The best paper for brush lettering


I use 3 types of paper. That’s it. I am frugal. That’s just a part of me that’s not going anywhere. I know that paper is important because if you use the wrong paper, your brush pens will fray a lot sooner. But I want to show you that it doesn’t have to be expensive. If you would like to know which pens to use first, see my brush pen review to learn hand-lettering. Read to the end for the video of how each paper works.

Regular Copy Paper – Just regular printer paper from Walmart. Super inexpensive. This is all I used to use and I shredded several of my brush pens. But it does have benefits.

Awesome because: So inexpensive!

Not awesome because: It shreds your brush pens!

Uses: Sketching with pencil, practice with Crayola markers because you don’t have to worry about them fraying.


My center marker here is frayed.

HP Premium Choice LaserJet Paper – This is extra smooth printer paper. It is more expensive than regular copy paper but a lot less expensive than brand name paper pads. Also, if you get it on Amazon, it’s a lot less expensive than buying it in a store.

Awesome because: It’s so smooth! You don’t have to worry about fraying your brush pens.

Not awesome because: A little more expensive.

Uses: Any pen! Still good for sketching. I’m just so frugal, I only sketch on copy paper (though it’s probably pennies I’m saving by doing that).

Tracing Paper – This is my absolute favorite! It’s incredibly smooth and gives such a juicy look. I don’t use regular tracing paper. Like I said, I’m frugal. I use a roll of medical examination paper. I am also a seamstress and I had to get it for my pattern making class in college. Our university health clinic would sell them to students for $2. Next time you are at the doctor, ask if they sell any. They may even give it to you for free. Or get it on Amazon here. It’s only $10 and will last a whole lifetime. Seriously. I’ve had mine for at least 5 years and it’s not even halfway gone. And I use it for sewing patterns which is a lot more paper than just a small piece for lettering.

Awesome because: It won’t fray your brush pens! Trace your designs. SO INEXPENSIVE! Makes your colors more juicy. Gives the ombre look easier.

Not awesome because: It bleeds through. You have to cut each piece.

Uses: Everything! This is the primary paper I use.

For those of you who need a real pad of paper, here are some pads of paper that won’t fray your brush pens. You can look for sales at Hobby Lobby or Michaels to get them less expensive.

Strathmore Bristol paper

Canson Marker paper

Strathmore Tracing paper

Rhodia pads – you can get a dot pad, lined pad, or blank

Here is a video where I show you how different brush pens work on different paper.


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