As a graphic designer, I have always enjoyed working with font types and typography and have a love for vintage signs. So, when I was asked to research some vintage French typography for a customer, who wanted their side-table stencilled, I discovered this array of stunning, high quality typography available to use, and even better … they were free.
I then researched all the different ways to transfer stencils and, so far, for me, the ‘water decal method’ works very well and produced great results. It is a bit fiddly to start with but, as with everything, the more you practice, the more you get the hang of it. Then it becomes highly addictive.
I would recommend starting with a small square transfer on your first attempt, as the more detailed ones take more practice. The transfers are so effective, due to them being printed onto transparent paper, which enables them to blend into the background of the project.
I also enjoy using white decal paper, used mostly for darker coloured objects, where a transparent decal transfer would get lost. Only specialised printers can print using white ink, so therefore, if you need the lettering/detail to be white, then using the white is best.
I decided to use a really pretty design on the white decal paper to see what the look would be like. I really like it. The colours seemed to ‘pop’ and be more vibrant and the lettering works well with the turquoise coming through. There is another example of using the white decal paper, shown further down the post.
UPCYCLED JAR USING WHITE DECAL PAPER
So, I now have the water decal transfer bug and love spending time seeing what I can do with various pots, tins, jugs, jars, teapots and, well, pretty much anything. In fact, I am running new workshops and I guess I share a common interest, as they are nearly sold out and I am planning further dates, click here for dates and further information.
I am also selling the decal paper (transparent and white), for those who want to give it a go, along with pre-prepared transfers, ready to use straight on to your own projects. Find out more here.
Here are some of my transferred projects (so far)…
Tins are such great fun, and rather than put them into the recycling bag, I was collecting them to use as storage for various brushes and items used during my workshops. They look so effective when they are grouped together and I have used lots of different effects on them, such as dry brushing with two colours, using a wash and distressing and waxing. I applied some string and a little heart on a couple and found some great French typography transfers for each one. I then used clear varnish to seal.
The yellow one started out as my favourite but then I liked the blue one with the French postcard transfers. This seems to be everyone’s favourite. But, well … I love them all.
The above tin was painted with a lovely pale vanilla and I used a ‘Rose de Province’ label, which I thought worked really well with the flowers. The tin was distressed in places with dark wax to age.
Another example was simply using PVA glue with a French vintage typography label. I stained the label with a tea bag and then aged with wax to blend in further. The other tin (behind) was simply a clear decal stencil applied to the tin, which even though it has not been painted, I thought still looks really effective.
There are so many stunning jars that probably go unnoticed to the non-stencil addict. I show people the ‘before and after’ and they often say that they had never noticed the lovely designs on them before. I guess Panzani’s sauce will soon see an increase in their sales 🙂
The image below shows a crackle effect, using Autentico Crackle Glaze applied over the top of Autentico Antique White and then a coat of of Bright Turquoise (one of my favourite colours).
This is the same jar with a clear decal stencil applied. I had been wanting to use this ribbon stencil for ages, so I thought it would work as the jar is fairly tall.
UPCYCLED JAR WITH TRANSPARENT WATER DECAL STENCIL
I then thought I would try out one of the white water decal stencils leftover from my last stencil workshop on the back of the jar. I love it as much as the other stencil and I think it works, as there is a hint of Antique White peeking through, which compliments each colour.
UPCYCLED JAR WITH WHITE WATER DECAL STENCIL
JUGS AND POTS
I love painting jugs. You know, those ones that are awful colours, which do not match anything and you pick up from boot markets or junk shops very cheaply.
The above example is everyone’s favourite. The combination of the colours against the French Postcode, really sets it off. The yellow and blue were the original colours of the jug, which was painted with Autentico Antique White and then sanded in places and distressed to age.
These jugs not only look great painted with chalk paint but also when using crackle glaze. The example shows the jug painted with Autentico Bright Turquoise with a crackle effect and, as the jug had a texture underneath, some of that has come through the crackle. A small, French Typography stencil was applied over the area where ‘Warwickshire Castle’ lettering was, which I think finishes the jug perfectly.
FRENCH COFFEE POTS
I can feel a collection beginning here … I just love everything about these pots and here they are ready to be stencilled.
CREAM FRENCH COFFEE POT BEFORE
WHITE FRENCH COFFEE POT_BEFORE
YELLOW FRENCH COFFEE POT_BEFORE
And here they all are, sitting proudly on my kitchen shelf and I love them. I actually spent a while (well around 2 minutes) deciding which stencils would look the best. I chose the final stencils based on the shape of the pot, hence a long one for the tall, cream coffee pot etc. I think they work so well and I look at them and find it hard to believe that I actually stencilled them.
FRENCH COFFEE POTS – FINISHED
TERRACOTTA PLANT POTS
Terracotta Pots make great chalk paint projects, due to their porous texture and ability to sand and age. I added a French Vintage Perfume decal stencil, which shows off my French Lavender plant perfectly. The pot itself was distressed using a technique of dry painting using Autentico Antique White and using a base of PVA glue to look patchy. I also distressed the stencil a little by rubbing off some of the detail, to blend in with the pot better. I will be soon putting on some workshops for Upcycling Pots, which will show this technique along with others.
The range of other items that can be stencilled is endless, here are some examples using stencils on furniture:
If your interested in attending our stencil workshops then please see dates here. Further dates will be available soon and we will be offering one day courses in other locations.
I hope you found my blog inspirational and enjoy upcycling your own junk.