Pointed pen calligraphy and hand lettering are two of my favorite endeavors. On days when I want to make an especially bold project, though, I choose to use hand lettering techniques. I love featuring hand lettering projects on the TPK Blog because, in general, hand lettering doesn’t require specialized knowledge like pointed pen calligraphy does. You don’t have to learn how to use a new writing instrument to make it, and most of us have been experimenting with creative hand lettering since we were in elementary school. Today, I want to share 10 must-try hand lettering projects that will get you excited to pick up a pen this weekend.
1. Easy Illuminated Letter
The Easy Illuminated Letter Tutorial is the most popular tutorial on the TPK site. People love it because of its free shortcut printable and the stunning results! When I need to make a quick but cool gift, this is the hand lettering project that I turn to every time.
LEARN HOW TO MAKE AN ILLUMINATED LETTER
2. Gift-Worthy State Lettering Map
When you have at least 3-4 hours to make a hand lettering project, consider this state lettering map concept. Its reliance on densely-flourished Lasso Lettering ensures that the viewer can immediately recognize which state (or country) the lettering depicts!
LEARN HOW TO MAKE A STATE LETTERING MAP
3. Art Deco Birthday Card Hand Lettering Project
If you want to make a card that would delight Jay Gatsby — and pretty much anyone else, too — try this art deco birthday card tutorial. In it, George Style lettering is framed by a geometrical border featuring two partial suns. While I used a pointed pen and gold watercolor to make the project, you could substitute an opaque gold paint marker instead.
CREATE AN ART DECO BIRTHDAY CARD
4. Watercolor Botanical Letter
Love florals and letters? In the Botanical Letter Tutorial, you’ll learn how to weave together watercolor branches and flowers to make an embellished initial that is impossible to look away from. This is another one of those projects that makes a fabulous gift!
ILLUSTRATE A BEAUTIFUL BOTANICAL LETTER
5. Hand-Lettered Mail Art
Mail art is one of the my very hand lettering projects because it’s (fairly) quick and gratifying. It’s human nature to want to make other people happy, so there’s a fun feeling of anticipation as you carefully write someone’s address in decorated letters. I can’t just pick one cool mail art example, so I encourage you to look at these 10 examples that I cherry-picked from the site earlier this year.
MAKE SOMEONE’S DAY WITH A HAND-LETTERED ENVELOPE
6. Eye-Catching 3D Letters
If you want a message to stand out, write it using 3D letters. In the hand-lettering project concept below, the bold letters complement a muted background illustration. I can think of several other messages you could write like this: “SMELL THE ROSES” (with a rose background), “LIVE LAUGH LOVE” (with a heart background), and “WASH YOUR HANDS (with a hand background).
7. Intertwined Script and Block Lettering Message
Nico Ng always has a great hand lettering project concept up his sleeve, and his Intertwined Script and Block Lettering Tutorial is no exception. In the tutorial, he walks us through how to make bold gold block letters with white script that weaves in and out. (Nico’s tutorial inspired me so much that I made intertwined script and block lettering mail art!)
MAKE INTERTWINED SCRIPT AND BLOCK LETTERING
8. Chalkboard Art
Chalkboard art is a satisfying — albeit time-consuming — hand lettering project. The pay off, however, is a display-worthy piece that you can enjoy for years to come! In TPK’s DIY Chalkboard Art Tutorial, I’ll walk you through how to make a draft, how to draw guidelines, and the best way to cleanly erase mistakes.
MAKE EYE-CATCHING CHALKBOARD LETTERING
9. Floral Hand-Lettered Thank You Card
A floral hand-lettered thank you card requires a lot of time and patience, but the drool-worthy result makes the effort worth it! I like to use a pointed pen to ensure vibrant contrast and delicate line accents, but any black pen will work.
MAKE A STUNNING THANK YOU CARD
10. Phrase Hand Lettering Project
We all have a phrase or a quote that particularly resonates with us. You can celebrate those powerful words — and focus on their meaning — as you make a hand lettering composition. The more phrases you design and write, the better you’ll get at coming up with impactful and effective layouts.
BRING YOUR FAVORITE PHRASE TO LIFE
15% Off Hand Lettering Worksheets
Most people agree that making hand-lettered characters is a more approachable endeavor than pointed pen calligraphy. That doesn’t mean, however, that hand lettering is simple or easy. Just like pointed pen beginners, hand lettering enthusiasts can benefit from instructions, examples, and practice. For that reason, TPK has a selection of printable hand lettering worksheet sets in the Digital Catalog. Through Tuesday, April 11th, those worksheets are 15% off.
The Premium Hand Lettering Worksheet Set is the most popular worksheet I have, probably because of the variety of lettering styles. My personal favorite is probably the George Style Lettering Worksheet, though, because I find that style easiest to create. Really, though, you can’t go wrong. Every hand lettering style has its own special flair that makes it perfect for certain projects!
BROWSE HAND LETTERING WORKSHEETS
I hope that this collection of hand lettering projects motivates you to spend a few blissful hours getting lost in your creativity. If you have any questions about these tutorials (or hand lettering in general), please feel free to ask in the comments!