Sooooo, Pinterest came to the rescue. This Blogger gives an amazing tutorial on how to make your own stencil CHEAP! All you need is paper, cardboard, a level, brushes, and paint...and a blank wall.
At first, I chose my own shape and downloaded it but found it was not quite the right look I wanted. So I used the one she suggested. Here it is:
I didn't follow her instructions to the letter, but pretty close. I taped a piece of paper onto my computer screen and traced this shape. Make sure you don't make the shape to small or you will be spending a lifetime on this project. I had to use two 8 1/2x11 sheets of paper.
After cutting out the shape, I folded the shape in half just to make sure it was symmetrical, trimming off anything that wasn't even. Next, I traced the shape onto a piece of cardboard. Cardboard is wonderful because it is pliable. Great for bending and shaping around my windows. Again, I folded my shape in half to check that it was even on both sides.
This is where the "fun" part begins. Patience, dear friend, patience. I didn't have a small enough level, so I downloaded a level app on my phone, and it worked wonderfully. I taped my level to my stencil, making sure it was VERY secure. I guesstimated where I should begin by trying to make sure I would end with a full shape instead of just a sliver of the shape. I was pretty close. My windows made it halfway impossible.
After tracing, and tracing, and tracing, and tracing, I was ready to paint. We already had high gloss white exterior/interior paint so whoopee! no trips to the hardware store. Plus, no cost. I grabbed some art painted brushes from my craft room and went to work. I had to trace everything freehand, but it actually wasn't that difficult. Just time-consuming. Loooooove how it turned out!! My Darling Husband loves it as well. His words exactly: "It's beautiful, Babe!" Success : )
So I still have some work to do, but I think it's a wonderful start.
I also got to finally hang the curtains I sort of sewed. I loved the bluish/green color, but they weren't long enough. So I bought the cream colored ones and sewed them together. Perfect length now.