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Home decoration with Calligraphy

Updated on March 29, 2015
Calligraphy print by Helen Lush
Calligraphy print by Helen Lush | Source

Using calligraphy to decorate your home

I have been using calligraphy in my paintings for many years – it stems from a love of literature which began as a child and continues to inspire me.

In this article I explain how to use calligraphy to decorate walls and glass in the home, with images and step by step instructions.

The words you choose could be a favourite poem, quotation or the names of family members. The writing could be used as a border on walls, mirrors or windows and decorative glass panels in doors and windows.

Find your font

First of all, unless you have an aptitude for calligraphy, you need to find examples of lettering which you like and that suit your purpose. A font such as Zapfino, looks very much like hand written calligraphy and can be found, along with many other fonts, online. Some of these are free whereas others require a payment. Bear in mind that elegant narrow swooping letters will be more difficult to achieve than chunkier ones. One place to get free fonts is

When you have chosen the font and paid for it if necessary, print out the letters you need to the required size, having measured the area of wall or glass which it will decorate and calculated the spacing and number of letters needed. It is well worth spending some time getting this right. Then you are ready to start.

Mirror with spray-etched lettering by Helen Lush. Words from Tennyson's Lady of Shallot.
Mirror with spray-etched lettering by Helen Lush. Words from Tennyson's Lady of Shallot.
Calligraphy Print by Helen Lush
Calligraphy Print by Helen Lush | Source

Make your letters

  • Using a felt-tip pen trace your letters onto thin acetate – this is transparent and tough enough for the letters to be used more than once. The same letters can be used again on other areas of glass or using a different method described below, to add calligraphy to walls.

  • Cut out the letters using a soldering iron with a fine point or alternatively use a craft knife.

  • The individual letters are then taped or glued onto the glass using masking tape or "spray mount" as these products should not leave a mark on the glass after peeling off.

Spray -etched door panels by Helen Lush.
Spray -etched door panels by Helen Lush.

Spray-etching glass.

A glazed door will allow light through and can be decorated with “etched” patterns and calligraphy. This creates lovely light effects with the etching reflected onto walls. The cut-out acetate letters mask the glass from the spray etch. You will need to mask off the edges of the panel or anywhere you don't want the spray to go.

Once the letters have been attached to the glass with the spray mount adhesive, (make sure they are not curling up anywhere), the spray etch is applied in a few layers, allowing each layer to dry before applying another. When an even, frosted effect is reached, allow to dry and just peel off the acetate letters.

This effect can be achieved in reverse by cutting the acetate to the size of the panel, cutting out the letters, then attaching the acetate panel to the glass rather than the cut-out letters.

Stencilled calligraphy border with W. B. Yeats poem.
Stencilled calligraphy border with W. B. Yeats poem.
Spotted Lily Calligraphy Print by Helen Lush
Spotted Lily Calligraphy Print by Helen Lush | Source

The many uses of calligraphy

Spray etch has been used again in the bedroom, applied around a mirror simply made from a framed piece of mirrored glass. Mirrors are extremely useful for throwing light around a room and giving a feeling of more space. Decorating a mirror using calligraphy will add another dimension to it and a personal and original touch.

Your acetate letters can be used as stencils time and again on different surfaces. You may even want to use them as templates to cut out individual wooden letters using a scroll saw or jig saw or to make decorative panels which could be used as radiator covers or screens. All the products mentioned here are easily available and inexpensive and the resulting effects will add a touch of originality to your décor.

Bedroom mirror with spray0etched calligraphy.
Bedroom mirror with spray0etched calligraphy.


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    • DaffodilSky profile image

      Helen Lush 4 years ago from Cardiff, Wales, UK

      Thank you so much Torrilynn and Healthyannie!

    • Healthyannie profile image

      Annie Messeri 4 years ago from Spain

      Darling - I paint but this is amazing. It touches the soul.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      Hi Helen,

      Thanks for the wonderful instructions on how use a new way of decorating your home. very unique indeed. Voted up

    • DaffodilSky profile image

      Helen Lush 4 years ago from Cardiff, Wales, UK

      Thanks Anne, that's good of you - it all helps :)

      Suzzycue - thank you! Let me know if you have a go at the blue heron.!

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hi Helen. I got notification that someone had commented on this lovely hub but was dismayed to see that so few people have left anything, so I have now shared it with my followers. Hope this helps to get it seen. :)

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Your etchings are awesome. I didn't know etching were so easy. I always wanted to do one of a blue heron for my bedroom window.

    • DaffodilSky profile image

      Helen Lush 5 years ago from Cardiff, Wales, UK

      Thanks Anne - much appreciated:-)

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 5 years ago from Spain

      Hi Helen.

      What lovely ideas and great instructions on how to do them. Many thanks for sharing.


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