here's a quick rundown on how I did the gold stars in elsie's nursery.
It was pretty easy and only took an afternoon.
martha stewart paint in "vintage gold" (sold at home depot for under $5)
small paint brush
First I created my stencil. This was probably the "hardest" part. By this I mean it wasn't actually hard, but it did take me a minute to get it proportional and the size I wanted. I traced my star on a piece of cardstock and cut out the center to create my stencil. I know they sell actual plasticky material that is made for stencils, but.... lazy. I worked with what I had.
Next I ran to my neighbors to borrow a pencil, because somehow I haven't uncovered the box ours are in. Then I measured to find the exact center of my wall. The wall is 10x8, so I measured 5 feet in from the left and 4 feet down from the top and made a small dot. I placed my stencil over this spot so the dot was in the exact center of my star and traced the star. Then I measured my top and bottom stars above that first start (6" from top and bottom of the wall), and put two more stars in that row (one in between top/bottom star and the center star).
Is this even making sense?
The stars are all roughly 18" apart, but I wasn't hung up on exactness too much. I wanted them to not be perfectly aligned. I measured 18" over from my first star and created my next star (in between the middle and lower star of the previous row). I'm still tracing all my stars at this point. All stars are 18" apart from the one above them, and 3 feet from the closest star on it's same level (two rows over).
Once all my stars were traced, I started filling them in with gold paint. I tried placing the stencil over the tracing and filling it in that way, but it was easier and faster to just fill in my pencil marks. This paint dries quickly. I added a thick layer for some texture.
fill them all in (I just did one coat, although I did spot fill a few with a second coat), then step back and admire your work.
tip: DON'T leave your toddler unattended with a paint brush, or he'll try to help you. DO have some left over wall paint for touch ups and to cover pencil marks.