Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Botanical Home Decor from Shel C and Peg Robinson

Our StencilGirl® Creative Team challenge for this month was to use our stencils to create something pretty to use in our homes. Shel C decided to repurpose a wall clock from her kitchen into a wonderful showpiece that can still keep time! She used some gel print collage and focal point stenciling with acrylic paint colors in payne's grey, light olive, warm grey, and white.

Peg and Shel agreed to use stencils with a botanical theme for this challenge. Shel picked stencils designed by Rae Missigman such as Botanical Stem (L773) and Botanical Wildflowers (L774) Also chose Longwood Florals Mask (L675)  and Winter Berries Mask (L677) by Cecilia Swatton. For Shel's clock, she used Alpha Jumble Large (L592) by Carolyn Dube for the numbers.

Peg thought of lots of different ideas for her home decor project but ultimately settled on this one: A beautiful wood cutting board with herbs. The stencil she chose was Herbs (L422) designed by Jessica Sporn.

Here are some helpful tips for working with food-safe materials like a wooden cutting board from Peg.

First, let me give you a few facts. Because I plan to work on a wooden surface that is going to be around food, I wanted to make sure that I gave you good information about safety. Here are the 4 main project types you should consider using a food-safe wood finish on:

  • Kitchen utensils (bowls, spoons, platters, etc…)
  • Raw meat prep surfaces (Cutting boards, butcher blocks, etc…)
  • Eat-on surfaces (bar tops, tables, counters, etc…)
  • Children's Toys
With that said I have a few recommendations for your products and finish. First, you will want to consider the paint you use. Milk paint is a good choice. I just googled food-safe paint and found quite a few to select from multiple places including Amazon.

What I think is most important is the sealer and I have several suggestions For you about that too.


This is a surface sealing, natural finish that comes from the Lac bug. You can bet it’s safe to consume, they coat candy with it after all. Shellac is a film-forming finish and provides good protection from moisture. It leaves a glossy finish if applied thick enough and buffed out.

Pure Tung Oil

This one actually hardens as it cures and has water-resistant properties. And contrary to popular belief, pure tung oil does not affect those with “nut” allergies.

Food Grade Beeswax

This literally comes from the honeycomb of honey bees. There is a process used to refine it, but once complete, it’s safe for consumption. It’s commonly used to glaze fruit, as well as in the production of gel capsules and chewing gum. Avoid using it on surfaces that will get hot.

Carnauba Wax

This is plant-based, and is considered safe for consumption because it is inert, non-toxic, and cannot be digested by humans. It’s often used for it’s “Shiny” properties and can be mixed with beeswax to add water-resistance.

Food Grade Mineral Oil

This is a non-toxic, non-drying oil that is commonly used on butcher block tables and cutting boards. It must be re-applied as often as monthly and will become brittle and crack if not maintained, so be sure to keep a bottle on hand.

Raw Linseed Oil

This drying oil comes from flax seeds and offers protection from sun and water damage. It’s not refined so it literally goes from seed to container, to your project. It does however take a really long time to dry, as long as a few weeks, and even up to over a month.

Coconut Oil

This is a food-safe finish good for butcher blocks and cutting boards. Be sure to get the “distilled” so it won’t go rancid.
The main difference between penetrating oil finishes, and surface sealer finishes, is probably pretty obvious. The penetrating oils soak down into the wood and stay inside. They provide less protection, but they are easier to apply, and leave a more natural-looking finish.

A surface sealer, also known as a film finish, remains on the surface and leaves a layer that can be built up for added protection. And as you probably expect, it’s more protective than penetrating finishes. If you are highly concerned about toxins in things like wood finishes, then you’ll be much more comfortable using the finishes on the list I’ve provided you above. you can check with your paint center and the FDA for cautions. so with that out of the way let’s work on our project. I have created a video for you so you can see the whole process.


  1. Beautiful projects, ladies (but are you really going to cut on those gorgeous cutting boards??). Thanks much for the tips on food-safe finishes!

  2. This botanical wall clock is a brilliant idea, and I want to thank you for including my stencil Winter Berries as one of the stencils used. It's nice to know someone else loves botanicals as much as I do! :-)

  3. Oops! I see that you used another of my botanicals, Longwood Florals. (I should watch the whole video before responding!) Shel Cee, may I have your permission to place a link to this video of yours in a future post in my blog?


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