Inside: A tutorial on how to print on wood to upcycle a lazy susan with vintage cheese labels. The post includes free vintage cheese label printables.
The other day when I was going through my vintage label collection, I came across these old cheese labels. I had a simple birch wood Lazy Susan from IKEA (SNUDDA). I thought it would look fabulous jazzed up with one of these vintage cheese labels.
My small collection of labels are for just two types of cheese. French Camembert and Swiss Gruyere.
When I started looking into the labels further on the internet, I discovered that collecting cheese labels in France was a thing. A fabulous website displays hundreds of different Camembert labels and their monetary value.
That isn’t surprising, as the French are well known for loving the cheese they produce and are very proud of it. Here is a gastronomic map of France that shows the regions and the food they are well known for, including the different cheeses.
“Camembert was first made in the late 18th century at Camembert, Normandy, in northern France. It is similar to Brie, which is native to a different region of France.” Most towns in Normandy make their Camembert, hence the variety of labels.
The cheese tends to be packaged in whole in thin, round, wooden (poplar) containers. A round label on the top often displays the Normandy town where it was made.
Upcycled Lazy Susan With Vintage Cheese Labels (An IKEA HACK)
Lazy Susans are round turntables designed for distributing food around a table. I thought it would be fun to use one of these round cheese labels to print on a round wooden Lazy Susan.
The downloaded vintage cheese labels will be of a higher resolution than the image on the website. Just click on the title above to download.
I will display the vintage cheese labels first. Then I will show how to print on wood. I will also provide a .png format of the labels for those who want to use them for a craft.
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The Vintage Cheese Labels
1. Camembert Pont-Audemer
Pont Audemer is a commune in Normandy France.
2. Le Dauphin Camembert
Dauphin was the son of Louis XIV.
3. Jollit Freres Camembert
This JOLLIT freres Camembert is from the commune in Normandy of Saint Chtistophe Sur Conde.
4. Laiterie Camembert
Laitere is the French for dairy. I presume this is a Camembert from the dairy in Moulin de Ver.
5. Le Coutancais Camembert
From the commune Coutances in Normandy famous for their cathedral. Hence the cathedral on the label.
6. Process Gruyere Cheese Label
This is a label for Swiss Cromlech Gruyere Cheese. Cromlech is an ancient stone circle in Switzerland (like Stonehenge) hence the image on the label.
7. Tiger Gruyere Vintage Cheese Label
This label is for a famous brand of Swiss gruyere cheese. I’ve used this label to print on wood (see the tutorial below). Just because it was my favourite design, I love the image of the tiger. Despite being a Swiss product, the tiger gave the label a more oriental feel.
How To Print On Wood With A Cheese Label
I use my Lazy SusanIKEA (SNUDDA) as a cheese board, so it seemed very apt to upcycle it with a vintage cheese label.
I chose to print on wood rather than decoupage because I prefer the vintage finish you get with printing. If you want a smooth, unblemished look, I suggest decoupage instead.
DIY printing on wood works well, and I love the look. The finish will not be perfect; avoiding minor blemishes and a worn look is hard. I wanted my finished cheese board to look aged and well-worn, so I printed it.
What You Need To Print On Wood
- IKEA SNUDDA Lazy Susan – or any other Lazy Susan or round wooden board.
- Chosen label printed to size (see below). Or use the Tiger one I used here.
- Mod Podge
- Sponge and water
- Varnish or wax suitable for use with food
How To Print On Wood
Step 1: Firstly, you need to print a mirror image of your chosen label to size. I chose the Tiger cheese label; a high-resolution .png of all the labels is provided below.
The Lazy Susan was 39cm in diameter, so I printed the label onto A2 paper at my local print shop. You can use photoshop or free software such as Canva to adjust your label size. In the software program, choose a canvas A2 paper size and enlarge your label to fit onto the canvas with a margin of about 1.5 cm from the edge.
Either flip the image horizontally in the software program to make a mirror image. If you can’t do this for some reason, ask the print shop to print it as a mirror image.
The image must be printed on laser printers, not inkjets, to transfer print onto wood. That is one of the reasons I use my local print shop, as all their printers are laser printers.
The .png files. Just click on the label you want below and a .png of the image will download.
- Camembert Pont Audemere
- Le Dauphin Camembert
- Jollit Freres Camembert
- Laiterie Camembert
- Le Coutancias Camembert
- Process Gruyere
- Tiger Gruyere
Step 2: Next, to prepare the wood for printing. Sand off all the varnish from the top.
Step 3: Cut out the printed mirror image of the vintage cheese label.
Step 4: Cover the printed side of the label with a thin layer of mod podge. Also, cover the top of the wood with a layer of mod podge. Then stick the label face down onto the wood. Use a ruler or credit card edge to smooth out any bubbles in the paper. Leave for several hours to dry thoroughly.
Step 5: Once the Mod Podge has dried, using a sponge and a bowl of water, dampen the back of the label.
Step 6: Gently rub away the wet paper with your fingers. You will notice that the paper disappears from the wood, leaving the print behind. You have to be both gentle and firm with the rubbing.
Step 7: Carry on rubbing until all the paper is removed. You may have to keep adding water to the paper between rubs. The process takes a little time,e and you will have to go over the same area several times to remove all the paper residue.
Occasionally, you may rub too hard and remove some print, especially on areas that weren’t sanded very well. Don’t worry about this. It only adds to the character of the vintage cheese board look. Also, you can tidy up these mistakes at the end by colouring in the areas with coloured sharpies or painting over them with acrylic paint in matching colours.
Step 8: Once the Lazy Susan is dried, brush away loose bits of paper from the top. Finish off by sealing the board with a varnish. If you use the board for serving food directly onto it, make sure you use a food-safe varnish or wax.
I choose a vintage cheese label as I use my Lazy Susan as a cheeseboard. You can, of course, print any image you want onto the board. I like the idea of a chocolate board!
Another easy way to put pictures onto wood is using iron-on transfer paper, which is better for small pieces such as wood slices.
If you liked this post, you might like to check out these decoupaged vintage seed packet art. Or, if you fancy a fruit board, there are some fabulous botanical fruit images here. Also, check out all the food illustrations from Mrs Beeton’s cookbook.
If you are looking for more vintage labels, there are some gorgeous raw silk ones in this Cherry Blossom drawings collection.
For more home craft ideas visit DIYideacenter.com
Sunday 6th of June 2021
It s not just maps that you can print onto wood. I ve seen photos printed on to wood slices and vintage cheese labels onto a lazy Susan.
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Monday 2nd of September 2019
Love this so much, thanks you fir sharing 👍
Wednesday 4th of September 2019
Thank you,glad you enjoyed them.
Monday 19th of August 2019
Thank you for sharing a great hack & the labels
Wednesday 21st of August 2019
You’re welcome, I’m glad you enjoyed them.
Wednesday 1st of May 2019
That is my favorite label, as well. I’m glad I came across this project. Last month I was planning a project using Mod Podge on a bowl. I couldn’t find any information regarding food safety. After drying, is it waterproof and is it safe to eat on? Thanx!
Thursday 2nd of May 2019
Thank you. I suggest using a food safe varnish to finish it off. The varnish should be waterproof enough for a wipe but I wouldn't soak it in water.