Create three variations of a classic Christmas character using free downloadable stencils.
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To create your own stencils using shelf liner and our downloadable stencil patterns print the downloadable pattern on 11 x 17-inch pieces of paper and transfer the design to shelf paper. Then cut out the designs and apply the shelf paper stencil to the painted wood surface. For a time-saving alternative to making your own stencil, order the Nutcracker Soldier stencil in 10-mil Mylar for $24.95 plus shipping from Royal Design Studio.
Cut a 1/2-inch birch plywood panel into three 12-inch x 24-inch panels. Sand each panel on the outside face and edges. Add wood filler to any gaps, let dry, and sand smooth.
Apply three coats of a light color (Bistro White shown) on both faces and the edges of each panel. Let the last coat dry overnight before continuing.
Tape around the edges of the front face to form a border 1-1/4 inches wide. Then apply two coats of a contrasting color (Heirloom Red shown) to the center of the panel. Remove the tape after the last coat dries overnight. Repeat for the remaining panels.
Center a stencil on a panel and paint the design in the contrasting color (Bistro White shown). Brush on paint carefully to avoid forcing it under the stencils. Apply at least two coats for even color, remove the stencil, and let the final coat dry. Then use separate detail stencils and contrasting paint (Heirloom Red shown) as needed to create the nutcracker details. Repeat for the remaining panels and stencils. Make any touchups with an artist’s brush.
Fasten a self-leveling picture hanger centered at the top of a panel and hang it using wall anchors as needed. Repeat for the remaining panels.