sometimes size matters.

I hate to say it, but sometimes size really does matter.  Especially when it comes to using stencils.

I do most (all?) of my stenciling on vintage items, like this kid sized shovel …

or old wooden boxes.

Old doctor’s bags …

or vintage suitcases.

One of the things I often struggle with is finding the right size stencil to fit on my item.

This is especially a problem with the sleds.

Trying to find a stencil where the typography fits onto those narrow slats can be a real challenge.

My solution is to use bits and pieces of wording from various stencils for those.

I also often mask off stencils and use a smaller section of the stencil on something, like I did on this toy truck.

One of the reasons I really like wallcutz stencils is that you can order them in different sizes to fit your item.  I especially appreciate the larger sizes which work really well for turning headboards or foot boards into signs.

But I couldn’t find just the right thing from wallcutz to fit onto a vintage kid’s snow shovel that my friend Sue found for me.  I only had about 7″ square to work with.

I also looked through all of the stencils I already owned and none of them were quite right.  I debated using one of my mini stencils from JRV Stencils.  I really like the Kroger stencil, and that would have fit nicely.

But the theme wasn’t right for a snow shovel.

So I decided to head to Amazon and see what I could find that would fit.  There were lots of options for really small stencils that would fit a 3″ x 3″ wooden ornament, and I found a few stencils that I liked that were 8″ square, or 10″ square.  After a bit of time searching, I ended up finding a packet of 6″ x 6″ stencils that included one that said ‘let it snow’.

I did a little prep work on my shovel before stenciling.  I cleaned it well and then added a couple of coats of spray sealer to the blade.  It was pretty rusty and since I planned to use this as outside décor, I wanted to protect the remaining green paint.

I stenciled the design using Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Once it was done, I decided it needed just a little oomph of something to give it more depth so I added some shading free-hand using DB’s Putty.

I haven’t actually done it yet, but I plan to add a couple of coats of flat sealer to protect the stenciling too.

When I shared the first kid sized shovel I painted back in November, I mentioned that I had this second shovel that I planned to keep for myself.

For now I’ve staged it out on the deck, but I plan to find a spot where I can hang it from the handle … maybe on the potting shed.  Since this is more of a winter decoration, rather than strictly a Christmas decoration, I can certainly display it for several more months.  I think I’ll hang it in place of the Christmas themed sled that is currently hanging on the door.

What do you think?

18 thoughts on “sometimes size matters.

  1. It looks lovely on your deck for sure! Have you ever considered cutting your own stencil on a cricut or silhouette machine. I think I’ve seen the plastic stencil material at the craft store. You could size it custom. Just a random thought. I love that you let the original paint and finish shine on!


    1. That’s a great idea Sheri. I really need to take the time to understand how to get the most out of my Cricut machine! I’ll put that on my winter ‘to-do’ list 🙂


      1. Hey Linda….I can’t remember which Cricut you have (mine is Expression 2), but I went to find needle replacements and found out my machine is actually obsolete. I found a source for needles, but I guess the Expression 2 is not even listed on the Cricut web site!


      2. I am not sure which one it is, other than that it’s old and I’ve had it for a long time. My niece recently informed me that they no longer sell the cartridges for them, the designing is all online now. I really should update mine, but I’m not sure I’d get enough use out of it to make it worthwhile.


  2. This shovel is so cute and a perfect winter decoration. I enjoy seeing how you use stencils on such a variety of items. You do a fantastic job of mixing and matching the stencils! Merry Christmas!


  3. I love it!
    Do you have a link to the stencils? I have a couple small red shovels that I want to do projects like this one with.
    Merry Christmas


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