DIY Hand Lettering Tutorial – A Cute Christmas Gift!

Over at pompompaints.com I do a lot (A LOT) of hand lettering. My favourite thing about lettering is that everybody has their own style of handwriting, and I think it’s great to use your natural style of handwriting in your hand lettering, rather than trying to emulate somebody else’s.

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So, I have a couple of intentions with this post –

  1. Hand lettering is a fun way to de-stress, and I highly recommend it
  2. This is the method I started with and it’s super easy and
  3. It’s a cute Christmas gift/decoration!

Let’s jump in, shall we? The first thing to do is write out the phrase in your normal, boring handwriting.  Just grab some scrap and see how you naturally write.  Here, I’m using Merry & Bright. So, I start by writing it out, then I write it a litle bigger, a little neater and with a little exaggeration.  If you loop your y’s, include that! If you write with lots of little flicks (or don’t), be sure to use that in your bigger, neater lettering.  This is just to get a little practice before you start this mini project.

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Next, grab some equipment. I tend to use brush pens, and you can find my personal recommendations here – but I hate when I read a ‘simple’ tutorial and it calls for a bunch of stuff I don’t even own. So, to avoid that, I just have some pretty standard, thin marker pens. I’m using some PaperMate Flair pens which I love, for their quality, thinness, range of colours and non smudginess.  That’s the technical term. You’ll also need some white card – I’m using a 5″ x 7″, to go in my frame – and a pencil/eraser.

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To begin, use your little practice as a reference and begin writing, lightly, in pencil. Feel free to make mistakes and play around with layout here – I always make a bunch of mistakes I have to fix!

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Once you’re happy with it, go ahead trace over the light pencil with your marker pen of choice. I’m going for pink because I’m …me.  I like pink everything. Once that’s finished, erase any pencil lines peeking out from your writing.

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The next stage is where it starts to look a little more ~official~ and ~lettery~ (that’s definitely not a word).

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Writing with a brush pen, you would use a light, thin stroke as you draw up, and you would push the pen a little harder on a downward stroke of the pen, creating thicker lines. This is what gives hand lettering a special sort of look.  The trick, here, is to imitate that effect, even though we’re using normal marker pens.

Try to pick out any of the letters where you would have used a downward stroke to write, and thicken this line, as in the picture above. If this gets a bit fiddly or confusing (I’m with you, I get it, “Was this an up or a down?! What’s happening???”), just rewrite the letters on your scrap and see how you write them out. This will give your lettering a natural look.

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Then, fill in the lines you thickened.  Colour those things in, so it looks like one solid piece of lettering. It looks pretty neat at this point.

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I added some little leaves and a heart, mostly because I add leaves and hearts to everything. I heartily recommend doodling in some cute little details – trees, baubles, stars – all of the above!

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And voila! Frame it and gift it to someone you like, hang it on your wall, or let it be the beginning of a cool new hobby.  I hope this was fun for you! If you wanna show off what you’ve made, use #pompompaints, or tag me @rosierebeccapom so I can see how awesome you are!

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