I've used stencils before to create some wall art using ironstone platters, which I thought turned out pretty nice if I do say so myself, and paper labels are such an easy way to jazz up a boring crock, hat box, or flour sifter and make something special out of it, I thought I'd re-visit these projects today.
I found several items around my garage and basement that were in need of some help. Both the jug and the crock had damage, so they would be hard for me to sell "as is" at the antique malls. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have turned them into craft projects. The wooden tote is some kind of homemade job, and I didn't have a problem messing with it either:
I found my stencils while out shopping the antique malls. When you keep your eyes open to all possibilities, you just never know what you are going to find! You can also buy plastic stencils at the craft stores or have custom stencils made when you do a "search" on eBay or Etsy for "custom stencils".
Using basic acrylic craft paint and a stencil foam brush, I added the stencil design on both sides of the tote:
I think the stencil gives the tote some life. Otherwise, it was kind of a boring item:
The image below shows Mod Podge for outdoor use. I thought I'd try that on the crock, because I might put some fall mums in it and keep it on our porch. You can also use regular Mod Podge. I recommend using the Matte version, rather than Gloss. You can visit my Flour Sifter post or Coffee Label post for images to print out for this project:
Coat the back of your image with Mod Podge and place it on the object, smoothing it out with your fingers or a brayer if you have one. Clean up the excess Mod Podge with a damp paper towel. I usually wait about 10 minutes and add a topcoat, again cleaning up the excess Mod Podge with a paper towel.
Here's the finished crock, with some die-hards from my garden:
For the jug, I used some brown ink to add some staining age to the label to give it some "age":
These two green tins were pretty rough, but I think the labels give them some interest and style. Could you picture them above someones kitchen cupboards? If I had to do it over, I think the labels might look better printed on a darker paper. What do you think?
These five projects took about 30 minutes, total. And the clean-up was a breeze.
And now for the reasons I love up-cycled vintage goods: I didn't buy something with a barcode that says Made in China beneath it. I used things that have been on this planet for many years. These items were in somewhat poor condition, so collectors might have avoided them or even trashed them, and now they have a second life as home decor. You don't have to be an artist to create these projects, but you can feel good about it when you tell someone "I made this."