Stenciled Thai Temple Bells

Oh the rows of bells at Thai temples! Ringing them is supposed to bring you good luck. Some people will walk along the rows, so hopeful, ringing every bell along the way. I’ve rung a few, but didn’t want to be too greedy.

Here are bells via 123RF stock photography, by Arnon Pipobpronchai:

Thai-Temple-Bells-via-123RF-by-Arnon-Pipobpronchai

So here’s how I made some stenciled bells …

I drew an outline from a Thai temple bell photo. Then I cut bells from grunge paper and spray painted the bells antique gold.

Choose a smaller stencil pattern for a project this size. I chose the Tulip Tiles stencil from Royal Design Studio.

Tulip-Stencil

Dab the stencil with a small Perfect Medium pad. You might need to use some pressure to get the medium onto the bell. I could see the gold paint color darkening, and that’s how I knew the medium was getting onto the bell.

Applying-Perfect-Medium-to-Stencil

Remove the stencil, and sprinkle embossing powder or Perfect Pearl powder. I sprinkle powder liberally because you can put the extra back in the container and use it again.

Gold-Embossing-Powder

I like the effect of the embossing powder when the extra is blown off the bell.

Embossing-Powder-on-Bell

But unfortunately, the powder can rub off so it must be heated to set it permanently. Heat the powder with an embossing heat gun. Yes, I did this over an air return register in the floor — this way I knew the heat wouldn’t damage anything. And, well, the register was right behind where I was working!

Embossing-Heat-Tool

Watch for the embossing powder to melt and look shiny. This is when it is set.

Embossed

You can see the grunge paper buckled from the heat. Oops. I flipped it over and heated the back side and it flattened out.

Buckled-Grunge-Paper

Flattened-Grunge-Paper

Just to be sure the bell was flat, I pressed it under a heavy set of coasters. And, well, the coasters were right next to where I was working. (Hey the less time I spend moving around, the more time there is to create!)

Here’s how a few bells turned out. One was made with copper Perfect Pearl powder and the other was made with gold embossing powder.

Gold-Embossed-Thai-Bell

Copper-Embossed-Thai-Bell

They’re subtle. But they do have enough shine that will get reflected by lights on the Christmas tree.

Next, I added a copper tassel and elephant pendant to the copper embossed bell, and a ring at the top to hang it from the tree.

Thai-Bell-and-Elephant

And here it is, hanging on the tree:

Thai-Temple-Bell-Ornament

Hmmm. I might remove the elephant and replace it with copper beads. It feels a bit too kitschy. Nothing wrong with kitschy but it’s not the look I was going for on the tree. More like, global elegance.

I hope this helps you find new ways to use stencils!

2 Replies to “Stenciled Thai Temple Bells”

  1. Deb, I just read your temple bell ornament post – What a brilliant idea. You have a very clear way of explaining what you are doing, not to mention the photos are so clear! Thanks so much for sharing. I will start learning stenciling this summer and have been busy reading tutorials, etc. and thank goodness, via Pinterest, I came across you!!
    PS- I like the elephant!!! :)

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you liked it. I add a few more temple bells each year to our tree. I like the elephant too – it’s just a simple jewelry item from a craft store!

      Stenciling is so fun! Also check out PaintandPattern.com – I’m posting there too and there’s so many creative stenciling ideas. I do hope you try it, it’s easy to make gorgeous things.

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