Traditional stencil technique of Hälsingland

The traditional stencil technique of Hälsingland is used to decorate walls, wall hangings, and objects. It is recognized through its particular patterns and rich colour scheme.

Location: Hälsingland

Photo of a person using the traditional stencil technique of Hälsingland on a wall.

The traditional stencil technique of Hälsingland is today practiced by craftspeople, artists and conservators. Photo: Pelle Nyberg

The stencils have been used in the mid-Swedish region of Hälsingland since the 16th century as an important feature of the local building tradition. Older paintings can be found in the decorated farmhouses of Hälsingland, some of which were listed as World Heritage sites in 2012. Historically, local specialized painters were normally responsible for the paintings. As a symbol of status and wealth, the technique was typically used in festive halls or even in entire buildings dedicated to festive occasions.

The stencils were historically cut out from thick paper, while plastic sheets are used for the stencils today. When applying the paint, a stippler brush or a small paint roller is used to prevent the paint from dripping. A renewed interest in preserving and renovating historic buildings has been beneficial to safeguard the stencil technique. Several craft educations in Sweden offer courses in stencil technique and there are also books describing the craft. In recent years, craftspeople and artists have explored the traditional stencil techniques in contemporary works of art.


Anna-Carin Åsbrink (2020), Handbok för schablonmåleri. Länsstyrelsen Gävleborg.

Anna-Carin Åsbrink (2021), Rullgardiner och fästanordningar i Hälsingegårdarna. Länsstyrelsen Gävleborg.

Erik Nordin (2021), Måla med schablon som Jonas Wallström: Om världsarvsgården Gästgivars och schablonmåleriet i Hälsingland. Uppsala: Gyllene snittet HB.

Gärd Folkesdotter (1997), "Jonas Wallström och samtida schablonmåleri". Hälsingerunor.

Gärd Folkesdotter (2004), "Du skall stjäla med smak – mönster i hälsingegårdsmåleri". Magisteruppsats vid Stockholms universitet.

Gärd Folkesdotter (2003), "Små hål med stor effekt: jämförelser mellan schabloner, målare och interiörer från Hälsingland under 1800-talet". Kandidatuppsats. Stockholms universitet.

Ingalill Nyström, Anneli Palmsköld, Johan Knutsson & Kristina Linscott (2018), ”Hälsingegården och den färggranna folkkonsten”. I: Johannes Daun & Christer Ahlberger (red.). Bondeherrgårdar: den nyrika bondeklassens gårdar 1750–1850. Lund. Nordic Academic Press.

Ingalill Nyström, Anneli Palmsköld & Johan Knutsson, (red.) (2021). Hälsinglands inredningskultur. Makadam. Göteborg.

Linnea Eriksdotter (2018), "Inredningsmåleri i bondemiljö i sydöstra Hälsingland under 1800-talet: Aspekter på dess tillkomst och sociala funktioner". Masteruppsats. Uppsala universitet.

En målare kommer till byn External link. – En lärarhandledning om Hälsingegårdarna och schablonmåleriet. Region Gävleborg.

Läs mer om Hälsinglands schablonmåleri och Hälsingegårdarnas kulturarv: External link.