My on going project for the last 2 months has been redoing my guest bathroom. It is still a work in progress, but I’m almost done. Today I’m going to share the Stenciled Shell Plaques. They are really what got me started in this redecorating project![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
A couple of months ago I popped into Bed, Bath, and Beyond to pick up that “My Pillow” my husband had seen on TV. He’d been wanting to try it for months, but that’s another story! At the store I passed by their wall decor section and the beach themed display caught my eye. I particularly liked a set of mini frames that showed a sea shell done with mirror pieces and a word above it. I thought they’d be perfect for a beach themed bathroom and right then and there decided that’s exactly what I’d do!
I checked the price they were $14.99 a piece, and I figured I’d need at least 3, that’s almost $50 for 3 small frames. They were pretty for sure, but I didn’t want to spend that much on them, specially since I knew I could figure out an DIY alternative.
At home I realized I had the perfect canvas for this project. I had a stack of Darice thin wood plaques I had picked up at Walmart’s craft department. The rectangular ones would be perfect. They each measured about 5 x 7 and are easy to work with.
I got on Cricut Design Space and made a few stencils, so easy! I cut out my design on my Cricut Explore Air and got busy painting and stenciling. I used Plaid’s Folk Art Acrylic paints then sealed each plaque with Mod Podge Clear Sealer. It took me about 2 hours to get the 3 plaques done, mostly because I like to play around with fonts when I create stencils.
Really the hardest part of this project was hanging them, the plaques don’t come with hook and they are too thin to screw hooks to the back. I solved this problem with 3M clear plastic hooks which I stuck on the backs (2 each). I stuck them on “upside down” with the hook facing down so I could run a rope loop between them. I then hung them on the wall on metal boat cleats I got from Home Depot to tie in the whole beach theme. Easy! Best of all this project cost me less than than $15 for everything! That’s about the cost of 1 frame from Bed, Bath, & Beyond! I know they’re not pieces of mirror so they’re not exactly the same, but in my opinion they are a reasonable alternative!
I’m sharing the stencil templates with you so you can make it for your home too! Don’t have to use them in the bathroom, nor do you even have to hang them. They’d look great in any nautical or beach themed room and can be displayed on a stand or propped up just about anywhere. Hey, you can even use them for beach or nautical themed parties!
Wood plaques – any shape
Acrylic Paints – any 2 colors you like, I used Cotton Blue & White
Boat Cleats (optional for hanging)
Stencils – click here for template
If you have a die cut machine: Download template, save to desktop, upload to your cutting machine’s app, like Cricut Design Space if you have a Cricut Explore or Explore Air. Re-size if needed then cut stencil.
I you don’t have a die cut machine you will have to cut stencil by hand. Download template, save to desktop, upload to photo editor like photoshop, or Picmonkey.com a free online photo editor to resize to fit your canvas. Print out template and cut out images and letters with a craft knife
Cut out your stencil by hand or with a die cutting machine.
Paint plaque front and back with main color or colors. I painted the sides and back white and the front blue. Let it dry at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
When paint is dry place stencil over the front and position it in the middle. Fill in the images and shapes using your contrast color, I used white. You must use a “dry” stencil brush and work from edges towards the center is a circular motion to avoid paint from seeping under the stencil. (Dip brush in paint, hold it perpendicular to a thick piece of paper towel and dab towel in circular motion until all excess paint is gone. Hold brush perpendicular to wood and starting at the edge dab inside the stencil in circular motion and work towards the middle. When you begin your paint will be half on the stencil and half inside.
When done filling in all the images and letters gently lift the stencil off the wood. Lift it directly up to avoid smearing the paint. Allow to dry at least an hour then spray with 2 coats of clear sealer. Allow to dry between coats.
Adhere 3M hooks upside down to the back of the plaque.
Measure the length of rope to the length you want to hang it on the wall. Knot the rope to form a circle.
Hook the rope to the back of the plaque and hang on boat cleats attached to the wall.