See this detailed tutorial on how to make your own beautiful country style burlap wedding table numbers using homemade stencils. It’s really easy and inexpensive - and the end-result is amazing!
For this DIY project I wanted to create some super elegant DIY wedding table numbers, using only the materials I already had at home. I didn’t buy any new tools, templates or similar. If you don’t want to go “100% DIY” stencilling templates and special stencilling sheets are available in craft shops for projects like this one.
The technique I used to make these table numbers can also be used if you want to make your own beautiful wedding bunting flags, "Mr & Mrs banner”, "I-do banner”, "Here comes the bride banner” and much much more. See below how I did it.
The tools and materials I used:
Sheets of normal copying paper (80gsm)
My computer and printer
A retractable blade knife
A pair of scissors
A metal ruler
A protective board (to cut my stencils on)
Black acrylic paint
A household sponge
A small glass lid (covered with saran wrap)
Here is how I did it:
I started by making my own stencils. I typed the numbers I needed in a word document and printed them out on normal copying paper (80gsm.) my printer. I had to make a few test prints before I found the right font and size I liked.
To make my stencils, I placed my prints on a protective underlay (I used an old piece of wood board) and cut out my numbers using a retractable blade knife. When using paper for stencils you will only be able to use these stencils a couple of times. If you need your stencil more than a couple of times you should buy "stencil card" in a craft shop. Stencil card has an opaque, glossy surface and can withstand repeated applications of paint.
Using my blade knife, I carefully cut along the printed lines with smooth long movements. It is easiest to achieve a smooth cut edge if you work towards yourself when cutting. I used a steel ruler to cut against when cutting the straight lines – it’s much easier. Be aware - retractable blade knives, hobby and craft knives are incredibly sharp. Be careful when you use them and make sure you have a protective cutting mat like an old piece of wood board or similar underneath your paper or stencil card before you start cutting.
If you have never cut stencils before it may seem a little bit difficult to begin with. Take your time and slowly work your way around each number. The curvy bits are the hardest to cut but once you have tried it a couple of times it will get much easier. It was a bit tricky for me in the beginning too but now it only takes me a couple of minutes to cut out each number.
TIP: It’s much easier to start with fonts which are not so curly. Calligraphy can be a little hard to cut unless the numbers/letters are really large but with a little bit of practise you can make stencils using any font you like the look of.
Once all my stencils were cut I was ready to prepare my burlap. I cut one piece of burlap measuring approx. 4x6” for each table number. I then placed my burlap on a protective underlay and positioned my stencil on top of the burlap ready to paint. I used only a little bit of black artists acrylic paint for this project. My numbers measured approximately 2x2¾” so I needed very little paint for each number - less than half a teaspoon for each. To apply the paint I used a small piece of a normal household sponge. You can also use a small brush but I really like the effect the sponge gives and I find it easier to get a beautiful result using a sponge.
To apply the paint I carefully dipped my sponge in the paint and dabbed the sponge onto the burlap through the stencil until the holes in the stencil were completely covered. As my stencils were fairly small I chose to simply hold my stencil in place with my fingers. If you are working with large stencils it’s a good idea to use tape to help you hold your stencil in place while you work. Be careful not to put too much paint on your sponge or brush as it is easier control the paint and create neat lines. If your sponge is completely soaked, the paint may run in under your stencil. I used artist acrylic paint for my table numbers. This type of paint is less runny, easy to work with and also waterproof. I wanted to achieve a rustic look country style look so I applied a little more paint in some areas than others.
Once finished simply remove your stencil and leave your print to dry.
TIP: It’s a good idea to cover the dish you use for the paint with household saran wrap, a small plastic bag or similar. When you are finished painting, you simply remove the saran wrap from the dish and throw it in the bin. This way you avoid paint stains in your sink or on your bathroom tiles.
When my prints were dry I sewed each of my burlap pieces onto a white piece of folded cardstock. I did this so my table numbers could stand on their own on the tables. Once the burlap was sewed onto the cardstock the table numbers were finished and ready to go! I used white cardstock but I think black would look really beautiful too!
I hope you liked this tutorial and that it will help you make your own DIY wedding table numbers or other DIY wedding décor.
Enjoy your DIY project!