How to Paint a Book or Bible Cover with Stencils

NEW STENCILS LAUNCHED TODAY! The stencils shown above provide the design and structure of painting this Bible cover. I designed them with the size of books and Bibles in mind, but can be used for all sorts of art journaling. These stencils and other NEWLY designed stencils are produced by StencilGirl® Products.

This Bible was chosen because of its plain cloth cover, a base for the painting. I purchased ESV Interleaved Bible from I used Golden brand paints and cosmetic sponges. See my Tips, Supplies & Resource page for more info.

PREP: To seal cloth Book Cover, I brushed on 2 coats of clear gesso. Art Basics or Dina Wakely brand recommended.

1. First, I centered the stencil and taped it to the cover with tape such as Washi tape. Then, put paint on palette, mixing enough to cover front and back with stencil. Stenciled with cosmetic sponge. A stencil brush could also be used. It’s a good idea to do a test first. I mixed some Manganese Blue Hue and Sap Green.

2. To make a straighter line, if needed, tape off a strip close to the bottom of the cover. Stencil below the tape. Lift off the stencil and the tape.

3. To make the spine secure for painting, I stretched some rubber bands around the Bible.

4. Place a piece of Washi tape over the spine title.

5. The stencil was secured to the spine with pieces of Washi tape. Stencil with Cosmetic sponge, adjusting the tape as needed.

6. Removing the stencil and the Washi tape reveals the creative spine.

13.Bible Cover-Valerie Sjodin

7. The back cover of the Bible was done using the same process as the front, continuing from the spine.

8. A strip at the bottom of the trees was taped off in order to stencil the bottom of the cover.

9. Now the cover is ready for the next stencil layer, the bark and branches of the tree. I lined up the bark arch stencil with the leafy tree arch. Sponge/stencil with gold paint. The paint used is Golden Iridescent Gold Fine Deep fluid acrylic paint.

10. Next, I taped down the stencil and stenciled with a cosmetic sponge to create the pattern of the bark on the tree.

11. I took a few extra steps for the sunburst because I wanted it to look like a Vintage book cover with the sun shimmering through the leaves of the trees. The leafy tree arch stencil was placed back on top of the cover, and then the sunburst stencil was put on top of that, and taped them down. I sponged on some Titanium White mixed with Iridescent  Pearl Fine and Diarylide Yellow paint.

12. Now for the leaves. The stencil matches up somewhat, but also has random leaves so I will be moving the stencil around and have the gold and the background color making layers of leaves. To set the leaves apart from the gold of the bark I’m using Golden Iridescent Gold Fine Bright fluid acrylic.

14. I decided to keep the ground for the trees a straight line, using the deep gold color. Then taped the band off and stencil with the sponge. You can see the difference between the two golds. If you only have a bright gold, you can darken it with some Raw Umber paint.

15. On the cover I put the “Holy Bible” title with a paint brush and the bright gold paint. On the back, with more words, I used a Sanford Gold Coat pen. Testing gold pens first is recommended.

It is easy and fun to build up layers of stencils for pages and book covers. I think the goal of making a Vintage looking cover for my Bible was reached.

Blessings to you as you create!

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  1. Oh, Valerie how stunning! I can’t wait to get the stencils and play with them. Keep putting them out and will keep buying them up! Blessings!

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