Wednesday 13 April 2016

Framing a Shakespeare quote

This year is the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, and to join in a celebration of his life and work, Viking, the stationery suppliers, asked me to create a craft or DIY project featuring one of Shakespeare's quotes. To get me started they sent me a box of crafting supplies.

Framed Shakespeare quote craft

In the box was a sweet mini easel with canvas, and so I decided to frame a quote to display above my desk. The most difficult part about this challenge was choosing which quote to use - there are so many I loved! I decided to narrow it down to a quote from my favourite Shakespeare play, Hamlet, and one which I could use as a motivational quote for my workspace.

I wanted to choose a quote that wasn't one of the obvious ones, and so after lots of deliberation I went for:

"...for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" - Hamlet, Act II Scene II

In the play it is spoken by Hamlet when his friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern return to Denmark summoned by the king, hoping that they will spy on Hamlet and find out the cause of his apparent madness. I interpret the quote to mean that the way that you feel about something is determined by how you react to it, and so if you can think about something positively then your state of mind will be much happier.

Framed Shakespeare quote craft

Although I think that my handwriting is quite neat, I've never really had much luck with trying out different typefaces or styles of writing. I knew that I wanted to use a selection of fonts to emphasise different parts of the quote, so I made a mockup in PicMonkey and experimented with text in different sizes and styles. Then I copied the text onto my parchment paper as best as I could using a pencil and ruled lines to help guide me. I went over the text using a thick Sharpie marker and a thinner black felt pen, then when the ink was completely dry I carefully rubbed out the pencil lines.

The paper was then mounted onto a darker piece of cardboard before being glued to the canvas.

Framed Shakespeare quote craft

When I mounted the quote on the easel I felt that the pale background colour blended in with the colour of the easel a bit too much. So I decided to paint the easel with black acrylic paint and I think that it looks much better. Here's my finished piece:

Framed Shakespeare quote craft

And if you are looking for Shakespeare quote inspiration, here are some others that I liked but didn't quite make the cut:

"This above all: to thine own self be true" - Hamlet
"We know what we are but not what we may be" - Hamlet
"I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It
"Why, then the world's mine oyster" - The Merry Wives of Windsor
"We are such stuff as dreams are made on, rounded with a little sleep" - The Tempest
"Better three hours too soon than a minute too late" - The Merry Wives of Windsor

Viking supplied me with a box of craft supplies in exchange for this post.


  1. Looks great. I love this quote too. Oh the mind, such a powerful thing x #thoushaltcraft


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