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Deb Trombley

Bathroom Decorating Rx: Stenciled Shadowbox Apothecary Bottle Display

I have just the prescription for you today, if you want a cute idea for some original bathroom wall art. Have you seen vintage apothecary bottles and their “olde tyme” pharmacy labels? Well, we’re going to make our own vintage style apothecary bottles. But instead of chemicals listed on the labels, our bottles will say “Rinse” and “Repeat” — perfect for bathroom decorating!

Bathroom Decorating Rx: Stenciled Shadowbox Apothecary Bottle Display DIY Stencil Tutorial

We’re going to frame and display the bottles in a shadowbox. And yes, there is stenciling involved, of course. Follow along to see how to do this fun project.

Bathroom Decorating Rx: Stenciled Shadowbox Apothecary Bottle Display DIY Stencil Tutorial

Supplies for this project:

Bathroom Decorating Rx: Stenciled Shadowbox Apothecary Bottle Display DIY Stencil Tutorial

I realized while doing this project that it shows so many ways you can use paint to transform so many things. For instance, plain glass apothecary bottles. You can leave the bottles as clear glass. Or, if you want to antique them, mix a little bit of Bronze Age Stencil Creme with Mod Podge. Then brush a light layer of the colored Mod Podge over the bottles. As the Mod Podge dries, it will become transparent and you will have “antique” apothecary bottles. Cool, huh?!

Another fun part of the bottles is the cheeky prescription for “Rinse” and “Repeat”, which I don’t recommend unless you want to waste shampoo! But we’re having fun here. I modified a vintage pharmacy label from The Graphics Fairy. The labels are provided here as a Rinse Repeat Apothecary Labels Printable so you can use them too. Depending on the size of your bottles, you may need to decrease the label size when you print them.

Bathroom Decorating Rx: Stenciled Shadowbox Apothecary Bottle Display DIY Stencil Tutorial

I felt the bottles needed to be boosted up on something in a bigger shadowbox. So I found small boxes in the woodworking aisle of a craft store. You can use anything that works to boost the bottles up, even something round. With paint, you can cover up recycled objects.

To decorate the boxes, you can paint and stencil them, or glue pieces of scrapbook paper with Mod Podge. I hid the scrapbook paper pattern a bit buy brushing some Coco and Country Grey Chalk Paint randomly over the paper, then stenciling a part of the damask stencil pattern.

Bathroom Decorating Rx: Stenciled Shadowbox Apothecary Bottle Display DIY Stencil Tutorial

Stenciling the Shadowbox

I thought a classic design would mix well with the vintage apothecary bottle look and

the classic damask stencil is the perfect size to stencil the back of a shadowbox. But I ran into a problem! I had planned to remove the back of the frame, remove the burlap backing and stencil a smooth surface backing instead, like foam core board. But the back of my frame was very solidly attached. Instead of wrestling with that problem, I came up with Plan B, which might surprise you!

I decided to paint the stencil, trim it to size, and attach the stencil to the back of the frame. Yes! Why not? We’re doing “outside the shadowbox” thinking here.

Have you ever done several different projects with a stencil before washing it? The paint build-up in different colors can look really interesting. So with the idea of “decorated stencil used many times” in mind, I started painting the stencil.

Go with the flow and build up different colors. You can even use different painting techniques like some stria lines and then some pouncing to make blotches. Imagine you used this stencil for different projects. What would it look like with different paints and techniques built up on it?

Bathroom Decorating Rx: Stenciled Shadowbox Apothecary Bottle Display DIY Stencil Tutorial

My bathroom has pink tones, so I first painted a solid layer of Bronze Age Stencil Creme for a dark backing. Then I mixed Renaissance Red and Smoked Oyster to make a deep pink color. I painted strié lines with this deep pink. Then I randomly painted Coco and Country Grey Chalk Paint®, and then small areas of straight up Renaissance Red and Bronze Age. I painted streaks and blotches and didn’t worry about any rules. I even (gasp) did not off-load!

As a final touch, I spread Bronze Age Stencil Creme on rubber stamps with scripted writing and straight lines and stamped them around the stencil. (It obviously would be good to stamp with a stamp pad made for rubber stamping but I couldn’t find any of mine. The stencil creme worked fine.)

Bathroom Decorating Rx: Stenciled Shadowbox Apothecary Bottle Display DIY Stencil Tutorial

It wasn’t easy cutting the stencil down — I felt like I was doing something I shouldn’t be doing! Obviously you can avoid this by looking for a shadowbox frame with a removable back, or being willing to pry a back off.

After measuring and cutting the stencil to fit, I sprayed it with adhesive backing and pressed it against the burlap fabric. The texture contrast between the smooth stencil and the burlap looks cool.

Then, I glued the wood pedestals to the frame with E6000 glue, and then glued the bottoms of the glass bottles to the wood pedestals with the E6000 glue.

Bathroom Decorating Rx: Stenciled Shadowbox Apothecary Bottle Display DIY Stencil Tutorial

Now the wall art is hanging outside our shower. But just as I broke some rules for this project, I will only look at the “Rinse” “Repeat” and not follow those instructions!

Royal Design Studio Wall Stencils and Paint Supplies for DIY Projects

4 comments

  1. Danielle

    These are beautiful! x

  2. I love the bottles and the shadow box both. They’re gorgeous!! Very creative use of the stencil, though I would hate to part with it lol. Did you consider stenciling a piece of hard cardstock or even chipboard and attaching that to the back? It’s beautiful just the way it is, I was just wondering.

  3. Hi Susan, thank you so much! I’m glad you like it. I did consider stenciling a solid surface and putting it in the back. You can’t tell in the photos but the bottles are pushing up against the glass – they’re a really tight fit in this shadowbox. I could have stenciled on a piece of thick paper, but even chipboard would be too thick and the door wouldn’t close. I did buy the shadowbox and bottles at the same time, so I knew they fit tight, but I had really expected to be able to remove that linen backing! Deb

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