• Personalized Letter Art (+ How to Remove Ink From Paper)

    In this tutorial, I’ll go over a quick technique to make personalized letter art that makes a great gift. We’ll also talk about how to remove “oops” ink from paper — and I’ve got a special surprise for those who are interested in hand lettering!

    Quick Letter Art (+ How to Remove Ink From Paper)

    My brother’s birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, and I wanted to make something meaningful for him. My solution? This personalized letter art! It’s just a little project — nothing too fancy; but I know he’ll love it! If you can see yourself making something like this, too, read on to learn about the process.

    1. Make a Pencil Draft

    Caring for a 3-month-old means that my time is limited, so I wanted this project to come together as quickly as possible. In order to do that, I made a large light gray letter in Photoshop. Then, I copied and pasted graphics inside (from Google Image Search) that represent my brother. I printed what I had so far, then I used a pencil to fill in the rest of the letter.

    Photoshop Letter Draft
    Doing part of this draft digitally saved me a lot of time! (If I weren’t caring for an infant right now, I would have used a longer freehand process similar to one in the The Botanical Letter Tutorial.) I believe you could use a program like Microsoft Word or Google Docs to make something like this, too.

    Next, I cut out an 8″ x 10″ (~20 cm x 25 cm) piece of drawing paper. I put that paper on top of my draft printout, then I placed both pieces of paper on top of a light box. Then, I traced over what I saw through the light box to make a pencil draft on my drawing paper.

    T letter art draft
    Using a mechanical pencil will result in nice, clean draft lines.

    2. Add Ink

    Regardless of your process or creating a pencil draft, the next step is to trace over your letter with waterproof ink.

    Inked "T" letter art
    Try using a Nikko G nib and a straight pen for this step. The Nikko G nib is great for artwork like this.

    This step might result in inky mishaps. If ink ends up where it shouldn’t, watch this video!:

    Once you’ve finished the inking step, wait for your ink to dry. Then, use a good quality eraser to get rid of any remaining pencil draft lines.

    3. Add Watercolor

    Once your ink has dried, choose a simple color scheme (3-6 colors) to fill in your graphics. I used Yellow Ochre, Indian Red, Payne’s Gray, and Burnt Umber from the Winsor & Newton Cotman palette.

    Watercolor "T" letter art
    I chose a simple masculine color scheme for this project.

    If the letter looks a bit empty after you add the watercolor, try filling it in with gold and black (ink) dots. The dots will help to give the letter a more cohesive look.

    Quick Letter Art (+ How to Remove Ink From Paper)
    Compare this photo to the photo right above it, and you’ll see what a difference the dots make!


    In my opinion, personalized projects like this letter art make the best gifts! I’ll be using a DIY framing technique to put the artwork in an 11″ x 14″ frame tomorrow. I plan to include this printable birthday card with my gift.

    Quick Letter Art (+ How to Remove Ink From Paper)

    While I started this project with a digital draft to save time, you can absolutely go a more traditional route and freehand draw everything! Feel free, too, to make the project on watercolor paper, which will give it a heftier feel. If you find yourself at a loss for what to include in the letter, think of symbols, addresses, nicknames, and initials that represent your recipient. Among other things, I included barbed wire (because my brother owns a fence building business), childhood nicknames, and my brother’s children’s initials.

    A Word On Hand Lettering

    Hand lettering is an important part of this project. I relied on Sans Serif and Roman style hand lettering from the Premium Hand Lettering Worksheet Set to create it. To practice making those two hand lettering styles (plus four others), check out the worksheet set! With 30 five star reviews, it’s one of the most popular worksheets on the site! Enjoy 15% off through Wednesday, June 1st. 

    TPK’s Premium Hand Lettering Worksheet Set includes instructions for making six different lettering styles plus layout and creation tips.


    I hope that you enjoyed this letter art project and that you learned from my inky mishap! Have a wonderful, creative weekend, and thanks so much for reading.


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock