Start with this hand lettering supplies for beginners resource which includes practice sheets, the best tools, and many resources on how to get started with hand lettering. If you’re new to hand lettering, get started today!
There are affiliate links in this article which means, at no additional cost to you, we could receive compensation for our recommendations. You can read our full disclosure policy.
Hand Lettering for Beginners
On January 1, 2002 (15 years ago), I made a New Year’s resolution: each year, get a new hobby. From snowboarding to scrapbooking, I’ve kept that resolution.
One of the most calming hobbies I’ve had is hand lettering and if you’re looking to get started, there are so many resources for you.
You don’t need much to get started with hand lettering. I’ve listed my favorite supplies below, but you can get started right now with a paintbrush and paint (for brush lettering) or a pencil.
It’s as simple as that.
Going beyond a pencil and a desire to learn, let’s dive into my favorite supplies for hand lettering for beginners.
Hand Lettering Courses for Beginners
I love watching hand lettering and I figure if I’m watching it anyway, it should be curated so I can learn as much as possible.
Most Popular Hand Lettering Course – One of the most popular courses is this hand lettering course one from some of my favorite creatives. It’s affordable and covers a few styles (with more recently added)!
iPad Lettering – I like using a drawing tablet but have many, many friends who have taken this lettering for the iPad course and sung its praises. Psst: there are SO many fun ways to different brushes that you’ll be begging for some time to practice!
The Course with Oodles of Creative Freedom – This course is on my short list. Caroline’s personality and art are both larger than life. Check out her Instagram to see if her style speaks to you.
Lefty Lettering – If you’re a lefty, this hand lettering for lefties course should be your starting point! Look at that absolutely gorgeous example.
Hand Lettering Supplies – Pens, Markers, Brushes, and More
Look at how short this list is! You really don’t need a lot to round out your supplies for hand lettering.
Brush Pens – I’ve tried others and to be honest, I keep coming back to these because they work, last a long time, and are inexpensive. The dual tips make it so that I can use them for lettering, doodling, or detail work.
Water Brush – Don’t skip this. It’s my favorite hand lettering tool. Bristle brushes are great (and you can sneak a few from your kid’s art supplies to get started), but the best part of the water brush is that it bounces back. That snap is why I love, love, love what I consider the best water brush for hand lettering.
Sharpies – Don’t you just love them? I have so many different weights and colors of Sharpies. Although I don’t practice much with them, I end up using them a lot on final projects (usually for gifts). My favorite are these fine-tipped colorful Sharpies.
Pencils (and a quality eraser) – You can borrow your child’s school pencils (I do) or invest a couple bucks in these. What matters more is the eraser and that it works for the paper you’re using. Normally, I just use an artist’s pencil in gray and this eraser from Tombow.
White Pencils – My sister got me a set of these white pencils and I big, squishy heart LURVE them for working on dark papers or dark backgrounds. Listen, they are a nice-to-have but are not essential.
Watercolors for Hand Lettering
Watercolors are a favorite around here and we go through quite a few kits each year. After finding my favorites, however, I haven’t bought watercolors since 2015!
Watercolors – I big, squishy heart love these watercolors (definitely get the black). I’ve used nearly all watercolors on the market and most will work. What matters is what you want to spend.
- My favorite watercolors – I will sing praises for years. They are vibrant and last FOREVER!
- My travel watercolors – This kit is small and I use my favorite water brushes so I don’t have to worry about water.
- Beginner Set – Yes, I’ve used my daughter’s art supplies. Hey, I’m a lazy crafter and my watercolors were in the other room. Just a note: the Melissa and Doug are not the best, so steer clear. Crayola works well, however.
Digital Hand Lettering
Some people love it, some don’t. I’m in the “I absolutely love digital hand lettering” camp! You can learn to use an iPad Pro and Procreate for hand lettering (an app available from the App Store).
If you like something more substantial like me, you can use your computer and the best little invention for which my heart sings: my drawing tablet. It’s inexpensive, travels easily, and won’t be replaced by the “hot, new app” in 6-months.
A bonus in having the drawing tablet as one of your hand lettering supplies: you can doodle, hand letter, and even sell your designs as they’re already in a digital format! Paired with a vector tool (like Adobe’s Illustrator or Inkscape), it is easy-peasy!
The Best Paper for Hand Lettering
Watercolor Paper – Inexpensive watercolor paper is a must to create gorgeous designs. Without going into too much detail, buy hot press watercolor paper for lettering a final project BUT it’s a bit more expensive.
If you have cold press watercolor paper on hand, no worries – it’s just a little rougher than hot press but should work fine (except if you’re working with a lot of detail). I use it all the time.
Copy Paper – Yep, the inexpensive stuff in your printer is my favorite go-to paper for practice sheets. I have used so many pages just to practice my Zs (I hate writing that letter).
Marker Paper – There really is a type of paper designed for markers but… I find that if you have cardstock, it works just as well.
Tracing Paper – In the beginning, I used inexpensive tracing paper to work on banners, swashes, some designs, and even my spacing. It’s handy to have around but only buy one pack.
Practice Sheets: Learn to Hand Letter
You can get so many practice sheets for free or purchase, so there is no excuse not to start working on your letters, styles, or doodling. Practice sheets are one of the most important hand lettering supplies.
- Monthly Hand Lettering Prompts by Ruffles and Rain Boots – yours truly has put together a big ‘ol list of prompts and practice sheets.
- By Dawn Nicole – this is a roundup of 10 different practice sheets. I’ve downloaded a few to practice.
To make your own hand lettering practice sheets, start with this list of free fonts, download them, and use them to create your own practice sheets or project templates.