Ultimate Guide to Hand Lettering

Hand lettering is so intimidating for beginner painters, with Tamara's Ultimate Guide to Hand Lettering you'll be hand lettering all your door hangers in a jiffy!

Unfortunately, becoming a pro at hand lettering doesn’t happen overnight, but wouldn’t that be nice? There’s no specific brush or pen to help you conquer hand lettering, however, the right tools do make it easier especially for a beginner.

Using Chalk to Hand Letter a Door Hanger

Have you ever used chalk on a door hanger to add patterns or lettering by hand? It’s one of my favorite ways to hand letter a door hanger because it allows you to easily wipe the chalk away if you do not like the way the lettering looks. It’s also easily wiped away when you’re done painting if there’s any chalk still showing. Once you have the hand lettering perfected, you can go over it with a paintbrush to finalize all of the lettering on your door hanger.

Using Canva to Hand Letter a Door Hanger

Did you know that you can use Canva to create a stencil for hand lettering on your door hanger? You can even create a mockup for the door hanger directly in Canva. You simply design your lettering in Canva, print it out, and then cut around the words so that you can see how the letters will fit around the design. Tape the bottom part of your lettering printout to the door hanger, then place some graphite paper underneath. Trace the lettering with a pen, then use a Posca Paint Pen or a round tip brush to paint the lettering on your door hanger. I wrote an entire blog post on “How to Use Canva to Add Hand Lettering to a Door Hanger,” from start to finish, be sure to check it out!

computer screen on Canva that says "the fluffy butt hut"

Using Tracing Paper to Hand Letter a Door Hanger

Tracing paper is a great way to achieve great hand lettering. Just place tracing paper on your door hanger and write out the lettering with a pencil. You can always erase and make adjustments as necessary then go over your tracing lines with a Sharpie. Next, you’ll put graphite paper below the tracing paper, and use a pen to trace over the lettering. You can then remove the tracing and graphite paper and use either a paint pen or a paint brush to trace over the design. Looking for a full tutorial on this technique? Check out my blog post called, “Easy Hand Lettering Technique for Door Hangers.”

using tracing paper on graphite paper to hand letter a door hanger

Use a Stencil to Hand Letter a Door Hanger

If you really want a simple way to add lettering to your door hanger, a stencil is a great option. While this does limit what your door hanger can say, I still have a variety of stencil options in my shop with lettering for different seasons and occasions. You can use a stencil on a door hanger along with a sponge pouncer to add a variety of sayings to your next door hanger project. This is a great option if you’re new to painting door hangers and aren’t quite ready to freehand lettering yet. Check out my shop for hand lettering stencils for your next project!

What Supplies to Use

Once you’re ready to paint over the hand lettering design that you have traced on your door hanger, you can use either a paint brush or a paint pen. When using a paint brush for hand lettering, I prefer to either use a filbert or round tip brush. It really depends on the type of lettering that I have! Typically, I prefer to use round tip brushes for cursive or calligraphy lettering. The filbert tip brushes have proven to be perfect for simple print or whimsical lettering. You can find a variety of brushes that I use in my shop. If you’re looking for paint pens, I highly recommend these from Artistro. I have them listed in my Amazon Shop and you can save 10% by using the code TAMARABEN10 at checkout. 

Wanting More Tips Like This?

I can’t wait to see all your hand lettering projects in my feed. Please share them with me on my Made It Monday posts on Facebook so I can see. You can also join my free Facebook group called, “Door Hanger Painting Tips.” It’s a fun place for you to engage with other door hanger makers as you learn and share ideas! 

Tamara holding the letters from the three letter workshop on a confetti background

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