Craftsman Crate: The Tole Painting Crate


Tole Painting has a fascinating history and most of us have seen tole painted items in real life in our grandparents or great-grandparents’ homes. Learn how to turn a disc into a tray and paint in the distinct style of tole painting.

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Tole Painting originated in the late seventeenth century in the metal works of John Hanbury in Pontypool, South Wales. Thomas Allgood, the works manager was trying to find a coating to prevent corrosion in the tin-plated iron household wares they were producing. He developed a mixture of linseed oil, burnt rubber, and asphaltum, which not only worked, but was similar in appearance to japanning, the black coating on lacquerware imported from Asia, which was very popular at the time. Artists were hired to illuminate the black surface with colorful patterns. Soon tole peint, French for painted tin, became popular for kettles, trays, biscuit tins, and tobacco boxes, with Asian, rural, sporting, and floral designs. Some pieces from Hanbury’s company still exist, uncorroded!

Much tole painting was done with one-stroke painting, where the artist’s brush would be loaded with two or even three paint tints, which would be applied in one stroke, giving a complex, shaded design. A similar technique was used to paint metal in Germany and was imported to America by the Pennsylvania Dutch, which were not Dutch at all, but German (Deutsch means German in that language). In Scandinavia, a similar one-stroke technique is used on wood and is called rosemaling or literally, rose painting. Tole painting became incredibly fashionable in the 1800s, then revived again in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, as folk art.

The Tole Painting Crate Contains:

Instructions and Patterns

Metal Discs – These will become the canvases for your tole painting.

Carbon Paper – Use this to transfer a design. This is easier if you wait until your base coat is dry to transfer the design.

Wiggle Engraver – You can carve your patterns with this, if you like.

White Eraser – Use this to change the finish of the metal within your patterns.

Gloves – Keep you from telling the world about your art wherever you go.

Acrylic Paints – This is the media you’ll use to try out your tole painting designs.

Palette – A palette is the perfect place to organize and blend your paints.

Brushes – Your tools to change blobs of paint into a design.

Fluting Tool – This odd off-white tool can be used to turn a disc into a tray!


Subscribe to Craftsman Crate to have one of these amazing crates delivered to your house every month complete with the tools, supplies, and lessons to learn the skills of an artisan! Use Craftsman Crate as a gift, a hobby, or a curriculum – it’s fun, it’s rewarding, and it’s authentic. Click to learn more!

Additional information

Weight 42 oz
Dimensions 13.2 x 9.2 x 2.75 in


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