How to Hand Letter | A Faux Lettering Tutorial

Genuinely Ginger

A multi creative freelancer that creates products, teaches creative courses, and serves businesses with hand crafted designs. I love the vast creative community and am so thankful to have a small part in it.


Beautiful hand-lettering can be used in bullet journaling, art, card-making and so much more. But if you're a beginner or non-artist, learning how to hand letter is often difficult.

Something that has always been apart of my work and life is hand lettering! I started out making chalkboard signs, and now I use it for just about anything. Seriously, it’s that applicapple! I teach a course on lettering and have had so many people tell me they can’t do it, or it just looks terrible when they try. To everyone I say, coming from someone who has been lettering for years, give it time. I look back at my letting from my first signs and projects and wonder why anyone ever bought from me or complimented me. And although I have grown so much in it, I still see growth today, even from last year. It’s a skill you can keep on grooming, exploring and experimenting with, and I love that. One of the best things about lettering is that you can often see someone’s personality through their lettering. And this is why I encourage the following method for all beginners, and for more experienced letterers to groom with… join me in this little “faux lettering” (meaning without a calligraphic or brush pen) exercise, if it should tickle your fancy!

How to Hand Letter

Hand Letter Your Own Font

Your handwriting is your own unique to font. We all write our name similarly every single time. And really, that’s credit to muscle memory..

The Steps: 

 1. Write your name, with any pen or pencil, just like you were signing a really important form (or maybe how you wish it looked on your driver’s license). 

2. Underneath it, draw yourself some guidelines. rite it again so the letters are at least triple the size as before. It’s a little harder, huh? But there is still some muscle memory there, so it gives you an edge.

Putting on Some Weight: 

Now let’s add some pounds to those letters, shall we? When you write your name, you start your pen and either go up or down… With my name, I start at the top of my “J” and move down and then around and up to cross over. Without putting pen to paper, just hover over your name and “air trace” it. Notice where go down and up in each part of the letter… Whenever you’re going down, widen that stroke. Leave the upstrokes the way they are, and add to the downstrokes. I drew some arrows on mine name as a reference point. You can leave these widened strokes open or color them in, and then, presto! You have hand lettered with an ordinary pen, and your own font. If you want to get good, just keep writing out letters in your own hand and adding weight. Soon your muscle memory will kick in and you’ll see a lot of progress and can add other elements, mix fonts, add shadows and more. Trust me, the possibilities are endless!

Watch It Happen

No matter how good you are, this is a fun little practice exercise to do... Pick a time period, ten days, a month, or more, and letter the same word or phrase each day in that period of time. On day one, take that piece of paper and tuck it away. When the last day comes, pull out the original and compare it with the very last one. I promise you will see progress!

Hand lettering, or “faux lettering”, as we just did a little bit of, is so useful! You can quickly make a birthday card, or note to uplift someone’s spirits. You can add a bit of fancy to your mail and make the recipient even more excited to open their mail! Lettering can lead to you making your own wall art, using it in your planner or bullet journal, writing on clothing, making gifts, and even making your own gift wrap! The uses are endless, so I’m learning. And even better, the lettering community is huge, so grab a pen and join in. I can’t wait to see what you create!

Genuinely,Jess Owinyo

Shop Hand-Lettering Supplies

Quality and easy-to-use brush pens, calligraphy pens, fine liners and more!

Zebra Brush Pens

Precision Fineliners

Metallic Brush Pens

Continue Reading

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


How can we help you?