Christmas calligraphy upcycled crate

Upcycle a crate with Christmas wording for a gorgeous Christmas calligraphy project from Kirsten Burke of The Modern Calligraphy Company

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Take a look around your house (or even loft or shed!) to find objects that could do with a lick of paint and some gorgeous lettering to make them loved objects again. In this project, Kirsten showcases a simple way to upcycle a storage crate and create a charming focal point for your home this Christmas. Use Kirsten’s Christmas calligraphy template, or if you’d like this shelf up all year round, choose your favourite quote instead.

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Summertime hand lettering workshop

We are so excited to be hosting a Summertime Hand Lettering workshop with The Modern Calligraphy Co where you can learn how to create your own ‘faux’ calligraphy like this! You don’t need anything fancy, just paper and pencils or pens you already have at home. 

Virtual event | 8th July

Book now

Summertime calligraphy workshop

Modern Calligraphy & Lettering magazine

Modern Calligraphy & Lettering magazine is a brand-new luxury magazine that will inspire and equip you to create beautiful artwork and handmade stationery, as well as fabulously creative upcycling projects. With expert input from some of the best modern calligraphers in the world, you’ll be encouraged to work on your own technique and style while choosing the products that work for you! Each of the craft projects comes with a traceable template for you to follow or use as a guide.

Click to order your copy of Modern Calligraphy & Lettering

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You Will Need

  • Large brush pen (black or metallic)
  • Chalk or eggshell paint
  • Paint brush
  • A3 card
  • Ruler and pencil
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • PVA glue or gluestick
  • Wooden box or storage crate

Total time:

Step 1

Pick a paint colour and a wrapping paper that look good together, then draw around the base of the crate to give you the correct paper size to cut out. On the paper, lightly sketch out your lettering, following Kirsten’s template or your own phrase. To design your own piece, write it out in pencil, stretching the ascenders and descenders so they knit together.

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Step 2

Paint the crate! Chalk paint gives a fantastic shabby chic effect – just give it a rub with sandpaper once it’s dry. Use eggshell paint for a more refined look.

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Step 3

Start to write your phrase, freehand or over pencilled lines, filling the paper. Use a large brush pen for a bold background. If your paper is a dark colour, try using a Posca brush pen or Papermania metallic brush pen in gold or silver.

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Step 4

Check the piece is dry before trimming the edges of the card so that it fits neatly into the back of the crate and stick in place with glue. Place or hang the crate onto your wall and decorate with festive foliage as a seasonal centrepiece.

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The Modern Calligraphy Company provide a whole host of free videos online  at or visit their website at to see their range of helpful books and calligraphy kits. You can sign up for personal tuition via workshops at their studio in Sussex or online, too.