tracing the stencil, I couldnt get very far before I had to try out painting and see what it’d be like.

Piece of cake! It was really fun.

I’m going to need to find another stencil to paint somewhere else (like my bedroom!) because it was so much fun.

Paint inside the lines (as much as you can).

Sometimes when I was correcting some lines, the paint was more over the center of the line than inside. But once again, it doesn’t matter! It will all look symetrical once finished. Just make sure you start out level, and it’ll all fall into place.

I just eyeballed it until it was too late to go back and check if it was level (oops!), and mine turned out really good!

The less you try to make it perfect, the better it will look. So take that pressure off yourself, take a deep breath, relax, and I’d say have a cup of coffee… well.. you know.

But, if you want that jagged look, then by all means, drink up ya coffeholic.

Take it from me.
By day 3 of no coffee to kick start my day, I was about ready for a cup, and was probably shaking anyways.
So, I had a cup. A big cup. It was iced, and strong, and delicious, and by 7pm when I decided to paint some, I was still feeling the coffee.
I had to concentrate really hard.
There was wet paper towels on hand to fix the “whoops”, and they were used.
It was worth it. But it definitely didn’t speed up the process.

I had some company.

Here’s a better picture of the tracing.

Okay, so to clarify more on which lines to paint inside of.. check out this picture..

Hope this helps.

Sorry for the sloppy depiction..

The green shaded area is where you want to paint inside the lines.
The red area is where you would “skip” painting inside the lines and just move on to the next “line” or “row” of the pattern.
Can you see the difference between the two?
You couldn’t actually paint inside all the lines without it turning out weird, but I just wanted to try clarify how it works.

The hubs really liked it. I actually debated on stopping at just the one wall, but I’m so glad I didn’t!

Now, who’s ready for some drastic before & afters?!


Here’s a photo of my dining room from our first year we were in this house.

It’s actually a different color than the rest of the living room… well, no it’s not, it just has a metallic coat over the top. And I thought that would be enough of a difference to visually separate the spaces.

After a year or so of that, I was sick of it. I wanted to paint all the way down the hallway and carry it through the dining room because it felt so cut off where the blue metallic paint stopped. It needed to be lightened up and have some more definition.

Here’s the space after I painted the hallway through the dining room.

Sort of blah. I loved how it lightened up the space so much (sorry this photo was taken at night), and helped you know where the dining room started and ended. Also ignore the placement of the table, I had already moved it over to start tracing.

But, just the paint alone wasn’t doing it for me. It felt too sterile. Too beige. (I want to get a new dining set, don’t tell Pete)

NOW, the big reveal.

I’m in love. It makes me want to sit there all day.

Ruby… always a blur in any photo. Her whole body shakes when you say her name.

Chloe loved that her table was back in it’s place so she could take a nap.

Let’s recap…


Maybe we’ll actually use it more now!

Now I know I’m sort of late for the Pinterest Challenge everyone has been doing, but I still consider this mine!

Since Pinterest came along, I’ve never cooked more new recipes, done more crafts and changed up my decor more! I don’t think I’m one of those that pin it and forget it. I’m pretty crafty, and love doing artsy fartsy stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of… I should probably blog about my Christmas wreath I made last year… not that it’s late or anything.

Now if I can only find some fabric to recover that pink chair…..


14 Responses to “DIY Moroccan Wall Stencil (*squeal!)”

  1. Aimee August 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Looks fantastic!

  2. Tracy Mailey August 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    WOW! Looks FANTASTIC!!!!!!

  3. Sarah February 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    Looks great! Glad you were inspired by my wall an tried it. Love Pinterest for spreading the creativity. ๐Ÿ™‚ -Sarah.

  4. Vera March 1, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    Wow! amazing, I love your taste ๐Ÿ™‚ I was looking for a stencil for my bedroom, but I don’t trust myself with doing it freehanded!

  5. leanne ross October 11, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    love love love it

  6. AZA November 27, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

    I am totally doing this for my bedroom wall. I am trying to make it Moroccan tent inspired. I hope I do a great job

    • lifesjoyphotography January 21, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

      Ooh, I love that for a bedroom ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure you’ll do great!

  7. Cherie January 6, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

    Absolutley LOVE this – you did an awesome job! I really want to do this in our bedroom – I think it would look awesome! It’s just finding the time to do it that’s the hard part

  8. Cherie January 6, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

    But one question – did you put a clear gloss paint over the whole thing after you had done the stencil or did you just leave it? I see where you just used copy paper, and not cardboard. How did you manage to keep this straight the whole time? Tape a level on the back or something? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • lifesjoyphotography January 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

      Hi Cherie! I didn’t put any clear coat over the top of it since the finish of the craft paint was close to the finish of my wall paint. I was, however, worried about how flimsy the copy paper might be, and missing out on having that hard line of the cardboard to trace against. But it ended up being really easy, I only loosely traced it which really sped up the process, and I didn’t worry about making it perfect. With keeping it straight, I eyed it the whole time, no level. I followed the previous line I traced, so if you start out straight, that’s your best bet. You could always draw a straight line horizontally across the middle of the stencil, which would help the “eyeing” it part. I know… super technical system I had there ๐Ÿ˜› I wasn’t seeking out perfection, because the second I do is when something goes wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚ It ended up looking just fine!


  1. 15 minutes of Fame « Life's Joy Photography - August 7, 2012

    […] posting my tutorial for a moroccan wall stencil, it’s become so popular, The Pioneer of Home Improvement picked it up and tweeted it to his […]

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