Raised in California and transplanted to Utah. Married my college sweetheart from Montana, and we are raising 4 nuggets together. I love all things DIY projects and doing them on a budget. I don’t mind messing up and am ok with the 90/10 rule - nothing is perfect over here and it’s fine by me! Encouraging all ‘wanna-be’ DIYers to just get out there and try it! You will be so glad you did.”
I am so in love with wood chargers for my tablescape. I discovered them years ago from the Shanty2Chic sisters (you can read their blog post here), and I made my first set just as they said. I then decided to create another set using a much simpler method, and since then I have made over 20 sets! Follow along so I can teach you too how to make these inexpensive additions to your table settings.
Here is my 60 second video that you can also watch on Youtube here.
Your first step is to get your chargers made. This is VERY SIMPLE.
For this tutorial I am showing you how to make 12 x 12 inch wood stenciled chargers. But you can make any size you need. I have also made 12 x 14 inch chargers and love this rectangular size as well.
You will head to The Home Depot and grab a 1 inch by 12 inch board that is 6 feet long (grab longer if you want more chargers). These are found in the lumber department. You will walk over to the Cutting Station and ask them to cut this board 6 times in 12 inch increments. That’s it!
Never to use The Home Depot Cutting Center? It’s so easy! I wrote an entire blog post on it so you can get comfortable. Read it here. You will never want to cut your own wood again!
Grab your favorite sander and soften up the top, bottom and edges. This will just take a few minutes. I like to round my corners quite a bit so they are less pokey.
Decide what color you would like your base coat to be. Since this is raw wood you can use any paint type you like. I chose to use Snow White from Old Fashion Milk Paint (you can find all their colors here)
Milk Paint lasts forever until mixed with water and is non toxic. It will adhere to any surface and is easily removed off of an area with water. You usually need a few coats for a thick covering. One or two coats for a white washed look. I painted 3 coats on my chargers.
Additionally, chalk paint has many of the same features. I have written tons of tutorials on paint so you can see which style works best for you:
If you want to use a paint and primer in one I recommend Behr Paint and Primer from The Home Depot. It is my favorite one to use. It’s a great product to create a thick layer that covers all knots and color changes that are in the wood. The Home Depot Paint Department will mix any color you need. They also have “clearenced” items on the rack by the counter that have mess ups – these are SO CHEAP.
I ordered my stencils from Royal Design Studio Stencils. They have strong stencils and so many choices. I picked the Renaissance Tile Stencil Set B size 12 inch by 12 inch – it comes with 4 pieces and they were all gorgeous. You can order them here at Royal Design. This is not an affiliate link. I did receive this stencil set as a collaboration and only recommend items I use and love to my readers.
Prepare your area with a plastic tablecloth (I used a garbage sack) and place your stencil on top of it as you like. Generally you add tape to hold the stencil down, but I did not want it to rip off my milk paint base, so I chose to use a moveable weight – which happened to by a plastic dish with a heavy bottle on top of it. It worked great and was easily moveable.
Select your top coat paint. I used a shade of gray. You will take your stencil brush and dip it flatly into the paint. Then you will “offload” the paint onto a paper towel so that you do not have too much paint on your brush. Then you dab your brush flatly all over the stencil. Carefully lift off stencil. Let dry according to the paints directions.
Use soap and water and wash very gently. You do not want to bend the plastic.
Apply a top coat of sealant. I did it on both sides so that the white side could be used as a white charger when I need. The top coat allows maximum protection and you can wipe off messes and food from the chargers.
You will want to use a water base product for lighter paint colors. If you use an oil base polyuerathane it will turn a small shade of yellow. These are my favorites:
All finished! I love how they turned out, it was such a fun project! You can read here to see how I decorated the table with the stenciled chargers. I also have a fun wood stamped charger tutorial here. Hope you enjoy this project!
Comment down below your stencil tips! Happy Creating!