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Do It Yourself: Painted & Printed Wood

Clare Youngs DIY upcycling

Printed letters on distressed wood and canvases are great choices for making a bold statement, adding an eclectic touch to your modern living room or bedroom. We all know the web and high-street are full of options, like these monogram hooks (£19.99, The Letter Room), letter block photographs (£29.99, Wayfair) and vintage, oversized scrabble tiles (£17.99,, but you can stand out from the crowd and create your own unique version of these popular home accessories with a little help from craft-guru Clare Youngs. This Painted & Printed Wood project from her new book Letter Crafts is a straightforward, fun take on the trend - Clare recommends salvaging some roughed-up wood from your local yard, or distressing your own spare boards or shelves with some paint and sandpaper.


Letter Crafts



Letter template
Roll of 17 ¾ in. (45 cm) wide laminating film (sticky-backed plastic)
Cutting mat
Craft knife
Piece of wood
Silver inkpad


1. Choose your letter or use the template on page 130. Use a craft knife to cut a piece of laminating film (sticky-backed plastic) to the length you need. My letter is 22 in. (56 cm) high and 13 ½ in. (34 cm) wide. You need at least a 4 in. (10 cm) border all around the letter.
2. Lay the laminating film (sticky-backed plastic) on your work surface, with the film (plastic) facing down and the paper backing facing upward. The backing paper usually has a grid marked on it so that you can enlarge your chosen letter. You will be flipping the stencil over when it comes to using it, so draw your letter facing the opposite way.

Letter Crafts
3. Protecting your work surface with a cutting mat, use a craft knife to cut out the shape. Position the stencil on top of your wood, with the backing paper side down.

Letter Crafts
4. Starting in one corner, gently peel the paper back - you’ll need to get your hand in underneath the stencil. Work slowly, pressing the film (plastic) flat onto the wood as you go. Make sure it is pressed down firmly.

Letter Crafts
5. Paint your letter in a color of your choice. When you come to the edge of the stencil use the brush in an upright position and make a gentle stabbing motion to apply the paint. This will stop any paint seeping underneath the stencil.

Letter Crafts
6. Use the craft knife and a ruler to cut a triangle from the eraser and use it as a stamp to print a pattern of triangles in silver ink.

Letter Crafts
7. As you print, overlap the edges of the stencil slightly so that, when you peel off the film (plastic), there are no gaps at the edges of your letter.

Letter Crafts
8. Once the paint is dry, peel the film (plastic) stencil away.


This project is from Letter Crafts by Clare Youngs.

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