You’ve decided you want to start hand lettering items in your home and office and making the world a prettier place to read. It’s a fun and relatively inexpensive hobby and will, in the end, save you money as you can create your own decor and create invitations and cards by hand showing your friends and family just how much you love them. Great! Be sure to check out our recommended how-to-hand lettering books in this article and then go for it. We’d love to see what you create so please tag us on social media.
Hand Lettering Art Supplies
Hand lettering supplies can be as simple & inexpensive or as complex and pricey as you want, just like all other artsy endeavors we pursue as adults. We have pulled out our personal favorites and crowdsourcing from our socials for what lettering supplies people love the most. If we have missed your favorites, please let us know in the comments.
Hand Lettering Paper
You will need a nice paper to practice your lettering projects on so that you don’t mess up your actual project and to learn the process. This big pad by Strathmore is 11×14 with 50 spiral-bound sheets. The paper is suitable for lettering, drawing, and mixed media projects. For lettering, you don’t want to use your watercolor paper as it has a texture that makes it hard to form the smooth lines you will want in your lettering. I also really like the Visual Journals by Strathmore which come in several sizes and types of paper. Either artist paper or mixed media paper works great. Canson Multimedia Paper is another great option.
You can use Tracing Paper over samples in the book to get a feel for the form and structure of the letter. Inexpensive pads of graph paper are great for practicing your sizing and spacing of letters as well as getting a handle on your ascenders and descenders.
Palomino Blackwing Pencils
I first found out about these ridiculously beautiful pencils from Dawn Nichol called Blackwings, they truly are a step above if you are an art supply junkie like I am. Click here to order Blackwings on Amazon or for a bigger supply and better price, Dick Blick’s here. They have 4 led types, Black Soft, Gun Metal Grey – Hard, Natural – Extra Firm & White – Medium led. The other cool thing about these are that the erasers are very long and replaceable. I recently bought myself a dozen and the hype is real. They are amazing for lettering, drawing, journaling and the erasers actually work.
Harder pencils will work better than the basic #2 you are used to because they won’t smear and are easier to erase after you ink on top. This is a great chart to figure out which pencil will work best for you.
This Staedler is a nice choice for a mechanical pencil,
Hand Lettering Pens and Markers
Classics are always around and although you will get less perfection, the wonkiness of a real old-fashioned nib pen with ink is really fun.
This Speedball Calligraphy Pen Set is a favorite.
Prismacolor has come out with a great set that includes everything a beginner needs to get started. 2 pencils, 7 illustration markers, 2 dual-ended art markers, an eraser and a tips & tricks pamphlet.
Each set includes two Dual Brush Pens, Fudenosuke Calligraphy Pen, MONO Twin Permanent Marker, MONO Drawing Pencil, and MONO Eraser.
If you are a member of Fodder School you know that Wendy Solganik loves the Fudenosuke pen included in this set for faux calligraphy.
Best Faux Calligraphy Pens
Tombow 62038 Fudenosuke Brush Pen, 2-Pack
This set of two Fudenosuke pens one hard and one soft tip is a great buy as well.
This is my favorite set of six different nib sizes. It is only suitable for detail work and embellishing your hand lettering.
You may already have some Pitt Pens since they are our favorite pen to use in Coloring Books because they don’t bleed through the paper. Tombow Brush Pens and inexpensive double-ended Sharpies work well too.
Best Brush Pens for Hand Lettering
Duo Brush Pens Demo from Tombow
- A durable nylon brush tip can create fine, medium or bold strokes
- Included colorless blender pen softens and blends colors, creating a watercolor effect
- The water-based ink is non-toxic, blendable, non-bleeding, and odorless
- Tips self-clean after blending – Color Options
Brush Lettering for Beginners – Tips from Tombow
- Printable Swatches
- 24 Pack of dual tip brush pens, 48 colors
- Each dual-tip brush pen offers two colors, making them perfect for blending and shading
- Water-based Pigment, Acid-Free, Lightfast, Odorless, Xylene Free
- These work beautifully for coloring books as well
Koi Coloring Brush from Sakura
Alcohol markers do NOT react to water but they will blend beautifully by either blending them together for an ombre effect or using the colorless blender.
I have talked about Copic Markers in reference to coloring books here where they really aren’t the best thing to use in most cases, however, for hand-lettering, they are divine!
These are top-of-the-line for artists and the price reflects. Although expensive, the thing to remember is that they are refillable, you can change the nibs and they will last you a lifetime with proper care.
You can start with a basic set before you invest hundreds in the set shown above. That is a dream come true up there. But I started with this basic set. Remember these are very blendable with the colorless marker and into each other so you can blend to create a myriad of colors with a basic set and a bit of color wheel knowledge.
Click to order Copic Markers Amazon US, Uk or Canada
Copic Markers at Dick Blick – Order individual Colors or Sets as well as refills.
The budget replacement for Copics. They are alcohol-based but they don’t blend as easily and don’t have replaceable nibs or refillable ink. They are gorgeous pens though and are easy to use for your hand-lettering projects.
Not all alcohol markers are expensive, a set of Pentel markers will work well for hand-lettering and be kinder to your pocketbook. These are fabulous for detail work when you aren’t looking for the brush style lettering, or to use for outlining or detailing on your hand-lettering.
Yep! That’s right, good old Crayola’s are great for hand lettering, you can get thick and thin lines from the same bright happy marker and if your kids touch them there won’t be any fireworks. They don’t blend well but you won’t be using these for your professional presentation, they are great for fun and to practice your lettering. Spring for the big box!
Raise your hand if you already have a sharpie collection! I know I do. The dual tips are the perfect tools for hand lettering, easy to find, and inexpensive. You can buy them in the box so you’ll always have them on hand. The dual tip is my favorite not only for art but for my kitchen marker, and my car marker, I have one of these pretty much everywhere. Plus, you can write on anything with your sharpie so if you want cute lettering on that clay pot in the garden? Sharpies are your tool of choice. These come in several colors as well as black.
Ok, I confess to having an unnatural love for my Gellies! I have used these pretty pens since I was scrapbooking my 30-year-old daughter’s baby books and guess what? Those pens still worked when I pulled them out of my craft storage when I started coloring almost two years ago. I’m still in love with them. The glitter and the metallics are just so gorgeous and vibrant. Take care as you do with all gel pens and watch for smearing but they dry fairly quickly. You can use them to letters or to add embellishments to your hand letters. You can get the big box with all the colors here or order them in smaller batches like Metallics and Glitters etc.
I use these glitter pens to enhance little spaces in my lettering to make them super special.
Brush Marker Storage
Brush markers should be stored horizontally so you have lots of options, these inexpensive stackable cubes or this Crafter’s Companion option which holds 72 Copics or any other markers you have and love. It is designed so the markers stick out a bit so you can grab them easily.
This will come in quite handy too to see up close when you are adding details.
LED Lighting is a must for detail work. Here is another of our favorites.
It has 3 Color Modes with 4 Levels of Brightness.
Hand-Lettering Tutorial Video
How to do Cheater Calligraphy by Dawn Nicole
Brush Lettering Practice
Hand Lettering Accents Tutorial
If you have any questions or other favorite tutorials please be sure to share there below.
If you are new to art or just want to dive in a little deeper be sure to read our expansive supply recommendations along with our tips and tricks articles.