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Add Words to Your Craft Projects

Whether it's a favorite saying or a child's name, words perk up painted pieces.

By Holly Christian

Of course we love words for what they say, but we also love words for how they look: the graphic impact of strong stylized type, the grace of calligraphy, the pleasing symmetry of rows of Chinese symbols.

We love words so much we covered everything we could find with letters, text, comics, symbols and quotations. We used the funny papers, torn-out dictionary pages, Asian magazines, newspaper printing plates, markers, stencils, stickers, paints and more. We covered or wrote on boxes, rocks, furniture, fabric and even a baby's hat.

In the end we found that you can never run out of words, just time.

Wood Furniture

Materials and Tools:

tack cloth
shellac-based primer
latex paint
acrylic craft paint
alphabet stencils
stenciled brush
polyurethane sealer


1. Sand the piece and wipe it clean with a tack cloth.

2. Apply primer and let it dry.

3. Paint the piece with a base coat of latex paint and let it dry. If desired, apply additional coats of latex paint and acrylic craft paint in desired colors and patterns.

4. Stencil words on the piece.

5. When dry, finish with two or three coats of clear polyurethane.

Quick method: Use markers made for use on wood or plaster to write or draw on wood furniture.

Fabric Writing

Easily write or draw on fabric with any of the wide variety of fabric markers available. Ready-to-dye fabrics and clothing are available from Dharma Trading Co. (

Terra-Cotta Pots

Use paint or permanent markers to send encouraging messages to your plants. If desired, seal the pots with a coat of clear polyurethane.

Photos by Charles Brooks

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