It’s time to bring you the last of three special holiday tutorials, this time focusing on hand lettering a quote or phrase that you can frame and give away as a gift. If you missed the previous two tutorials you can learn how to create hand lettered Christmas cards with Emma Holmes, and how to make gift tags more interesting using calligraphy, with Belinda Love Lee. You can also find another great tutorial directly on Belinda’s blog, showing you how to create your own DIY wrapping paper which goes great with her gift tag tutorial.
What I enjoy most about Christmas
I really love that there are so many opportunities to be creative at Christmas. When I was little every year I would make something, whether it was decorations for the tree, nativity scenes out of old toilet rolls, or cards for my family. As I’ve gotten older the desire to create festive things hasn’t gone away. There are so many things you can put a personal touch on at Christmas and it’s so easy to start a new creative holiday tradition too. Each time Christmas comes round there’s the option of refining creative activities, getting better and better at a specific craft, or just trying out a new one, it’s a great time for experimenting.
Steps for making a hand lettered holiday gift
Lettering Tools Needed
A sharp pencil
Some plain white paper
A sharp white pencil crayon
Some black paper or alternatively dark coloured paper
Gold, silver or white ink / paint
A calligraphy dip pen
A fine paint brush
(If you hover your mouse over any of the pictures below from a computer you’ll be able to see the artwork in colour, or tap on any picture from a mobile device for a colour version.)
Step One – Choose a quote or phrase you want to letter (I’ve chosen some lyrics by the band Muse).
Step Two – Note your quote or phrase down, and spend some time focusing on layout, especially if your quote or phrase spans more than one line.
Step Three – Draw out some guidelines on plain white paper, then roughly draw the letters you’re going to be using.
Step Four – Add shape and style to your letters (I’ve chosen a brush lettering style for mine).
Step Five – Trace your lettering onto another piece of plain white paper, paying attention to letter sizes and spacing. Trace and refine further times if necessary to get the right look.
Step Six – Now using your white pencil shade the back of your white piece of paper with the final design on, making sure you’ve covered the whole sheet. (It can be a little tricky to see where you’ve shaded, but if you tilt your paper in the light you should be able to see what’s been covered).
Step Seven – Place your final design on top of your black or dark coloured paper (white coloured side facing down), and use a little bit of tape to hold the design in place and to stop it from moving.
Step Eight – Take a sharp pencil and trace over your final outline on your white sheet of paper. Apply a fair amount of pressure as you trace, this will create a faint white outline of your lettering design that you can then work from on your black or dark coloured sheet.
Step Nine – Choose either a gold, silver or white ink / paint (something that will show up well on dark paper), and use a calligraphy dip pen to outline your letters.
Step Ten – Fill in your outlined letters with a fine brush, and use your calligraphy dip pen again for little details or fiddly bits.
Your quote or phrase is now finished ready to be framed and gifted!
Not only can these steps be used to create Christmas gifts, they can be used to create hand lettered gifts throughout the whole year too, birthday gifts, valentines gifts, or possibly even something for yourself.
Enjoy the holiday season!