How to Print on Fabric

Tutorials

Almost a year ago I really wanted to print my lettering on fabric so I searched the internet to find out how. I found out that there are a lot of tricky ways to do it. But this tutorial was the best one I found and I’ve been using this technique ever since with all of my lettering.

I made a video on my YouTube channel to show you how I did it. It’s a lot easier than you think!

You just need freezer paper, fabric, your design, an inkjet printer, and an iron. That’s it!

Watch here or read below for a summary.

I explain more in the video but here is a quick summary. Make your design in Illustrator, Inkscape, the Ipad Pro, whatever you have, and make sure it’s ready to print at 8.5×11. Then you will cut your fabric and a piece of freezer paper to 8.5×11. Iron you freezer paper to your fabric. Make sure the wax side of the freezer paper is touching the fabric. This is how it will stick (and easily peel off at the end). You can reuse this freezer paper several times with new fabric as long as the wax will still stick when ironed. Next you will load the fabric/freezer paper into your printer and print your design. Peel off your freezer paper and it’s that easy!

One little tip, make sure you don’t have any loose threads on your fabric before printing. If there is a tiny thread, the ink will be printed on it instead of the design. It’s so frustrating to have an almost perfect design, but one little spot doesn’t have ink because of those pesky little threads!

One more thing. When washing your printed fabric, different fabrics have different responses to water. Some of mine have washed just fine, some get faded a little, and on some the ink bleeds. To waterproof your design, soak it in vinegar before washing. This will set the ink.

Enjoy! I’d love to see what you make! Comment below or tag me on Instagram @ensigninsights.

 

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How to Find Your Lettering Style

Insights, Tutorials

So you want to find your own “lettering style”? You’re in the right place! In this post I will share with you an exercise to hone in on your style as well as show you where to find free practice sheets to help you get started.

You already have a style that is unique to you because of your likes and dislikes, your personality, and your life experiences. At first it can be hard to pinpoint those things and figure out how they all work together to make your style. It takes months and years of practice, but I have just the thing for you to get started.

The best way to start creating your style is to immerse yourself in as many different styles as you can. Try out different things. Experiment. Learn as much as you can. You will discover what feels most natural to you. As you keep practicing and getting better, your style will be changing and getting better with you. You will not only “find” your style, you will “create” it.

You may look at other letters for inspiration at first to get ideas. But once you’ve gotten ideas, if you really want YOUR style, you’ll have to keep your eyes on your own paper and come up with it. No one will be able to tell you what your style is. It has to come from you.

Today I encourage you to be fearless with your lettering. Try something new. Letter something that is beautiful to you even if it’s a little different. You are amazing and have so much to offer that no one else has. And that is what #fearlessfridayletters is all about. Finding and creating your lettering style. This is how it works:

Choose any letter. Write that letter in as many different styles as you can think of. Make it tall and chunky, make it short and skinny, play around with the entrance and exit strokes. Make it loopy or rigid. After having 10-20 different styles, look through them and choose your favorite. What makes it your favorite? Would you be able to replicate those qualities in other letters of the alphabet? Try it!

You can find my 26 Ways to Letter sheets individually in my shop or you can find them in my new book Fearless Lettering. I have a couple of free sheets in the Insider Library to get you started!

When you use these practice sheets, don’t forget to post on Instagram and tag me @ensigninsights and use the hashtag #fearlessfridayletters. 🙂

Happy Lettering!

Never leave home without these 5 lettering tools

Insights, Tutorials

One problem I hear a lot when learning to hand letter is that there isn’t enough time! I can’t give you more time, but by never leaving the house without these 5 lettering tools you will be surprised how much easier it will be to find the time.

never leave home without these 5 lettering tools

Grab a pencil pouch (find my brand new pencil pouches here) and fill it with the following items. Then keep it with you wherever you go. These are the most basic essentials. If you would like my complete list of brush pens to start with, go here.

  1. A pencil. Absolutely essential. If you like mechanical pencils make sure you have plenty of led. If you like regular pencils, make sure you also have a mini sharpener.
  2. An eraser. I always use up the erasers on the end of my pencils so quickly so I just always carry an extra. I like these erasers because they erase with less pressure, they don’t shred the paper, and they don’t leave as many eraser shavings.
  3. Paper. I always have some kind of paper with me, even if it’s just a hotel pad or some scraps of copy paper. I got a small notebook at Walmart that I fill with quotes and ideas. It is my space to start sketching right when an idea comes. It’s nice to have a small notebook that can fit in your pencil pouch. (My pencil pouches are large enough to fit medium sized notebooks.)
  4.  A fine point pen. This is great for tracing over your design or doing some fauxligraphy. My favorite used to be a Pilot G2 pen. Some of my other favorites are Micron, Stabilo, or even the end of a Tombow Dual Brush pen.
  5. A small brush pen. I always have my Tombow Fudenosuke hard or soft nib (normally both). These are nice because since they are small, you can letter designs that fit in a small notebook. Practicing with a brush pen is different than with pencil and you never know when someone will need you to brush letter something for them.

never leave home without these 5 things

Take this pencil pouch with you wherever you go. Including while you’re at home. You may have a few spare minutes while dinner is cooking. You can grab your pencil pouch and letter on the kitchen counter instead of pulling out all of your lettering tools at your desk.

never leave home without these 5 lettering tools

Letter in your car while waiting in traffic or waiting to pick someone up. Letter while you’re waiting for dinner in the oven. Letter while you’re waiting for an appointment. You don’t have to have time blocked out to letter. Just make a habit of doing it in the small moments. You can even letter on everything. As I make lists sometimes I find a fabulous “G” that I love.

When do you find time to letter? Would you add any other tools to this list? Let me know in the comments!

never leave home without these 5 lettering tools

editing instagram photos on your phone

The Secret to Editing Instagram Photos on your phone

Tutorials

I’m so glad you’re here! As you know, getting noticed on Instagram is not easy. It’s so important to have beautiful photos. This means they need to be well lit. But how do you get well lit photos without all the professional equipment? I’ve got you covered.

I lived in an apartment where the windows did not provide good lighting. They were either too high or the balcony above us blocked the sun. So when everyone said to use lots of natural light, I didn’t even have that option. Plus it was in western Washington so it was cloudy and gray most of the time. I used 3 lamps and the editing tricks in my free guide. Now that I’m in Alaska, I have a beautiful window that gives me great natural light. I just have to make sure to photograph in the morning or later in the evening. You don’t want to take a photo in direct sunlight because the lighting will be too harsh. Overcast days actually give great lighting.

Go to the Insider Library to download your free guide.

I am giving you a free guide below showing you how I use the app called After Light. It is my favorite photo editing app! It is 99 cents but I literally use it every day. So worth it. I also like A Color Story and they have some free features, but After Light is the only app I’ve found that lets you brighten the whites without brightening the parts you want to keep dark. Pretty good for only a dollar!

Here are some examples:

5 things I wish I knew when I started hand-lettering

Insights, Tutorials

 

Hand-lettering has done so much for my life! I seriously love it and want everyone to learn! I know there are so many resources out there to learn, so why would I add to it? Because it makes my heart happy knowing that I get to share something that I love so much! Read to the very end for the freebie! Here we go, 5 things I wish I knew when I started hand-lettering:

1) What pens I should start with! There are so many brush pens out there. It’s good to try a lot to see what you like, but it can be overwhelming if you don’t even know where to start. See my full post for a complete review.

2) What paper I should use! If I had known these tricks, I would have saved a lot of my pens from fraying… See my full post.

3) How to “fake” calligraphy. Fauxligraphy is a real thing, not cheating! I thought I was cheating and had to keep it a secret. But it’s actually real, and if you want to do chalk lettering or sign lettering, you’ll do this all the time! See my full tutorial.

4) How to hold my pen! Everyone holds the pen differently and that’s okay as long as you are comfortable. But there is a trick to the angle of the pen that will make your letters much more consistent. See my full post.

5) Practice different fonts! There isn’t just one way to write a letter. It’s good to look at all types of fonts. Find things you like and don’t like about each font. As you practice different fonts, you will start to find your own style. This is why I have created brush lettering workbooks to help you learn! This is what you will get in each workbook:

::Brush Lettering Guide and 30 days of Lettering with Insights for SMALL and LARGE brush pens COMPLETE BUNDLE – A list of small and large brush pens and paper to start with, 3 pages of basic strokes, 55 pages of guide sheets for each letter of the alphabet in TWO fonts, uppercase and lowercase, 2 pages of blank practice sheets, a list of insightful words to letter each day to practice every letter of the alphabet, 35 pages of guide sheets for each word and an activity for each day, the guide sheets have the words in both font styles for style practice, and access to personalized tips and encouragement from me.

practicesheetscompletebundle

Not sure if you are ready? Grab some sample pages for FREE in my Insider Library! You will get the basic strokes for small and large brush pens- totally free. Plus, you will get a promo code to get a discount on any of my workbooks! (I don’t want to undersell the heart and time I have put into these, but I want to make them accessible).

If you are already an Email Insider, you will be able to enter right away. If not, you can still get these freebies immediately after you become an Email Insider!

Happy lettering!

Beautiful hand lettering in 3 easy steps

Tutorials

These 3 lettering tricks are so simple but can instantly make your lettering stand out. Once you know these basics, you can break them for a stylistic approach in your own style.

1 Your letters should all be the same general size. In my 2016 “Sarah” you can see that my “a” is much larger than my “h” making it look weird. Practice sheets or lined paper helps with this.

2 Your letters should all be spaced uniformly. In my 2016 “Sarah” my “ar” is so much closer than my “ra” which makes it look off. Once again, practice sheets or lined paper helps.

3 The angle of your down strokes should all be the same. If you want a slant, they should all be at the same slant. You can see in my 2016 version, my down strokes are at all different angles. My 2017 version isn’t perfect, but it’s much more precise and intentional. You can fix this by angling your pen perpendicular to your down strokes. Watch the video below to see how it works.

If you feel you need help practicing, find my practice sheets here. 🙂

comparison

Here is my video to show you how it works!

 

The secret to “faking” calligraphy

Tutorials

When I learned this fauxligraphy trick it made all the difference. I finally understood how to do thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes!

 

Before I even had a brush pen, I made everything with my Pilot G-2 pen. Why? Because that’s what I had. I’m too frugal for my own good. 🙂

People started noticing me on Instagram. They would ask what brush pen I was using… I felt like I needed to keep it a secret because I wasn’t actually that talented, I didn’t know how to use a brush pen! Then I realized that fauxligraphy is a real thing that everyone uses, not just beginners.

If you ever want to use a paint pen or chalk pen, you are going to need to know this skill since they don’t come in brushes. Also, it’s really fun and you don’t have to worry about transitioning from thick to thin strokes!

  1. Write a word in cursive with a pen or pencil.
  2. Thicken each downstroke by drawing a line and filling it in.

That’s it! It couldn’t be more simple!

Watch this video to see how it’s done:

The best paper for brush lettering

Tutorials

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.

frayed

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.

How Hand Lettering Changed My Life

Insights, Tutorials

I can still remember the dark feeling. It was a little over a year ago. I was curled up on the floor in my bathroom crying. Not just any crying. Really ugly crying. Loud crying. Eyes-puffing-out-for-days crying. I had cried many times before, but this time was different. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t breathe. My breaths were loud, short gasps of air. I started to hyperventilate which made me panic and cry more. I didn’t know what was going on. I was scared.

That was the first time I had ever experienced a panic attack, and it was not the last.

I had just started my first year of teaching at an alternative high school, meaning the kids who have too much going on in their lives to be successful in a comprehensive high school. This was also a rough part of town where scary things happen. So I was dealing with the trauma of the students. Some were kind even through their difficulties. Others were mean and disrespectful because they had never been nurtured before. I had recently moved away from my family, friends, and home of 24 years so my husband could go to school. I was also teaching a different subject than what I had prepared for in college because curriculum differs between states. On top of that, I didn’t get a lot of support from my admin. It was mostly harsh critique.

I’m sure there are many people who could go through this and handle it successfully. For me though, it pushed me over the edge. I dreaded waking up each morning. I was terrified to go to work each day because I didn’t know what I would have to face. Everyday I went and had to pretend that everything was fine. I had to be strong for my kids because they were dealing with so much trauma.

The experience I shared of me crying, became a weekly, if not daily, occurrence. I was so blessed that my husband patiently helped me through each day, reminding me how to breath when I literally couldn’t.

I remember feeling like I wanted to get away from ME. I didn’t like anything about me. I didn’t want to be in my life. It sounds completely irrational now, but at the time it was real.

I tried doing things I used to enjoy, but nothing was working. I didn’t enjoy them anymore because I didn’t enjoy me.

My husband started sending me funny or inspirational memes everyday (he was so clever and patient with me). A few months into this, I started saying to myself, “One day you’ll look back and say, ‘Wow I did that.'” I searched everywhere to find a meme of this so I could save it as a background on my phone but with no success. In March of last year, I came across the Rhonna Designs app where I could design my own quote. It was perfect! I started making a quote everyday and it was so uplifting! Soon, I wanted to start doing more that I couldn’t do on the app. I wanted to learn how to be a designer (something I had no experience in).

IMG_3972

I asked my brother who is a professional designer how to learn specifically typography so I could make more uplifting quotes. He told me 3 things that changed my life. 1- Create something everyday, no matter whether it’s good or not, just create. 2- Learn calligraphy. 3- Look up Jessica Hische.

So I did just that and I fell in love with modern calligraphy and hand lettering. I could feel my pains healing with every insightful word I lettered. It was a therapy for me. I know my healing also came from my Savior, Jesus Christ. I could letter His promises to me and somehow they became more meaningful as I made them beautiful on paper.

calligraphy practice

My earliest calligraphy practice.

As I started this new journey of lettering, I was becoming a better me. I started to love myself again. I started to enjoy my life again.

Not only was lettering itself a therapy, I gained so many #calligrafriends in the Lettering Community that supported me and encouraged me and continue to do so today.

handletteringchangedmylife

If you’re still reading, thank you! I appreciate your support! Because of how lettering has changed my life, I want to share that with others. I want to share that with YOU. Anyone can learn how to letter. Even if you don’t think you have good handwriting or artistic skills. Neither did I. I simply wanted to be happy again, and that is what it did for me. It can do that for you too.

I will be releasing practice sheets at the end of this week to help you get started or continue with brush lettering. To celebrate, I will be posting a tutorial everyday this week with tips and tricks. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: You can now find my practice sheets here. 🙂

The Top 7 FREE Resources to Learn Hand Lettering

Tutorials

So you want to learn the art of hand lettering? Have you asked yourself, “How do I learn?” or “Where should I start?” You are in the right place because this post is all about the top resources to learn hand lettering. And even better, they are all free resources!

There are a lot of online courses and practice sheets you can buy, but I wanted to show you that if you live on a tight budget like me (I’m a physical therapy student’s wife…), you can still learn the beautiful art of hand lettering.

Now I want you to know, this is not a short post. If you really want to learn hand lettering, it is going to take a lot of time to learn and practice. I have done the research for you, it’s time for you to start learning and practicing.

topresources

The first thing you need to know is what tools you will need. Each of the resources below will share tips on that. You can also check out my list of favorite pens to start learning hand lettering. But also know, you can start with a pencil or a regular pen. I will tell you a secret. For the first 1.5-2 months of my lettering journey, I didn’t have a REAL brush pen. I had my pencil, my black Pilot G2 pen, and a set of Crayola markers. How can you letter with a simple pen? I got really comfortable with “fauxligraphy” which brings me to my first resource.

The Top 7 Free Resources to Learn Hand Lettering

  1. Lindsey at The Postman’s Knock

Lindsey’s blog is full of resources for beautiful calligraphy and paper crafts. This is the best explanation about “fauxligraphy” I have found. She call’s it “faux calligraphy” here. Once you master this skill, moving on to a brush pen will be so much easier. When you go to this tutorial, you might not be leaving her site for a few hours, so make sure to watch the time.

How to Make Faux Calligraphy | The Postman's Knock

I do not claim to own the rights to this photo. It is from https://thepostmansknock.com/faux-calligraphy-tutorial/

2. Sharisse at Pieces Calligraphy

As soon as you go to this brush lettering tutorial, you will be sucked in. Sharisse is very thorough and explains everything to the tiniest details. There is so much information that she is giving for free! She is so generous. If this was your only resource, you’d be on your way to an amazing hand lettering artist.

learn brush calligraphy

I do not claim to own the rights to this photo. It is from https://piecescalligraphy.com/learn/

3. Brittany Luiz

Brittany’s blog is full of amazing resources and motivation. She gives a very detailed list on everything you need to get started lettering. I especially love her list of Instagram Inspiration. She lists top lettering Instagrammers you should be following. I follow and love each of them.

My Favorite Hand Lettering Tools | Everything you need to get started lettering | www.brittanyluiz.com

I do not claim to own the rights to this photo. This is from http://brittanyluiz.com/everything-need-get-started-lettering/#more-449

4. Amanda Arneill

Amanda was the first person I ever started learning hand lettering from. She is amazing inspiration and she is also so sweet to everyone. First, go to her site. On the home page you will see two free email courses that you must sign up for. The Letter Better Series and Flourishing Foundations have improved my lettering skills dramatically. And even better, they are free and they come right to your email. Next, you should click on her free resources and sign up to become an insider. She has amazing free resources that you don’t want to miss out on.

Amanda does have lettering courses you can buy which are expensive but would definitely be worth it if you are ready for that investment. Although I would love to take her courses, I am limited to free resources at this time (like I said, I’m a Physical Therapist student’s wife).

Last thing about Amanda; she is known for her “mix and match” letters (below). She explains her process in this Tombow blog post. This is a great way to start finding your own style because no two pieces will ever be alike.

Tombow Photo 1

I do not claim to own the rights to this photo. This is from http://blog.tombowusa.com/2015/09/29/lettering-week-mix-and-match-letters-with-amanda/

5. Kiley at Kiley in Kentucky

I love this post by Kiley because it shows how very basic it is to start learning hand lettering. I especially love her third point to focus on finding your personal style. What will set you apart from other hand letter artists?

I do not claim to own the rights to this photo. It is from http://www.kileyinkentucky.com/blogarchive/topthreebeginnertips

6. Liss at Liss Letters

Liss has some great resources throughout her blog. I was really impressed with her Introduction to Brush Calligraphy email course. It goes through the very basics. Just like Amanda Arneill’s email courses, it goes straight to your email. Easy learning!

FinalScreen

I do not claim to own this photo. It is from https://liss.com.au/introduction-to-brush-calligraphy/

7. Dawn at Dawn Nicole Designs

Dawn’s website is packed full of resources. You can spend days reading through everything. You should definitely get on her “Happy Email” list. Go to her Hand Lettering 101 post to see the resources specifically to learn.

How to Do Brush Lettering with Free Practice Worksheets + Instructional Video. Download the free worksheets and get practicing! | dawnnicoledesigns.com

I do not claim to own the rights to this photo. This is from http://bydawnnicole.com/hand-type-tips

Because Dawn is awesome, you can also learn how to do Bounce Lettering for free. For the longest time, I saw beautiful pieces where the letters seemed to be dancing, but I didn’t know how to do it myself. If you feel the same, make sure to check out this tutorial.

How to Do Bounce Lettering. What is Bounce Lettering? Find out in this lettering tutorial and grab the FREE Bounce Lettering Worksheet to practice! | dawnnicoledesigns.com

I do not claim to own the rights to this photo. It is from http://bydawnnicole.com/2016/07/how-to-do-bounce-lettering.html

Last thing about Dawn, you will want to make sure to download her free Fun with Flourishing eBook. This will give you even more tricks to flourish. Flourishes can either make or break your piece. This along with Amanda Arneill’s Flourishing Foundations course (see above) are some of the best resources for flourishing.

Fun with Flourishing: Free Hand Lettering Practice eBook. Work on your flourishes with the twelve pages of practice sheets in this free eBook!

I do not claim to own the rights to this photo. It is from http://bydawnnicole.com/2016/10/fun-flourishing-free-hand-lettering-ebook.html

BONUS RESOURCE: Are you a visual learner? I recently discovered a resource from thisdesignedthat.com with 20 video tutorials to learn hand lettering. Seriously, it is the best compilation of hand lettering video tutorials I’ve seen. If you are only going to use one of my free resources, this is the one! Go check out these 20 hand lettering tutorials.

So now you have the top resources to learn hand lettering, it’s time to start practicing! There are so many practice sheets out there. Some you have to pay for and some are free. Of course I am sharing with you the ones that are free.

My advice is to try a variety of practice sheets to find the ones that you like the most. They all have different fonts and work with different pens so you will want to know what pens you are most comfortable with as well. (Here is a trick if you are waiting to buy brush pens: for thick letters, use Crayola Broad Tips, for smaller letters, use Crayola Super Tips).

Free Practice Sheets

You can also grab my free basic strokes guides here. 🙂

Like I said in the beginning, if you really want to learn hand lettering, it is going to take a lot of time to learn and practice. I have done the research for you, it’s time for you to start learning and practicing. I am so excited for you! Lettering has changed my life for the better. 🙂

Are there some resources you love that I missed? Please let me know in the comments!

The best brush pens to learn hand lettering

Tutorials

One of the questions I get asked the most is, “What pens should I start with?” When I first started lettering, I had no idea the thousands of types of brush pens out there! I still have yet to try all of them (but one day I will!). In this post, I will review each of my favorite pens with pros and cons and tell you where to find them.


UPDATE: New videos. The first one is my favorite Fude pens. The second one is all of my black brush pens.

brushpenreview

1.Tombow Fudenosuke- Hard Nib

This pen was my very first real brush pen. (I started learning with Crayola which will come later). I LOVE this pen. You can also find these at jetpens.com.

Pros:

  • Hard nib so it is easier to get thin upstrokes while still getting thick down strokes
  • Easy to control
  • Works well with smaller designs
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work well with larger designs
  • Only comes in black

Find these here!

2.Tombow Fudenosuke- Soft Nib

Most beginners prefer the soft nib over the hard nib in the beginning. I would suggest getting one of each to see what you prefer. You can also find these at jetpens.com.

Pros:

  • Soft nib so it is easier to get thick down strokes
  • Easy to control
  • Works well with smaller designs
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work well with larger designs
  • Only comes in black

Find these here!

3.Pentel Touch Sign pen (also find the pack of 12 colors!)

These are very similar to the Tombow Fude soft nib. You can find a single black one on Amazon for $5. But you can also get one at Michaels for $3 (and use the coupon for more discount!). You can’t get the color pack at Michaels, but you can find them on Amazon or at jetpens.com. EDIT: You can now find the 20 color pack at Target! It’s the best price too!

Pros:

  • Soft nib so it is easier to get thick down strokes
  • Easy to control
  • Works well with smaller designs
  • Comes in 12 colors

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work well with larger designs

Find the 12 colors here!

4.Artline Stix Brush Markers

I have a whole post dedicated to these markers here. The biggest thing with these ones is that they can be really hard to find. The link I am using to find them on Amazon is the least expensive/best deal I have found. They are in and out of stock randomly though so sometimes you have to wait. When they are in stock, they are on Prime so they ship quickly.

You can also find these in the U.S. at The Print Mint Etsy shop here. From there, you can get them in a 6, 12, or 20 pack.

Pros:

  • Vibrant colors
  • Medium brush size
  • Works well with medium or large designs
  • Natural ombre

Cons:

  • Hard to find!
  • They bleed through certain paper
  • The black is not as black as other pens (see my picture above)

Find them here

5. Tombow Dual Brush

These are one of the most popular brush pens and for good reason. There are many places to find these. Online is a great source for many different packs of colors. I’ve seen them at Hobby Lobby, Artco Crafts, Blick, and jetpens.com.

Pros:

  • So many colors to choose from (96 to be exact)!
  • Medium-Large brush size
  • Works well with medium or large designs
  • Blend beautifully
  • A fine tip on the other end of the marker in a matching color

Cons:

  • Harder to control (takes some practice)
  • Expensive to get all the colors

Find them here!

6.Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens

These come in lots of different sizes and lots of different colors. You can find them on Amazon or jetpens.com, but I’ve also seen them at Michaels, Blick, and even Barnes and Noble.

Pros:

  • Colors
  • Small, Medium, or Large brush size
  • Works well with small, medium or large designs
  • Also come in fine tips

Cons:

  • Harder to control (takes some practice)
  • Expensive

Find them here

7.Crayola markers (broad tip and super tip)

These are the absolute BEST markers to start learning hand lettering with! And you can find them almost anywhere. A lot of beginners like the super tips best. I liked the broad tips personally. These are great for beginners, but there are also so many experienced hand letter artists out there who STILL love crayola for brush lettering.

Pros:

  • Find them anywhere
  • All the colors!
  • Small or large tips
  • Works well with small, medium or large designs
  • The ink lasts long which is perfect for lots of practice

Cons:

  • Not a real brush tip so you just have to change the pressure for thick and thin lines

Find them here

8.Sakura Pigma Micron Pens

I couldn’t do a pen review and not add these pens. These are my go-to pens for fine lines. You can find them at Michaels and Hobby Lobby as well as Amazon or jetpens.com.

Pros:

  • Fine tip or Brush tip
  • Multiple olor options
  • So many fine tips options (these go REALLY fine)
  • Works well for additions to designs
  • They write so smoothly

Cons:

  • The brush tip pens bleed through some paper
  • Expensive

Find them here

Like I said in the beginning, there are so many brush pens out there! What other pens should be added to this list? What are your favorites?

Now that you know some of my favorite pens, stay tuned for my next post with a list of the best resources to start learning hand lettering!

3 easy steps to perfect hand lettering videos

Tutorials

Lettering videos are going viral all over Instagram. I’m sure you would agree that it is so satisfying to watch how someone is going to connect their letters, blend colors, and complete their piece. Posting lettering videos can really make your Instagram account stand out.

 

 

The problem is, it’s really hard to get good quality videos. Have you tried the “letter with one hand while holding the camera in the other” technique? Or the “get someone who is willing to stand next to you with a very steady hand” technique? I’ve been there. The struggle is real. So how does someone get stunning videos??? I have put together for you 3 steps to a stunning lettering video:

  • 1- Place/prop/set your phone.
  • 2- Record.
  • 3- Edit.
  1. Place/prop/set your phone. The first thing is finding somewhere to hold your phone. I recently found this amazing gooseneck tripod on Amazon for only $10. Best purchase ever! I have seen tripod suggestions for up to $80. As amazing as I’m sure they are, that doesn’t fit in my budget right now. But I can do $10, and in my opinion, this simple gooseneck tripod is easier to work with. Clip it to your table, set your phone, adjust the neck for the best angle, and that’s it! So easy!

Click the photo to buy this tripod!

While you are waiting for your tripod to be delivered (or if you are not ready to spend $10), here is the alternative. In the end, no one will be able to tell which method you used, this one can be a little more tricky because you will be balancing your phone on a vase/books/the nutella jar. Put your phone above and in front of where you are lettering so you are actually filming upside down. That way you don’t have to work around your phone, it is safely out of the way. Mind blowing right?? I learned this trick from Kate at @itskateshandwriting. You can balance it on almost anything.

itskateshandwriting

Click the photo to see her Instagram page and original post.

2. Record. Now it’s time to record. Let me first give you some lighting tips. Look at this photo from my video recording station:

img_7108

(Yes, my lettering station is set up in between my sewing machine and my serger. You may not know that sewing was my life before I met the brush pen).

I am set up next to a nice, big window. I know this isn’t always possible. Also, I live in the PNW so it’s cloudy and rainy a lot which means this doesn’t always do me much good anyway. (This just happens to be where my desk is).

I have a lamp that I can clip onto anything and point it in the direction I want. I bought it at Walmart for $5-10. It is smart to have two lamps to shine from either direction so you don’t have a shadow. However, I make it work with one lamp alright.

I use the Hyperlapse app to record. That way I can choose the speed so it will fit under a minute. If you don’t have an iPhone, I’ve heard of the Hyper TimeLapse for Android. I have also recently used VideoCam. It’s cool because you can pause in the middle of your video and change the speed throughout.

3. Edit. This is where we make the video really pop. When you record a video on your phone, it is the height of the phone. If you take that right into Instagram, you can’t crop it very well. It will only crop the center, you can’t move it up or down. I have a solution!

When I record my videos, I make sure I work in a space that can fit in a square. I then open up the VIDEO CROP app. You can crop a square and move it anywhere around the video. You can make it a small square or a big square. Go try it out! The app is free!

videocrop

I then open up the VIDEO FILTERS app to brighten my video. Instagram filters for videos are just ok. I have found some great filters in this app! I normally just use the “brighter” filter. Sometimes I try the “chromic” or “vivid.” Each video is different because it depends on how the lighting was when you filmed.

videofilters

If you used Kate’s method – the upside down method, you will open up the ROTATE AND FLIP app (These apps are all by the same person and all free!). In this app, you will be able to turn your video right-side-up. This is where your mind is blown by how good this looks with your hand out of the way!

rotateandflip

Here is an example of the upside down method in action:

Here are some fun pumpkin videos I recorded! You can check out my other videos on Youtube here.