This is what I started with. It was actually pretty cool exactly like it was, but I have been in the mood to paint, and it was a blank canvas that I was just staring at.
On day one I just painted that whole thing a solid color. I had some help from the friendly animals outside, which resulted in having to do an extra coat. I decided to leave the legs natural, and I'm glad that I did.
The next step was making a stencil. I folded a piece of paper in half and then in half again, then cut out the shape. I hope that you all can pretty much see what I did from looking at this picture, because actually explaining it is way beyond me at this moment. I had to do this a few times to get the shape exactly what I wanted it to look like. I spent some time looking at designs online. There are tons of great DIY tips on blogs that I found by searching DIY stencil on Pinterest.
This part wasn't an exact science. I basically just laid the stencil on the surface and traced around it with a pencil, and then moved it and traced again. Pretty easy. I just eyeballed where I needed to place the stencil each time. I started in the middle and then worked my way to the edges. That way the pattern in the center would be complete and not broken.
Next, I filled in the lines with my contrast color. It looks white, but it is actually a fantastic color called Pirate's Cove or something. On a wall it sometimes looks blue, sometimes green, and occasionally grey. I needed to do two coats, as you can see from the picture above.
Now I'm as excited as I was when I got this piece as a birthday present. Thanks Mama!