Hand Lettering Tips


If you’ve been anywhere near social media in the last year you have probably seen sped up videos showing hand lettering or calligraphy. These videos immediately grabbed my attention and I decided I had to learn to do this. I followed a few accounts on Instagram that specialized in this and watched YouTube videos. After I ordered some supplies, I was ready to start. 

A few years later, I am here to tell you this can be learned. With the right technique and pens, anything is possible. Every time I write in this manner, I get compliments which are usually followed up with a dig about their own handwriting or lack of skill. I thought I’d share some of my favorite supplies and resources to help get you started. Feel free to ask any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.


First are the pens. There are thousands of pens you can get and each one will make your handwriting slightly different. Tombow Brush Pens are my favorite. I started with an 10-pack from Amazon. I purchased these and a few others but once I realized these were my favorite, I added the 96-pack to my Christmas list. My mother-in-law delivered---thank you! These are the pens I use almost exclusively. This is the pen I used in the pictures above and below and in anything I've posted on social media. (You don't necessarily need fancy pens for hand lettering, some people even use Crayola wide markers and achieve the same look.)

There are some others I've purchased along the way, I did a comparison below to show you the variations a pen can have on your handwriting. The lengths and stiffness of the tip varies in each of these pens. (All of these are available on Amazon)


In my opinion, the markers are the most important part of getting your hand lettering just right but the paper is almost just as important. With any of these pens, you want to make sure you get a pad of paper that is designed for markers (this one and this one are two of my favorites). If you use normal paper or any paper with some roughness to it, your marker tips will wear much quicker, I saw this with the first pack of pens I bought. 

This was created using a flat paint brust with watercolor paints and a Tombow Brush Pen in N15

This was created using a flat paint brust with watercolor paints and a Tombow Brush Pen in N15

Lastly, I thought I'd share some accounts I follow on Instagram and others that I have found to be helpful.

Pieces Calligraphy is the first person I followed on Instagram. I watched many of her videos in the beginning and it was very helpful. 

Amanda Arneill is awesome! I signed up for one of her free lettering courses using watercolors and paint brushes. She provided a few videos and templates to help learn how to form letters. I also receive periodic emails from her with various tips and resources. 


As you can see this is just a very small group, there are hundreds of great people on Instagram to follow. 

This was created using a flat paint brust with watercolor paints and a Tombow Brush Pen in N15

This was created using a flat paint brust with watercolor paints and a Tombow Brush Pen in N15

There are so many fun things you can do with lettering. I did kraft paper table cloths for Friendsgiving that I hosted using paper and a Sharpie, see below. (Sharpies can be used to make faux calligraphy by thickening any downstrokes and keeping the upstrokes the normal Sharpie thickness. 


I hope at some of you found this helpful and are inspired to give it a try. This is just the tip of the iceberg of hand lettering. There is embossing and water brush pens, you can use watercolor paints or liquid watercolors. If you found this helpful and would like me to dive into this a little deeper just say the word. I'd love to help! 

I hope you had today off with your families to enjoy Labor Day. We are down here in Florida closely monitoring Hurricane Irma praying we aren't taking a hike up north next weekend. Prayers to all of the countries that are going to be feeling the affects of Irma soon. Have a great week guys!