Hand Lettering: In Books

On one of my past blog post Quotes, I talked about how much I love lettering quotes that I find.  I came up with an idea on how to do something a little different with lettering.  When I am reading through a book and I find a quote that I love I start creating Ideas for a lettering piece.  When I figure out the final piece I want to make, I create it on tracing paper because it’s transparent and easy to tape into a book. I know if you are a book lover you probably are cringing right now because I used the word tape and book together.  I used washi tape and it’s not sticky enough to damage the book in anyway, even if the pages are very thin like in my example piece, it still didn’t damage the book.

This is really fun to do because when you go back and re-read the book you have art that you have created that has been inspired by what you read in the book. It also gives you a deeper connection with what you have read.  You could do an art piece without words to change it up a bit too.  I think there are so many fun ways you could take this and it would turn out amazing.

Tip: Make sure to tape as close to the middle as you can so you can still read what is behind your art when its flipped over.

I used this method on my journaling Bible that I just purchased, because I had the issue of the actual area they give you for journaling is quite small.  If I were to do lettering or art in that area, like I wanted to, it wouldn’t be big enough.  So, I will be using those areas for what it was intended for, notes and such, and then using the transparent paper for my art.  Its really nice to use tracing paper because it is so smooth, thin and light it’s not going to damage the book in any way and you can flip through easily without it all falling apart on you.  Also you can take it out later if you don’t like it, and re-make another piece. You could use any type of paper whatever you are comfortable with, just make sure to use tape that will not damage your book. I like how smooth markers go on the tracing paper, and I can use my original sketch underneath to make sure my final piece is exactly how I want it to be. 

Tip: Use markers on the tracing paper to get best results!

Lettering on Tracing paper

This could be done on any book and if you are a student in school it could be a way of helping you remember the story if you are doing a book report or just studying a textbook.

In school I loved taking notes and making pictures to help me remember.  A lot of people connect through their eyes and creating things, so I think this is another way to eternalize something in our minds.  I wish I would have done this in school I think it would have helped me a lot with staying focused and remembering things and would have kept my notes more organized.

If you are a creative person you should try this out and see how it works for you.  I also think this would be a great project for students or kids.  Let me know what you think about this method and if you try it out please share your experience with it.  Enjoy!

Hand Lettering Tool Guide


For all my lettering friends out there, I made a list of  tools I use for hand lettering.  I called it a guide because I think there are a lot of good products out there and a lot of different brands that work great.  These tools are not “magic” and will not make your lettering look great automatically.  They do however have what you need to make a great lettering piece.

“These tools are not “magic” and will not make your lettering look great automatically.”

I broke the guide into two sections, sketch and final.  The sketch section shows what I typically use to get my initial idea down on paper, and then what I use to refine it and get it ready to be the final piece. The Final section is items that I only use to make the final product.  I am going to go through the list one by one and tell you how I use each item.

  1. Ruler, I hate measuring, but you have to measure to make your lettering good.  Everything has to be spaced correctly, and its really hard to do that without a ruler. I also use this as a straight edge.
  2. This is a lead holder with lead and a sharpener.  I like using this because you can keep a really sharp point on it, and its really good for refining as well as initial sketching. You can use a normal pencil  as well, you really just need something to sketch with that can erase well later.
  3. Paper, I usually use a couple sheets because if I’m lettering a quote I like to sketch out as many different layout ideas first.  When I pick one I like I will  use another piece of paper. I use just regular copy paper for this, its cheap and I go through it really quickly.  There really isn’t a reason to use more expensive paper on this unless you want that as part of your final look. It can give your lines a different effect because the paper will not be as smooth or will be really smooth, depending on the type of paper.
  4. I like using a brush pen to just write out my quotes to figure out the layout.  You can also use brush pens in your final if you are going for that style.
  5. I use an eraser guard when I am refining my work and trying to get the sketch perfect and ready to do the final lettering.
  6. You need a good eraser, I use a white eraser because it doesn’t leave any marks on my paper.  You could also use a kneaded eraser, which would work really well with the eraser guard.
  7. Music is a must when you start your final, I generally will do the outlines first of all the letters and then I just fill everything in. Good music will make the filling in step more enjoyable.
  8. I generally always use micron pens to do my final, they work really well and are precise and do not bleed.
  9. If you want to add color to your lettering I would suggest Copic markers because they are blendable and they work really well with the micron pens.
  10. Another fun way to add something unique to your piece is by using a metallic pen to give a different effect.


I hope this list helps you with your lettering and if you have anything not on the list that you think should be added let me know! I would love to hear what you use!