DIY: Hand Lettered Wood Plaque

Hand lettering is everywhere, and I am so happy about it! Not only is it beautiful, but it’s also giving many women hobbies again. Sadly, our society has gotten away from appreciating hand made goods, and the talent it takes to create it. The same goes for good old cursive and calligraphy. Did you know that some schools are not even teaching cursive anymore?! I hate that, and think its absurd! I was at the post office recently and the lady manning the passport window said that many teens don’t even know how to sign their name in order to obtain a passport. That’s pathetic. My hope, is that with the resurgence of hand lettering, that the knowledge of cursive will valued again. I mean, can teenagers even read this stuff?! lol?!

Ok, so I’ll hop off of my soap box and get to it! Here are a couple of easy-ish DIY hand lettered signs. I think it would be so fun to get a few girlfriends together and create these together. I imagine beverages of your choice, music, and lots and lots of laughter!

ITEMS YOU WILL NEED

  1. Whatever you will be painting on! Here I am using a basic unfinished wood plaque that I got from Michael’s for like $7. I linked a similar one here.
  2. Paint brush. I used a cheap, coarse bristled, brush. I like how the coarseness gives a bit of texture. It’s about 1″ wide, so that covering the background goes quickly.
  3. Paint. I used white acrylic for my background.
  4. Paint palette. A paper plate works just fine.
  5. Paint pen. I like the rounded nibs the best. (Get comfortable with a paint pen before attempting a brush.)
  6. Surface protector. I used butcher paper, but newspaper works great too.

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GETTING STARTED

  • PREP- Decide what word or phrase you are going to hand letter. Play around with fonts and layouts on the computer, or sketch out some ideas as a rough draft. If arts and crafts is not normally your thing, do a few practice runs with a marker.
  • Lay out your surface protector and have your supplies ready.
  • Pour a little bit of paint into your palette. You can always pour more if you need it.
  • Use your paint brush and start spreading a THIN, even layer over the entire surface of the object you have chosen as your artwork. Be sure to paint the sides too. The back or bottom does not need to be painted unless you want to for some reason.
  • Wash your brush immediately. It will get all hard and yucky if you don’t. Just a little bit of water usually does the trick.

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  • Let it dry. Acrylic paint does not take very long at all! Give it 30 min to 1 hour. The perfect amount of time for an h’orderve or dinner break if you’re doing this with friends.
  • Check to see if it is dry, if it is, move to step 6!
  • VERY lightly, pencil out your word or phrase.

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  • When you are satisfied with how the pencil looks, grab your paint pen and do a thin layer over your pencil marks. Don’t worry if it looks slightly sloppy at first. Mine always do.
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As you can see, my lines are super messy at this point!! But not for long!

  • Time to clean up any¬† messy lines and add the calligraphy look. Make sure that the thick sides of your letters are all on the same side. For instance, if you have a lower case L and B, you would want the thicker side to both be on the left, or both on the right. Like I mentioned above, look up a script font if you need an example of your word or phrase. See my final pic below as a guide if you need another visual.
  • Tip- GO SLOOOWLY, and try to have a steady hand!
  • Optional: after you finishing adding in the lettering detail, add a sealer if your piece will be outside. Sealers can be found at any craft store or hardware store.

Now, set your new hand lettered artwork up with some cute accessories and snap a pic!! When you post it, please tag me @amyleecreel or @joyful.life.studio . I would LOVE to see it!

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Hand Lettered Art Created by Amy Lee Creel

For more examples of hand lettered artwork that I have created for various clients, head over to my design shop’s instagram account! @joyful.life.studio

XOXO, Amy