Creating easy DIY projects is one of the goals of My Wee Abode. Today, let’s learn how to make an easy stenciled cork table mat runner.
Hope y’all are having a good week thus far. The last couple days, the Lord has given abundant grace to me through some much needed encouragement from my fellow bloggers, and I was able to re-focus a bit on what direction My Wee Abode needs to go. For now, I will be consistently posting once a week, and sending out a newsletter once a week, as well. I’ll be offering a variety of posts on small-home living, along with DIYs and projects that are affordable, sprinkled here-and-there with some lifestyle posts. So, for this week, I’m going to show you how to do a super easy, stenciled cork table mat (or runner) (that’s a mouthful, isn’t it?!). Let’s get started!
EASY STENCILED CORK TABLE MAT RUNNER
Just an aside… I’ve written about my portable island and the reason I love it in this post HERE. Another reason I love my portable island… I can move it around in my kitchen and use it as a craft counter!
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WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Cork Roll
- Stencil of your choice (Arrow stencil here)
- Stencil adhesive
- Acrylic craft paint (use your favorite color(s))
- Sponge brush/applicator
BUMPS IN THE ROAD
As you can see… my cork roll did, indeed, roll! I laid it out for 24 hours with some heavy books on top, hoping it would flatten, but it didn’t… Not even a little! I’m finding that this is the ‘life’ of a blogger… always a bump in the road. So, I stood and stared at my cork roll for several minutes, and then thought, “I wonder what hot water would do to it…. Well, can’t make anything worse (plus, I have another roll, which is a total miracle in and of itself!)”.
I proceeded to fill my kitchen sink with hot water and carefully unrolled the cork in the water, gently pushing the ends down. After a few minutes, I could see that the cork was soaking in the water and ‘relaxing’. After several more minutes, I took the cork out of the water and laid it on some freezer paper (wax side up), then placed some heavy candles at the corners and let it dry overnight (I did flip it over several times before I went to bed). The next morning, it seemed that the cork needed a little more coaxing, so I hung it from a skirt hanger, and then weighted it down with a t-shirt on a hanger (I know… genius, right?!!! LOL!) By the end of the day, it was ready to paint.
We’re talking real-life here, people!
Another Bump in the Road
One more bump in the road… I tried using a brush with my stencil. I think this works well with vinyl stencils, but it never works for me with plastic stencils. Thus, I had to cut off the ‘failed’ end and use the sponge brush/applicator. Should have gone with my first instincts! (Just sayin’: My devotional this morning was all about cutting off the ‘ugly’ and ‘fails’, and how kind and merciful the Lord is to “prune what chokes us” (Hebrews 12:11). Check out Ruth Chou Simons’ book, “Gracelaced” for an amazing, gorgeous, and Truth-filled read. Click here to visit her blog.)
NOW WE’RE REALLY READY TO PAINT
Take your stencil and place it in different areas on the cork, to see where you would like the decorative element. Originally, I thought I wanted the arrows on the end, at either side. But, after cutting off my ‘mistake arrow’, I decided it would look neat to have it falling off the edge of the cork. Just experiment with placement and see what tickles your fancy.
After you know where you want your painted elements, spray the back of the stencil with the adhesive (follow the directions on the can). To avoid over-spray, be sure to place some new freezer paper or craft paper under the stencil when applying the adhesive. When the adhesive is sticky, not wet, place your stencil on the cork and press down along the edge of the stencil. This will help to keep the paint from seeping through underneath the stencil.
Dip the sponge applicator into the paint color and then dab it on some paper or paper towel (I actually just used a saucer). Then, holding the applicator straight up, use an up-and-down dabbing motion to apply the paint to the cork. Repeat these last two steps, as needed. (Just sayin’: Anyone notice the mistake I made above?!) After the paint has been applied, immediately remove the stencil by pulling one end of the stencil up, back, and away from the painted area.
If you accidentally smudge some paint where it’s not supposed to be (I even got an accidental pic of it, above!), you can take a wet cloth (NOT paper towel or napkin), and wipe the paint off. It will leave a wet spot, but it will dry just fine. 🙂
THE FINISHED PRODUCT!
After the paint dried, I thought about sanding the arrows a bit, but I tried it on my ‘mistake arrow’, and it didn’t work right. So, I just left it, and I really like how it turned out.
Now, this was not a super simple project for me… because I had to figure out the hits and misses. But, I’ve taken the road-less-traveled, and now it should be pretty simple for you! I’d love to hear/see what you do to personalize a stenciled cork table mat or runner! Leave a comment below and/or hop on over to my Facebook page and post a pic!