Paper Stencil Pitfalls

October 5, 2019

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Apple Shaped Cutting Board

Fall may not be my favorite season, but it's definitely one of the best times for crafting. For some reason, inspiration seems to be all around. Maybe even more than at Christmastime.

Which, let's face it, is the craftiest time of the year.

Once the autumn equinox arrives, I get the urge to stencil, stitch, paint and decoupage virtually everything in sight. Red, yellows, oranges and even whites look bolder, brighter and more fetching, as the color outside my window begins to fade.

Plus, the quick succession of holidays provides me with the opportunity and need to redecorate often.

Things I've collected over the summer, from yard sales and thrift stores, explicitly for that purpose are dragged out of storage and placed in the to do pile.

And then one night, when it's quiet around here, I turn on the music and dig in. Some projects, which seems a little nutty, are super successful, like my dollar store splatter screen transformation. Others, which seem rote, like today's cutting board makeover, are less so.

That's ok though, you can't win them all.

Here's where I started, with an adorable apple shaped cutting board I picked up a while ago at the thrift store. I loved the shape and the price, so I brought it home. It was a blank slate, a no brainer...what could go wrong?

Apple Shaped Cutting Board

I could. I could go wrong and my inexperience and impatience were completely to blame. I take full responsibility.

Sometimes quick, cheap and easy is not. Here's where the problem started. With paper stencils. Big mistake.

At JoAnn crafts. I saw this fall multipack for 70% off - yes 70 - and I couldn't resist. The bargain hunter in me didn't really think it through.

Paper Fall Stencil Pack

The kit was filled with so many cute patterns, and they were a really good size, that I ran straight to the register. I knew they were paper, but what I failed to realize was how difficult they would be to work with. What a novice.

Fall Stencil Pack

At first, I whipped out the stencil I had originally planned to use on that wooden apple. It was plastic. I was going to paint it green and add it to the kitchen this summer, next to my windowsill grass for a fresh look.

Garland Wreath Stencil

Well, once I was immersed in my creative frenzy, 70's rock (and let's be honest, a little Kelly & Kat) pumping in the background, there was no stopping me. I scrapped that plan and decided to fall-ify it instead.

With my problematic stencil pack. Now, as I said, I've never worked with paper stencils before. You definitely get what you pay for.

The bonus was that I didn't have to pop anything out, they came precut. The bummer was that they were slick and flimsy. They paper was never going to stay put and the pieces in the middle moved a lot.

Stenciled Fall Cutting Board

Had I been better prepared, I would've had a can of spray adhesive on hand. I feel like that would've made all the difference. However, honestly with these lungs, I wouldn't have been able to use it anyway.

Farm Fresh Stencil

So I muddled through and muddled is what I ended up with. The paint crept underneath the paper and it bubbled up on the plastic coated paper. Then the bubbles ended up on the wood.

Imperfect, uneven and splotchy lettering. Another project for the less than perfect crafting pile.

Thrift Store Cutting Board Makeover

Live and learn, I guess.

Not one to toss my creations, I kept on grooving and straightened some of the edges with a brush. From a distance, you'd never notice it wasn't up to my standards.

Up close, well, you can be the judge.

It has sort of a charming weathered look...if I squint.

Thrift Store Cutting Board Upcycle

At least that's what I'm going with.

Maybe one of these days, I'll believe it.

Or repaint it.

Gee. I wonder which it'll be?

Are you a fall crafter?

Here are a few more successful cutting board makeovers. 



Thrift Store Cutting Board To Table Decor

Grateful Cutting Board for Fall

Farmhouse Cutting Board DIY

Farmhouse Cutting  Board Makeover








34 comments:

  1. I found the same problem with thin paper stencils. Love seeing things your stencilled earlier. I would have picked up that 'deal' on stencils too - great patterns.
    Joy

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    1. Thanks Joy! I haven't totally given up on them. I think that I will find a way to use them. They're just too cute to toss.

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  2. I have never enjoyed using stencils. Probably because I don't have the patience.

    You could take a black sharpie & outline the letters to give them a more crisp finish...or shad one side? Another thought is to sand them a bit to rough them up some. I love the cutting board. Inspired by you, I've looked for them in my thrift shops but have never found any I like enough to buy.

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    1. I have been thinking of roughing it all up, Jenny. That's a great suggestion. It's really very cute in person, just not exactly what I was hoping. Perhaps a little sanding will help. Thanks!!

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  3. Very cute Kim. Love your signature Red color for the letters too. Happy Weekend.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris! I really do try to leave that color behind, but it’s no use! 😉

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  4. You never know when you begin if you will have a win or a fail. Chock it up to experience.
    Brenda

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  5. I've used paper stencils and have also been very frustrated! Live and Learn, right?

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    1. Totally, Mari! It was not fun, but I think I could probably use them for something else. I have my thinking cap on now.

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  6. I have not had luck with stencils. I do keep trying LOL .. in fact I had a Halloween sign I was all excited to share that I created, but the after the fact was not all that great. I gave up and gave it to my crafty mom, who can fix anything. LOL

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    1. Oh...maybe I should send her the apple and let her work her magic! And I bet your sign was beautiful. I think we're our own worst critics.

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  7. I think it turned out really cute Kim! Thanks for the fair warning about watching out for paper stencils. I have a burlap pillow case I want to stencil, and I will definitely keep my eye out for a plastic stencil instead. I can see the trouble you had with the paper one. However, I think it really turned out great regardless! :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Marilyn! You are always so sweet and yes, I would stick with a weightier stencil especially for fabric. I doubt you'll have any trouble though, you are a very intentional creator. I'm impatient, your project will be great. I know it! 😊

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  8. I love popping in to visit you Kim. You always make me smile with the way you describe things. I would have been so peed off with those stencils and would have given up long time ago. My stencil skills suck at the best of time ;-) Oh well, at least you got to listen to some amazing music. The girls are super talented

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    1. The music really did help, Michelle! Good music can fix almost everything. 😉 And thank you...

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  9. Darling look made from stencils. I haven’t used them in many years. Happy Sunday Kim.

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    1. Thank you, Linda! It's a cute accent. Have a great week!

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  10. These are all adorable! I am not the best with stencils, but I do like trying!

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    1. Thanks Christina!! I have to say I enjoy it no matter the results...most of the time. 😉

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  11. Stencils are so fickle! Even with stencil brushes I still get bleed thru. Oh well. The apple board looks cute fall-ified. Happy Fall Crafting!

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    1. Thanks Audra! I always find stenciling a win some, lose some proposition. Good thing I’m not a perfectionist! Haha!!

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  12. I've never seen paper stencils...but, you could always distress the edges and the problem is solved!

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    1. Ann, I say stay away!! They are terribly difficult to work with…and yes, I think sanding is the way to go! Thanks!

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  13. Kim I too have had my share of stencil fails. You try and you learn right?

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    1. Over and over and over again, it seems, Mary!

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  14. Kim, I think that the cutting board with the Farm Fresh looks really cute. Sometimes they don't have to be perfect and it looks great with a bowl of apples! Have a nice week!

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    1. Thanks Julie! Farm fresh…I love it! I thought of you this weekend when we passed Harbes….always a fun place to visit.

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  15. I think it looks great, Kim. I've never been good with stencils. Plastic or otherwise. Knowing you, at some point in the future you'll probably make over this cutting board with some brilliant idea. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! Stencils are tricky there's no doubt about it and you're right, I'm sure that this little apple will get another makeover in the near future. I just wish I had as much confidence in my skills as you do. ❤️

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  16. Hi Kim, well I like how the board turned out. It looks perfect with just the addition of some simple apples. When I first stencilled I took a class and was taught to apply paint with a stencil brush moving it around in a circle. I did that for years but never worked on paper stencils. (I didn't even know they made paper ones), I have since changed to a sponge and find that is much easier to get the right amount of paint on the stencil and I, personally like the look of a sponged finish. But I have only used plastic stencils. Anyway, sponging might be easier to do if using a paper stencil because of the pouncing. What do I know..Yours turned out beautifully anyway..xxoJudy

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    1. I've tried so many different methods over the years, too, Judy. I have pouncers, rollers, stiff brushes and foam pads. At one point or another, they've all worked and they've all failed. In my first apartment and first house I stenciled every surface I could...it was the 90's and I was a pro. Even then, I had issues with bleeding and mess. Sometimes I think it's plain luck! Thank you for your kind words and visit...they always make me smile. xo

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  17. I tried some stenciling years ago when it was popular and it just never came out clean & crisp! Of course, it was probably ME as much as the stencil!!!!

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    1. It's not you, Cheri! Trust me!! It's not as easy as everyone makes it look. I used to stencil everything back in the 90's...from the walls to the floors and it was always a struggle. Like you said, never crisp and clean!

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