Photos by Steve Smith, VisionFire Studios
In the modern times of texting, email, and ever-changing technology, the art of handwriting, especially cursive, is becoming more and more nostalgic. For this project, I’ll show you how to take a treasured photo, greeting card, recipe card, or any handwritten note and turn it into a beautiful one-of-a-kind treasure.
What you’ll need:
• Cutting board or piece of wood (unfinished, smooth surface works best)
• All-in-one glue sealer (I used a matte finish Mod Podge)
• Foam paintbrush
• Hard plastic card
• Print of your special item
For this project, I had a photograph of a ledger book from a friend’s family farm in P.E.I. Seemingly mundane details of the snow in February of 1936 in her grandmother’s handwriting has now become a treasured cutting board display more than 85 years later.
These special items don’t appear out of thin air, so if you don’t have a handwritten piece, that’s OK. You can ask someone for their favourite recipe, lyrics to a song, or a special phrase, and have them or you write it out.
For your print, it will need to be done on a laser printer (not inkjet) and printed in reverse image. If you don’t know what type of printer you have or how to reverse the image, simply go to a local print shop and explain your project and ask for help.
To start, I added a thin coat of adhesive sealer using a foam brush and laid the print face down on the item. Using a hard plastic card, I dragged it over the print to get rid of any air bubbles. Any bubbles will mean the ink won’t adhere to the item, but if this happens, it’s OK, it just adds to the vintage nature of your piece. I also love the trend of layered cutting boards, so I intentionally offset the writing on this, making it the perfect layering piece.
Next comes patience. Let the item dry for
24-72 hours. Once dry, I took a wet (not soaking) washcloth, allowing it to soak into a small area, gently rubbing away the paper with my fingers. If you notice the paper pulling back, just re-wet the cloth and try again. Remember, mistakes add charm, and you or your recipient will be so excited by the meaning of the piece, you won’t notice the small things.
If you wish, you can use another coat of adhesive to seal the piece, but remember, while some brands of sealers are non-toxic, it’s not considered food-grade safe, so you may wish to keep this for display. Using regular school glue is an option, but this is only an adhesive, and won’t provide a seal that can add to the longevity of your project.
A simple, inexpensive, and meaningful way to bring that special piece of paper to life.