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

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.

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Review | Studio 490 Stencils for Art by Wendy Vecchi

There are some amazing artists creating beautiful pieces with stencils. I’m not one of them.

I just recently tried my hand at stencils and have had some success and some not so much success. I think it’s like any tool – the more you use it the more success you have. My problem lies in the creative part: just what the heck am I supposed to do with it?

The Studio 490 stencils, Artful Words by Wendy Vecchi, arrived in the mail for my playing pleasure. My Stamp Club’s meeting was around the corner so I used the stencil to create some words for my ATC’s we were exchanging. The stencil was very easy to use and I was happy with the results I got to create my little word ‘fly.’


I like the font style Wendy chose for this stencil, and it worked well on my project. This was a quick and easy make. I simply laid the stencil over some scrap manilla tag pieces and squished black Archival Ink through the stencil with an ink applicator. There was need to tape the stencil in place for this type of use. I just held it in place with one hand and applied the ink with the other.


I didn’t even mask off the other words because I knew I would be hand cutting these words out.


Next I thought I’d try my hand using the stencil with some gesso. This experiment failed. I often use gesso to create dimension on items so thought it would work but the letters are too close in the words and the gesso was too runny, so it blended together slightly. I did, however, have success when I switched to embossing paste which is thicker than gesso and so tends to stay put more.

For the embossing paste technique I did tape the stencil in place with painters tape (any re-positionable tape should work well for this). The stencil is taped to the tag as well as the table – I really didn’t want it to move!


After I finished taping off around the word I wanted to use, I put a small amount of embossing paste on my spatula. The paste is like a light, airy cream and doesn’t run at all. I got my best results with the embossing paste.


Then, with one pass, I dragged the pasty spatula across the area of the stencil that I wanted to use. The trick to good stenciling with paste is not to go back over the area because it tends to push paste under the stencil which makes it smear and come out not-so-pretty. I have also learned that when removing your tape, take it off in the reverse order that it was put on (so the last piece on is the first piece off). Your very first piece of tape will act as a hinge so you can gently lift and remove your stencil without messing up your nice image.


The result was a nice raised sentiment with crisp, clean lines – it really did come out perfect!


Overall I found this Studio 490 stencil very easy to use. It was a nice thickness, meaning that it gave just the right amount of dimension on the background. When I used the right product with it (embossing paste rather than gesso) I got really good results. The stencil cleaned up easily with a baby wipe but water would work just as well (always clean stencils immediately when using products such as embossing paste and gesso). There are plenty of words to use over and over again on this Artful Words stencil and they’re all in the same font style to give a cohesive look in something like an art journal. The size (slightly larger than 4″ X 6″) makes it easy to use on smaller projects and the price isn’t bad either – $4.95.


  • Good thickness
  • Same font style to give a cohesive look
  • Great size for art journals & tags
  • Easy clean-up


  • Storage (stencils need to be stored flat so they don’t curl or bend)

Studio 490 Stencils for Art by Wendy Vecchi are produced by Stamper’s Anonymous, and are available at Simon Says Stamp and other papercrafting outlets for $4.95.