In the main, an excellent and very down-to-earth book on stencilling, free-hand design and decoration for furniture, walls, trays, etc. Where this book falls down as a ""first book"" is in the belated and then only partial recognition of the need of definition. The list of supplies needed comes on P. 81; there is no glossary, no index. So the beginner might easily be discouraged in meeting unfamiliar terms such as ""Tack cloth""- ""metal primer""-""sanding primer to pick a few on the opening pages. However, having taken that hurdle, the beginner will find the instructions concise, clear, intelligible. And in the assumption that it is possible to teach oneself this art, encouraging. Some of the authorities (for example Janet Waring, author of Early American Stencils, the basic book on the subject) may quarrel with Mrs. Cramer's rather cursory assumption of some disputable historical facts. But in a how-to-do-it book, this is a minor shortcoming.