First year favourites

Well, it’s been over a year, and over 1000 designs created since I started selling my Word Art as AliChappellUK.


I thought it would be nice to share with you some of the most interesting designs that I have been commissioned over my first year. Below I have collated my Top Ten word art designs.

I can design in many different shapes and with many different colours and details and some of these requests illustrate just how that can be done.

Just arm me with 60-ish words and I will do the rest! I love the puzzle of making everything fit.
The designs are all created using professional software, but don’t be fooled, the software does not place the words in position for me, it just ensures a quality print file at the end.
Each word is manually positioned by eye to fit the empty spaces until I have made the design into your chosen shape.


1.    The fabulous french butterfly


Well, words essentially work the same (in the Latin alphabet), no matter the language. I was approached to design a butterfly in French for a little girl. These words translate into cute words and phrases such as ‘Sing a Rainbow’ and ‘Sugar & Spice’. The design would look fab as a big canvas in a girlie playroom.

2.    Man’s best friend


When I was first asked about designing a word art for a person who absolutely pampers and spoils their dogs I actually imagined a young girl… I later discovered it was for the customer’s father – a real dog lover. For this design I included four dog’s names. The design was printed on heavy textured paper and put in a dark frame.

“You’ll no doubt be pleased to know that people still admire the piece and stand in front of it, turning their head this way and that until they’ve read every word.” – customer quote


3.    Britpop revival


This time the customer was my own husband-to-be! He wanted something really special and unique for his best man and groomsmen – all very close friends that had been with him since school. The year that always had the best memories for them was 1995. I fitted in songs, places, jokes, nicknames –  everything that encapsulated the most memorable time of their life! It was printed on canvas and stretched on a deep frame. Of course Gavin kept a copy for himself which has pride of place between his guitars.

4.    Sports team star


You know who’s the best – us not you! This sporty patriotic star contained the whole sports team, including the coaches and a few favourite phrases. This would look awesome as a banner in the sports hall facing the opposing team’s goal!

5.    Wedding of the year


Well, apart from my own wedding that is 🙂 So many special people are involved in a wedding. Friends and family all chip in and all deserve big thank you’s and unique gifts. But on your big day don’t forget to make your own special memories that last too. This cushion is filled with fun memories of the happy couple.

6.    Extended family


This was a special gift from a family in the U.K. to their family in the U.S. Included in the words were family members, pets, special moments and memories from their holiday visit. Family gifts can be treasured by so many different generations and they can come together in one place in this design. The customer liked the result so much that she bought a second one for herself!

7.    Tennis anyone?


This was a design for a BIG Tennis fan as I’m sure you can see. I was asked to include some tennis related icons so I opted for racket and ball. This is the darkest background I have ever produced a word art in and I must admit – it’s very striking! The customer printed this out as a large poster.

“Omg I totally LOVE this… so much of a tennis statement!” – customer quote

8.    Someone special


Words have so much meaning and can encapsulate a lifetime of memories, fun, jokes and adventures. This design was commisioned for someone who wanted to give a really special and unique present to his wife. Included in it are friends, family, places they have travelled, the pets and funny sayings they share. This just couldn’t be found in the shops.

9.    Love starts at home


In contrast, sometimes you don’t need many words to say something full of meaning. ‘Our love never fails’ was the only phrase apart from the couple’s names. This was printed on textured paper and framed by myself before shipping to the customer.

10.    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder



I was approached by ‘Ginvera’ to design some artwork for their stand at the UK Anti-Ageing show this spring. The words were fitted into the shape of a green tea leaf and their corporate colours were used to create this extra large poster. You can visit the lovely Ginvera website here: I can’t resist the BB cream.


11.    A spot of self-indulgence


I have cheated here. This is number 11 but I wanted to include it. I just had to have my own ‘sample’ of one of these gorgeous cushions… they are so soft and the ink is so bright… ahh, I’m in love….


Hop over to my Etsy shop to check out my latest designs here:



Home Sweet Home: personalised word art

Friends recently bought and moved into a new home and I wanted to give them a really special personalised present.

I love typography and colour and so decided to make some ‘word art’.

I gathered words related to home life, relationship, names, addresses, anything personal that I knew about my friend.

Fitting the words around the doors and windows of a simple house shape took some time!


I chose a nice homely colour scheme of warm browns, reds and creams.

My friend’s favourite things include cats, gardening, ladybirds and bees and so I also incorporated images of these all into the shape.

sun-wordart   ladybird-wordart  bee-wordart2

I printed the design myself on my home printer. I used ‘woven’ effect paper in a cream colour as it gave some additional warmth and texture.

I found a nice deep frame with a small aperture.


She was very pleased with her present, who wouldn’t like a totally unique and personalised gift?

Due to the positive response of my friend,  I decided to create a product for others who are looking for a unique housewarming gift. The design can be personalised for anybody.

Take quick look, click here and let me know what you think!



DIY Woodcut – Printmaking by hand at home

I have been keen to start printmaking from woodcutting at home for some time and I can now say that I have successfully finished my first set of prints!


Equipment and Materials

Starting from scratch, I had a long shopping list of equipment I was going to have to buy to do this – but I was unsure what was best to spend my money on. Being my first attempt from home I couldn’t see the point in spending a fortune on professional materials, and besides, surely some of it is down to technique not materials?

I’ve always been very resourceful with materials anyway, I believe that I don’t always have to spend money and there are many things around the house and garden that can produce a much more unique result.

I had been advised that the best investment to make is on the knives, so I splashed out on a decent set of student cutting tools from Lawrence’s. I also bought a new rubber ink roller (although if you shop around there are a few second hand ones available on ebay). The third thing I invested in was a small pot of black oil-based ink.

For ‘practice wood’ I visited the local DIY shop, and managed to haggle a deal for some off-cuts, thus rescuing waste material destined for the scrap heap and doing my bit for the planet 🙂

I found a tin of old wood varnish and sheets of sandpaper in the garage and after a couple of layers of varnishing and sanding the wood was smooth and ready to go.


How I did it

I drew my design on paper and then when it was ready, transferred using carbon paper and went over it with a permanent marker pen.

After cutting out my design, I made a ‘rubbing’ with some light paper and crayons, to check the design was how I wanted it to be. There was a knot in the wood that I couldn’t avoid so I decided to edit the design to hide the knot – I made a few adjustment cuts in the wood and was ready to go.

I spread the ink onto a glass surface (a kitchen chopping board!) before inking up the wood.

I laid the paper over the top of the wood and carefully used a smooth door knob (more resourcefulness!) to rub the ink onto the paper, being careful not to move the paper and cause a ‘ghosting’ effect on the print.

I had a variety of paper kicking about so decided to experiment with several types. Parcel paper, cartridge, watercolour all provided different results.

Not bad for a first attempt!


Rheebridge Open Art Exhibition – Exhibition pieces revealed

Thanks to all who attended the show this weekend!

As promised, here is a picture of the pieces I exhibited.

The exhibition saw works from 100 different artists, it was such a diverse mix, a fantastic way to see art from all over Cambridgeshire from a whole mix of skill sets and styles.


Screenprinting using photo process

Earlier this month I spent 3 days at Curwen Print Study Centre at Chilford Hall, Cambridge. Curwen is a fantastic printmaking centre run by some lovely people.

I took in some of my drawings on acetate and learned from Sue Jones how to use photo-emulsion on a silkscreen to reproduce my drawing as a screenprint.

I love experimenting with layers in printmaking so enjoyed particularly making a monoprint bottom layer in a very  loose style, contrasted by an overprinted layer of detailed illustration.

Some of the results were stunning!

Rheebridge Open Art Exhibition – Cambridgeshire

Rheebridge Open Art Exhibition – 23rd-25th November 2012

I will be exhibiting at Cambridge’s major open art exhibition this month. I have 3 framed and 4 unframed brand new exciting pictures on display. After the event I will reveal the images on my blog.

The exhibition will displaying contemporary and traditional paintings and sculptures from 100 different artists, all for sale. This is the must see exhibition for Cambridgeshire this autumn!

Please come a long and show your support to local artists! For more information on the event, click here.

Art opportunities in unexpected places

I was asked if I would ‘lend’ a set of 3 drawings to display in a large meeting room where I work, for a few months.

I was kind-of flattered but hardly saw the benefit at first of displaying my pieces to colleagues at work. Who’s going to notice them at work? So from September until November I hung my pictures on the wall. It felt great to see them up on a wall rather than stored up at home! And furthermore they are currently under offer as a colleague would like to buy them for his wife for Christmas, what a wonderful and unexpected result. Yet again I am learning to open myself up to opportunities.

On a further note, the company I work for are looking to buy art to fill the wall on a more permanent basis! We would like to offer the opportunity to artists who would normally struggle to access the art world and this type of opportunity. We design and provide daily living solutions to those who are affected by autism, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy,  motor neurone disease to name a few.

If you are, or know of any artists who looking to sell art, and are challenged by similar situations, please contact for further details. Preferably in the Cambridgeshire area.

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