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!
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.
Supplies for this project:
- Classic Damask Stencil from Royal Design Studio
- Stencil Cremes from Royal Design Studio: Bronze Age, Renaissance Red, Smoked Oyster
- Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan: Coco, Country Grey
- Stencil brushes
- Deep shadowbox frame – mine is 3 inches deep
- Two vintage style glass apothecary bottles — I found some in the glass aisle at Hobby Lobby
- Printable provided: Vintage style apothecary bottle labels – Rinse Repeat Apothecary Labels Printable
- Two small wood boxes to use as pedestals
- Scrapbook paper
- Mod Podge
- Foam brush
- Spray adhesive
- Glue like E6000 glue or wood glue
- Optional: Rubber stamps
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.
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.
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?
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.)
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.
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!