CRAFT: Crafting with Nature
Faux Wood Intarsia Headboard
By Mark Montano

I’ve discovered a lot about myself while making this project. Yes, crafting is all about self-exploration, and that’s one of the reasons I love it so much. For those of you who know how I craft, I have to say that, with the exception of my Dremel, I’m not really a “machine” kind of crafter. I am an old school, make-it-work-with-whatever-is-under-the-kitchen-sink kind of guy. However, I recently discovered something that made this project sing, and I must write about. It’s called the Cricut Expression. I swear I’m not paid by this company; in fact, I have recently started stalking them and I’m sure they will be filing a restraining order any day now. My goal (if they don’t throw my crafty butt in jail) is to be their one and only spokes-crafter.
Anyway, back to the Cricut. It’s a cutting machine that comes with all kinds of little design cartridges and cuts anything from paper to contact paper to flocking to fabric. It was originally designed for scrapbookers, but let’s face it, there are two things I will never do: learn how to cook and make a scrapbook! I decided to take this machine for a drive and amp up a project for CRAFT that I thought was already finished, and here are the results. The first is my “kickin’ it old school faux intarsia headboard” and the second is my “kickin’ it up a notch with the Cricut faux intarsia headboard.” Both are really easy to make, inexpensive, and easy to personalize. One more thing: if you ever have any questions about my projects, just email me at [email protected] Crafticron out.


Faux wood-grain contact paper
X-Acto craft knife
Cutting mat or cardboard
so you don’t ruin your table
Light box or window with some daylight shining through
Printout of a heraldic lion easy to find on the internet
Printout of your initial in a heraldic font also easy to find on the internet
Fine permanent marker to trace your design
Add the Cricut Expression for the more involved version.

Basic Directions:

Step 1 Find your images on the internet and print them out. All I did was Google ‘heraldic lion’ and ‘letter M’ in images, and there they were.
Step 2: Print them out in the size that you like. If you can’t print them out in the right size, then enlarge them on a copy machine.
Step 3: Using a light box or window, trace the images with your fine permanent marker onto the faux wood-printed contact paper.
Step 4: Cut out the designs using an X-Acto craft blade, making sure to get all of the details as best you can. The more detailed, the better it will look.
Step 5: Measure your headboard to figure out the exact center, so you can properly place your designs.
Step 6: Before you peel and stick, place each design in the desired place, and carefully mark where you would like it to be placed. This way you won’t panic when it’s time to stick it on the headboard.
Step 7: Carefully peel and stick your designs on the headboard, making sure that there are no bumps or bubbles and that it’s nice and even.

Cricut Version

Now, for the more involved headboard you’ll need the Cricut Expression and the font cartridge called Blackletter. It has Old English letters and some terrific shapes to choose from.
Step 1: Simply place your contact paper on the sticky mat and load the machine, following the instructions.
Step 2: Cut your shapes about 2 1/2" in size, using the dials on the Cricut to set the size.
Step 3: Peel and stick the designs wherever you want to add some more pizzazz to your headboard, following Steps 6 and 7 above.
About the Author:
Mark Montano is a craft-a-holic who is completely addicted to Elmer’s glue and all-night craft sessions in his boxer shorts. He is the author of the best-selling book The Big Ass Book of Crafts. You can email him at [email protected]

Goli Mohammadi

Goli Mohammadi

I’m a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at [email protected] or via @snowgoli.

  • Linda from Vegas

    Now you need to buy SCAL so you don’t have to buy those expensive cartridges. Go to the Craft Edge web site to buy it.

  • redsquid

    Came here to say that the biggest drawback to the cricut machine was that you could only use the images from their cartridges. That, for me, was a deal breaker as I have to be able to use my own designs. Now I’m going to buy one! Thanx Linda in Vegas!

  • flo

    wow that turned fantastic creation into a fantabulous one. thanks for sharing your ideas

  • Anonymous

    What is SCAL and how do I get to craqfty edge? When there is info on SCAL easy to locate? Thanks, vj

  • anonymous

    SCAL is a software program that allows you to cut any true type fonts, dingbats or other vector files with the Cricut or Cricut Expressions machine. To purchase SCAL go to and all you need is on that site.

  • Patricia Smith

    Thanks for this. My husband bought me one (cricut Expression), for Christmas. Can’t wait to use it. I feel very uneducated regarding this machine. Hope it doesn’t intimadated by this new machine. I really hope this is for real, (what you said) as I will be going to the SCAL sight. Hope the products you commented on this site doesn’t mess up my NEW machine. Again, thanks a lot! ps

  • Connie C. Khan

    That’s really interesting. Thanks for posting all the great information! Had never thought of it all that way before.