Every Laurel needs a place to rest occasionally 🙂
My lady and I are not particularly tall, and often found that our feet didn’t reach the ground in typical period-style or even modern folding wood chairs, so on a tip from Svava we started packing little wooden foot stools with our camp gear. They are really, really useful — I sit on mine when I cook in my small and low to the ground fire pit, as that little boost up is just enough to make it easy to get up and down. When it became obvious recently that I needed to replace mine, I decided I wanted to do something a little different and added a painted laurel wreath to it. I posted this picture on Facebook and a fair number of people seemed enthusiastic, so here’s a quick how-to if you’d like to repeat this project.
- Wooden stool, available at Michael’s
- Chalky finish paint, also available at Michael’s or at Craft Warehouse
- Cream wax, compatible with paint, also found at Michael’s
- A laurel wreath stencil; I found an inexpensive plastic one at Craft Warehouse with a fleur-de-lis inside a laurel wreath
- Stenciling supplies: stencil glue and foam dauber
- Cheap paint brush, rags you can throw away
You will note that the paints and painting supplies are pretty expensive for a one-off project. You could offset that cost by doing this as a group project or by stenciling laurel wreaths on literally everything you own 🙂
Optional: You can sand the stool before you start, but I skipped that step since this isn’t really that kind of project. Do make sure it’s roughly clean.
Dab stencil glue on the back of the stencil, let dry, and stick in place on stool. Use a stencil brush or dauber to paint the design, then peel off the stencil. Let dry several hours. Using a brush or a rag, coat the entire stool with the cream wax, wiping off the excess. Let dry several more hours (or overnight — you can do all these steps across multiple days), then apply another coat of cream wax. The manufacturer says the cream wax is for indoor use only, so I doubt this will last a long time.
To be even more historical, paint the entire stool with one color before stenciling on the wreath. Medieval people painted over wood, because wood was cheap.
Now this Laurel can rest on a laurel:
I’m quite happy with how this turned out and will probably do some more stenciling projects. You could also do something similar with block printing to be more historical.
Obviously, you can also do this with designs other than laurel wreaths. Here are some designs that look passably historical:
- Fleur de lis and medallion
- Moroccan tile
- This set (which incidentally will feature in an upcoming post about my further adventures in glass painting)
I’ve found quite a few specialty stencil sellers on Etsy, too, so you can probably find some fairly specialized ones.