Tag Archives | stencils

How to Pickle Wash a Mother’s Day Recipe Box

I love playing with paint, and I love the distressed shabby and vintage look. Now a product has come along that has my creative soul doing a happy dance because it combines the two so perfectly and easily: Plaid Pickle Wash!

(Disclosure: I am a member of the Plaid Ambassador Program for 2017, and some products I used were provided to me as part of the program. This is not a paid/sponsored post, nor is this post a requirement of my participation in the program. Some links in this article are affiliate links.]

Pickle Wash Mother's Day Recipe Box


Plaid’s new Pickle Wash is an easy to apply finish that gives a whitewashed appearance to wood surfaces. It goes on as a very thin liquid (with a watery consistency). After sitting for 30 seconds, the excess is then wiped off to achieve the distressed finish. The results  – and the ease of application – have to be seen to be believed. This truly is the vintage finish that I’ve been dreaming of being able to create on my projects! And it comes in a palette of a dozen vintage friendly colors like Gypsy Rose, Soleil, Sea Glass and Celadon. And of course…Cottage White! <swoon> Oh the possibilities…I apologize in advance for the Pickle Washing spree you are probably going to be subjected to on this site now.

I decided to start experimenting with my new Plaid Pickle Wash by making myself a new recipe card box for our kitchen. (A couple of decades is probably too long to be using a plastic index card box for them, right?) This recipe box would make a great Mother’s Day gift. So happy Mother’s Day to me!

Since the Pickle Wash is so thin and soaks into the grain, it really raises the grain and emphasizes any imperfections in the surface. Unlike a paint like chalk paint, which covers a multitude of sins in a surface, Pickle Wash is not nearly so forgiving. So a good quality surface is key to getting good results. Before I started painting, I sanded my recipe box down with 320 grit sandpaper, and then removed the sanding dust with a tack cloth.

Applying the Pickle Wash finish was easy. I started on the inside of the recipe box and applied the wash with a foam brush. (This is a great way to get a feel for a new finish, by applying it in an area that won’t be seen much first.) Then after 30 seconds, I used a sheet of blue shop towel to rub off the excess. After allowing it to dry awhile, I repeated the process on the outside of the recipe box.

Pickle Wash Mother's Day Recipe Box

After allowing the Plaid Pickle Wash to dry for the required time, I wanted to stencil on it. For stenciling I reached for classic FolkArt Acrylic, in – what else? – Vintage White! It was the perfect shade of not-quite-white to apply to make my stencil look vintage. True white would have been too stark against the the distressed Pickle Wash finish.

The stencil that I chose for the front of the box was large enough that it spans over the opening of the box lid. So to keep everything in place while I stenciled it, I taped the box lid shut with painter’s tape. Then, after sticking down the self-adhesive stencil, I also taped around the edges of the stencil, since the design went very close to the edges and I didn’t want to get any paint off the edges of the stencil.

Pickle Wash Mother's Day Recipe Box

I dd my stenciling with a super dry brush. I wasn’t worried about getting thick, solid color or about missing spots, since the whole idea is for a vintage, aged look anyway.

Once the stenciling was dry, I drilled a hole in the center of the recipe box’s lid with my drill. I selected a drill bit that was just a tiny bit smaller than the diameter of the screw for my decorative knob I was planning to use.

Pickle Wash Mother's Day Recipe Box

The finishing touch for the recipe box is the decorative knob that serves as a “handle” for the lid, and which emphasizes the vintage theme of the design. I chose this faux milk glass one because the vintage white look of the faux milk glass mimics the vintage white of the stenciled design.

Pickle Wash Mother's Day Recipe Box

The decorative knob came with a really long bolt on it, which would get in the way of storing recipes inside the box. So I got out my Dremel tool and cut it off very near the nut attaching the knob to the lid.

And that is it…my Mother’s Day recipe box was completed. Now that my recipes are stored so beautifully, I might actually have to cook and use some of them!

Pickle Wash Mother's Day Recipe Box

Books | Stencil Style 101 by Ed Roth

Disclosure: This site participates in the affiliate program.

Wearables are becoming a big category in crafting, and I have been having some fun experimenting with them lately, so I was really excited to check out Stencil Style 101 by Ed Roth. What I found was a book that was fun, useful, instructive, and inspiring – a great combination.

Stencil Style 101

Stencil Style 101 is a compilation of fashion projects that are built around a series of more than 20 stencils that are included in the back of the book. The stencils are perforated for easy removal and when you are done, there is a pocket to hold them for future use (a nice detail). Each project features a different technique for working with the stencils. The projects cover a wide range of fashion, from shirts to bags to jewelry to shoes and a whole host of other items. There’s even a bike helmet! And Stencil Style 101 knows that stencils have uses far ranging from just painting – the techniques presented include paint, sewing, embroidery, knitting, jeweling, felting, leatherworking, quilting, and more.

If fashion projects aren’t your thing, Roth is also the other of a whole series of books on stenciling: Stencil 101 and Stencil 201, Stencil 101 Décor, and Stencil 101 Stationery.

The projects do require some knowledge of techniques and materials to do. I would rate this a “medium” level of difficulty for most projects. A few, like the knitting and quilting, require skill in a specific craft.

This is definitely not your mother’s stencil book – the projects include stenciled motorcycle boots, a silk scarf with skulls on it, and a zebra print bangle bracelet. For young hipsters (or crafters looking to make gifts for young hipsters) the book is a great resource. Even if you aren’t a fan of the book’s specific designs, the techniques described can be used to create projects of your own design. For the project below, I took a technique from the book to make a t-shirt, but used a different stencil from the book than the one the book project I did was created with.

The stencils in Stencil Style 101 are a heavyweight paper, coated to make them resistant to liquid mediums like paint. The one I used for my project definitely has more use in it after being rinsed and wiped clean thoroughly.

I started out with an inexpensive Hanes Just My Size t-shirt that I got from my local Walmart. At about $5, it was cheap enough I could afford to mess it up if my project didn’t go well! Some of the techniques are demonstrated in the book on leather bags and other expensive items. I got an anxiety attack just considering the possibility of doing something like that!

I chose a subway art style stencil with lots of international city names on it. I placed it deliberately crooked since I figured I would never get it straight (plus being curvy nothing looks straight on me). This way, it has an “I meant to do that” look instead of an “is that crooked?” look.


The technique I chose uses bleach to stencil with (page 17). The best source for this is a Clorox Bleach Pen. The bleach in the pen is a gel, so it will stay where you put it and go on more evenly, unlike liquid bleach. Before I started working with my bleach, I stuck my stencil down with nice wide blue painter’s tape. This served two purposes – it kept the stencil in place, but it also increased the margins on the stencil to prevent the bleach bleeding off the edges while I worked.


I used a foam brush to apply the bleach gel from the pen, after squeezing it out onto a paper plate that I was using as a palette first. Safety Note: I was wearing latex gloves to protect from the chemicals! I mostly used the paintbrush to “dab” the bleach onto the stencil. Brushstrokes would have provided too many opportunities for the bleach to be pushed under the edge of the stencil. It’s important to work quickly if you want your bleach effect to be even. In the photo below you can see that the bleach at the top of the stencil (the word “Paris”) is starting to change the fabric’s color already while I’m still applying the bleach to the bottom of the stencil design. When the bleach was all applied, I let it sit until I was happy with the color. Then it was off to rinse it in a bath of bleach stop. There’s several options to use to stop bleach action – I chose Sodium Thiosulfate, which is sold as a photo processing fixer chemical but also serves dual purpose as a bleach stop (and will also get out iodine stains, and de-chlorinate water for use in your fish tank). It costs about $5 for a 1 pound bottle of crystals on Amazon, and I have plenty left over after doing my t-shirt for many more projects.


I got a bit messy with the bleach and so I ended up with a “distressed” look on my t-shirt, but I really like how it came out. It is now one of my favorite t-shirts! I can’t wait to try more projects from this book – maybe next time it will be a tote! But I have to find the right one first (or maybe make it…hmmm…)

Nancy Nally

Stencil Style 101 by Ed Roth is currently available on Amazon in paperback for $20.45.

CHA Summer 2013 | ClearSnap

Reported by Yana Smakula

One of the new exciting products from ClearSnap this summer is the all new permanent ink with a fun name – Surfacez.

New ClearSnap products

This solvent ink will stay on just about any surface one can possibly think of! I myself had some fun time playing with it. I tested it on paper, foil, fabric, acetate, ceramics and metal. Every time I got a permanent impression.

There are 12 different colors including black, brown, red and nine others. There are also refill bottles available for the ink pads, and a special stamp cleaner solution to keep your stamps clean.

New ClearSnap products
New ClearSnap products
New ClearSnap products

Surfacez is not the only new product from ClearSnap this summer, though. The company also introduced six new colors to their archival ColorBox ink line: suede, geranium, wave, blossom, irish and imperial. There are also refills available for those new inkpad colors.

New ClearSnap products
New ClearSnap products
New ClearSnap products

Another new product from ClearSnap is called Spritzers. Spritzers are new dye ink sprays which for the moment are available in 8 beautiful colors.

New ClearSnap products

I had some time to play with them a few days ago. Here’s a short video on doing a watercolor background for a layout using Spritzers:

There are also some new tools from ClearSnap such as the Art Daubers for inking and blending, ColorBox cleaning pad, ColorBox Color Blender and foam refills for applying ink and blending, and ColorBox screens which I think will work great with ClearSnap sprays.

New ClearSnap products
New ClearSnap products
New ClearSnap products
New ClearSnap products

They also have some new Rollograph items – Art Wheel and new jumbo and standard wheel designs.

New ClearSnap products
New ClearSnap products