Create a Hand-Lettered Sign for Fall

In the Cloth Paper Scissors October Lettering Lesson Jen Wagner, author of Happy Hand Lettering, shares how she created a hand-lettered sign for fall, using a chalk pen. I love playing with hand lettering, so I couldn’t let this opportunity to try something new pass me by. Bonus: Jen provides a 12-page Lettering Guide in this Lettering Lesson for practice and fun.

I chose three different substrates to play with: a small board, a garden stake, and some cardstock. I wanted to include one of Dina Wakley’s bird stamps on the small board, and decided to add some hearts on the card, so I placed the clean stamp on the board for spacing and I sketched in the hearts before adding my text in pencil.

Hand lettering in pencil first let’s you make corrections as needed.

Referring to Jen’s lesson, I thickened the downstrokes on each letter. My lettering is boxier than Jen’s, but I used the same principles. I stamped the bird on the board, using black acrylic paint. And, rather than just fill in the hearts on the card with color, I decided to cut them out.

Thickening the downstrokes and some decorative details adds style to hand lettering.

Time for color. I worked on the garden stake first, using a white chalk pen and filling in the downstrokes. I added yellow to the flowers, and then enhanced the centers of the flowers with orange dots. Working with a chalk pen was fun and easy.

I decided to use paint markers for the hand lettering on the small board, and discovered they were not as predictable as the chalk pens. Some of my lines ended up wider than I’d hoped. I like the look of the complementary colors though. The heart was a last minute addition, but I think it finishes the board nicely.

On the card, I used pink and purple Stabilo pens, and then outlined the heart shapes with dots, using the same pens.

hand-lettered sign
Color makes this hand-lettered text pop.

I had a lot of fun creating these pieces, and decided I didn’t want to stop. I printed out Jen’s Lettering Guide and played with some of the letters. Using her letter designs as a base, I thickened some of the lines more than usual, added decorative lines to others, and played with some words. There are so many options!

Every Lettering Lesson adds something new to my lettering skills and to my lettering fun! Once you learn the basics, add your own spin to any hand lettering technique and create your own style.

Happy lettering!


Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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