diy project: stenciled floors

I’ve always loved the symmetry and flow that patterns provide, but finding an actual pattern in the form of a stencil that I would want to use on my walls or other places in my home is a bit difficult. Most arts and crafts stores carry about five different stock patterns. Though there is a larger amount of custom options online, the prices are often high for most DIY projects. I recently decided to tear out the carpet in my bedroom and paint the plywood sub-flooring, until I am ready to put in a hardwood floor. After painting the floor, I opted to add a custom stencil using some of my favorite vintage fabric to add an extra kick. — Ashley

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • Sharpie
  • X-Acto knife
  • blank decorative stencil or clear thin acetate
  • vintage fabric & doily
  • self-healing mat or hard surface for cutting
  • repositionable adhesive


1. Begin by getting your design the correct size for the stencil. The print on the vintage fabric I chose was a bit smaller than I wanted for my stencil. I took a photograph of a section of my fabric, increased the size in Photoshop and then printed it. You could also take your fabric to a copy store and print a magnified or reduced copy of the image.

2. Place your printed design (or actual design if it is the correct size) under the blank stencil. Using a Sharpie, trace the sections you want included in your stencil. Keep in mind that the base of the stencil has to be connected when you are finished. You might need to modify parts of your initial design when drawing on the stencil to make sure all areas are connected. I chose to add “filler” designs, like a doily, to my fabric to create a full-sheet stencil.

3. Using an X-Acto knife and self-healing mat or hard work surface, cut out your design.

4. After you have finished cutting your stencil, spray the underside with repositionable adhesive (what scrapbookers use). Let the first coat dry for ten minutes and then spray again. Let it dry for another ten minutes. Your stencil will now stick to the surface, but should not leave a residue when you peel it off.

5. Paint your floor using the stencil design.

Tips for Using Your Stencil

  • Keep in mind how you want the stencil to connect to itself when you begin painting. To create a diagonal stencil, I used half a doily design on one upper edge. When I painted the stencil, I simply rotated it until the doily was complete, thus creating a diagonal design.

  • Be careful not to bend any area of your stencil.
  • I prefer using small foam rollers when painting a stencil.
  • Keep in mind that the more precise your pattern, the more difficult to get it looking exactly right when painting. If you opt for an organic design rather than a geometric design, it is easier to fix mistakes and paint smudges.
  • Depending on the size of your stencil, you can use it on walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, canvas, fabric and countless other places.

6. Enjoy your one-of-a-kind stencil!


so pretty! Ashley’s blog is always full of inspiration and cute and adorable kids. :)


Beautiful! You can use a hot knife-an electric exacto blade to make tiny and intricate details easier to cut out. They run on sale and if not a coupon is useable at most craft stores.


that is gorgeous!…since it’s on subfloor don’t know if you plan on making that a permanent solution….but i would! love it so much!

Jenny Joy

We have an unfinished basement floor that is screaming for this technique! Thanks for the tutorial!


Love it!

One other tip I’d add is to use a light hand with your sponge/rag/roller – aiming for 100% coverage tends to produce bleeding.

Polly Danger

This is such a great budget project! I moved into a house that needs a top to bottom overhaul, but I’m not keen on living with ugliness in the mean time. This is exactly the kind of project that will sooth my need for loveliness until we can really renovate! Thanks!


This is fabulous! I’ve been tempted to do this with creating faux “wallpaper” on my walls… I hadn’t thought of doing it for floors – genius!


Thanks for sharing this project Ashley, you make it look so easy! This is such a great way to spruce up a room.

maison marigold

What an amazing idea…it is certainly not easy but the end result seems well worth the effort!! thanks for sharing, Grace!! xx meenal

My Brown Wedding

This is absolutely gorgeous!
Such a cool idea and suprisingly its not that hard – just requires a lot of patience and detail!


Perfect! I’m in the same boat as Polly – I am going to start ripping up my gross carpet asap.


Oh my goodness. This is amazing!! I must find a plywood floor to try this on. I’m kind of mad that I have hardwood now. Thanks for this post. Hmmm…basement? Great idea Jenny Joy.


This is REALLY gorgeous! Any tips on how you painted the gray base coat, or any top coats?


This is beautiful! I am definitely keeping track of this idea for when I get a house.


I’ve always loved the floor – check out her whole bedroom, its beautiful and cozy!


Loved the concept. ‘Alpana or rongoli’ is based on the same concept in India.


This is beautiful, i have seen such prints on the wall but you totally gave a new dimension to stencils.. thanks for sharing…


Ahhh….well worth the wait. Thank you so much for showing us how its done! I like how they referred to you over at Design Aglow “do-it-yourself expert”….yep, that sums it up :)

Stephanie Press

This is great in place of finished wood flooring. So many possibilities, just think of all the kilim patterns and painting you could do! It wouldn’t surprise me if you end up sticking with it.


Whoa. This is gorgeous! And I love that you didnt use the entire pattern, just a portion. This is going in my ideas box!:)


the floor is cool but I would die for that orange floral chair!

karen berg

This is so fantastic. I am going to try this in my workspace where there is a cement floor. It would add a lot of “happy” to my day. -K

Linda Michaels

This is really beautiful…I have been wanting to pull up the carpet in our living room for a while now…thanks for the inspiration!!!


What an inspiration! Your floors make me feel happy just by looking at them.


So pretty! I’ve been think of things that we could do with our floor. This would be nice as a ‘rug’ for a portion of the floor. Thank you for the tutorial!

Debra Finn

Brilliant idea, if you wanted this to be a permanent floor feature I guess you’d put a matt varnish on it wud you?

thanks, like many of your readers i’m keen to get ripping up carpets….


What an idea! This looks so beautiful and is such a nice way to make a normal room all special. Such a lovely inspiration!

Stefanie D

I have been dying to paint my ugly laundry room floor. I want to do a mustard yellow with a white stencil. Yours turned out so nice!

Louise M

Love. Love. Love. This is definitely being filed away for things to do when I have a place of my own. It’s so sweet. I would love to see it creeping across the floor and sprawled over one wall and just slightly onto the ceiling and other walls, as if a plant has just taken over the room.


@ASHLEY: You may want to mention in this article that you laid down a coat of polyurethane over the finished stenciled floor. You go into a little detail in the other article (I liked the age stain you mention there) but I’d hate to think someone just reading this piece would go through all the work of stenciling and then wonder why it wore off in 2 months.

Wonderful work. And cute kids.


I’m with Polly, waiting for house to close, good carpet except for the black tar stains, i was going to get the little tiny sizzors and lay around on the carpet trimming the bad things, heck with it, this will be so much cheaper than having it dyed or replacing it, doing on the cheap is the plan for this house, we are in our late 60’s…. me…. and late 70’s him. Love this idea, then maybe i can buy some really cool rug to put around for warmth!
Thanks so much for all your ideas, Penny


This looks great! I plan on doing the same in my house. What color did you paint the floors?


I have cut my own stencils for years…using your same method except the knife. I use an electric stencil cutter. This way I don’t have to trace my pattern I just slide it under a piece of glass, put my stencil plastic on top and start with my cutter. So quick and easy. Here is one site to show you. They are very inexpensive … ….enjoy