Several years ago, a friend made me an awesome necklace made of Tudor Rose shaped beads and gave it to me in a wood box. I have been meaning to stencil that box all these years and finally did it this week. To reflect the design of the necklace, I made this a Stenciled Tudor Rose Box.
Materials and Supplies for the Stenciled Tudor Rose Box
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- Wood “Cigar” Box – You can find these at most craft stores or online
- Stencil Pattern – You will have to cut this yourself using a craft machine or by hand. The design files are in my free Resource Library
- Stencil Paints – I used craft acrylics
- Stencil brushes
- Masking tape
About the Multi-Layer Stencil
There are a couple of reasons why it is handy to use a multi-layer stencil.
By placing elements of the stencil design that are all of the same color on a single layer of the stencil, you do not need to mask off parts of the design as you stencil. For the stencil design used in this stenciled Tudor Rose box project, all the green leaves are on one layer, all the red petals are on a separate layer, etc.
Most stenciling is recognizable by the bridges separating the elements of the design. Below is a Tudor rose stencil design with bridges. This could be cut from one layer of stencil. It would be more of a challenge to paint because you’d have mask off areas of the stencil as you do each color.
Bridgeless stenciling is called Theorem Stenciling and is traditionally (19th century) done on velvet/velveteen.
This next image is a Tudor Rose stencil design without bridges.
This is accomplished by using multiple layers of stencils. For this project, these are the four layers of the Stenciled Tudor Rose design.
The files in my Resource Library include all five layers. You may need to adjust the scale of the files once you bring them in to your design software. You can cut these from vinyl, card stock, or stenciling Mylar (3 mil to 10 mil). Vinyl and card stock will be single-use stencils. You can reuse Mylar stencils.
You can cut the designs by hand using the PDF in my Resource Library. The designs in the PDF fit the box I stenciled. If your box is a different size, you will have to scale the images before cutting.
Border Stencil – Adjust the scale of this to fit your box. The dimensions of the top of the wood box in my project is 8.5″ wide by 8.125″ tall.
The four Tudor Rose Stencils need to all be the same size as each other. For my wood box, the outer square of each stencil layer is 5.6″ wide. If you make all four layers 5.6″ wide and retain the aspect ratio, the layers should work correctly for you.
Preparing the Wood Box
Depending on your starting point, you may need to do some work to the box before you begin stenciling. You may need to lightly sand it. You may want to add a light polyurethane coating to it before stenciling to protect the bare wood. My wood box had been a gift, so all of that was already done when I received it.
If you give the wood a coating of some sort before stenciling, let it dry several hours before proceeding.
Stenciling the Tudor Rose Box
Layer 1 – The Fleur de Lis Border
This project has five layers. There are the four layers that make up the stenciled Tudor rose and a layer that creates a border and background by masking the edge of the box with a fleur de lis design.
I wanted the stenciled Tudor rose to be on a painted background and I also wanted a fleur de lis somewhere in this design. I didn’t want the corners of the box painted. That is where the box gets handled the most. Leaving that as the exposed wood would mean less paint wear. The result is this edge mask.
Apply the border stencil to the wood box.
The white you see in the picture above is white vinyl I cut on a Cricut.
I then laid some painters masking tape along each edge before stenciling. I was concerned the bristles could paint the sides of the box as I stenciled.
Stencil the box. I wanted a nice white background so I stenciled two layers of the white.
Remove the masking tape and the stencil.
Let this layer dry for at least an hour.
Layer 2 – The Leaves
Technically, the next four layers can go on in any order. It suits me best to work from the background to the foreground, even though they are all painted directly onto the background color.
I cut all four of the Tudor Rose layers from a single 12″ x 12″ sheet of vinyl.
Center the leaves layer on the box with the triangle-shaped registration mark in the lower left corner. Very lightly touch it to the box so that it doesn’t shift around but don’t “adhere” it yet. Lift up each corner and place a piece of painters tape under each of the four corner registration marks. Now you can lightly adhere the vinyl to the box. This is not to be a permanent application of the vinyl. Do not burnish it too firmly or you may pull off paint as you remove the vinyl.
Since the edges of the leaves are a bit close to the edge of the stencil, it’s a good idea to lay some masking tape along the edges.
Stencil the leaves. Stencil the registration marks in the four corners onto the masking tape.
Remove the stencil but leave the masking tape that is in the four corners where you stenciled the registration marks.
Layer 3 – The Red Petals
Using the layer for the red stencils, line up the registration openings to the stenciled registration marks and apply the stencil.
I had forgotten to cut the stencil mask where the registration holes are on this stencil. The stencil mask I use is not clear. It is more like masking tape. So, I couldn’t line it up very well. I wanted to remove the stencil again and get it perfectly aligned but I was worried I might pull off the green paint from the leaves layer if I tried too many times.
I decided to leave it here so I can show you later how you can correct the stenciling if this happens to you.
Stencil the layer. Do not re-stencil the registration marks. Remove the stencil layer.
Layer 4 – The White Petals
Repeat the steps from the previous layer using the layer for the white petals. If you used a bright white background layer, you could skip this layer. I did this layer anyway to make the white just a little bit more opaque and bright.
layer 5 – The Yellow Center
Repeat the steps from the previous layer using the layer for the yellow center.
Repairs to the Project
Fixing Shifts in the Stenciling
I said I would tell you how to fix it when one of your layers is a little off. I actually have three methods you can use.
- Using a craft painter’s paint pen or a fine tip Sharpie, outline the entire design.
- Use a fine liner brush to paint a line of the appropriate color of paint over the exposed white line
For this project, I chose method #3. I cut the red petal stencil layer from some card stock to fix the stenciling.
Once cut, I laid the card stock stencil onto the project, exposing those areas that should have been painted, and re-stenciled them
Fixing Damaged Paint
I don’t usually use vinyl for multi-layer stencils on something like wood (they work great on fabric) because of the risk of pulling off previous layers of paint. However, there are some ways to decrease the chance of this happening, such as tapping the sticky side of the stencil vinyl onto a short-nap cotton fabric to decrease the stickiness (because the vinyl grabs some of the cotton fibers). That has risks of its own because you can get the fibers into your project.
I managed to pull up some of the background paint with one of my vinyl layers. I touched it up by using a small paint brush and tapping it over the damaged paint.
Embellishing the Design
Embellishing the design is optional. You may get to this point and decide it is done. I wanted to do a little more touch-up and some hand-finishing of the design. The remainder of this was done with liner brushes.
Once complete, I applied a couple of coats of a matte spray-on polyurethane to protect the paint.
What did you learn?
- Did you know about multi-layer stencils?
- Have you ever heard of Theorem Stenciling?
- Have you ever hand-embellished your stenciling projects?
If this inspired you to try something new, come on over to Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/TracyLynnCrafts) and share pictures of your project.
I hope you learned something new from following along with this Stenciled Tudor Rose craft. I can’t wait to show my friend how I adorned the box she gave me. 🙂