Are you looking for a way to get started with hand lettering Bible verses in your Bible journaling? Use these tips from Crystal on how to use hand lettering for your favorite Bible verses.
Getting started with hand lettering is not as hard as you might think. While it does require some discipline and patience, the end result is a creation of your own making and you don’t need to have a background in art or graphic design to do it. All you need is a desire to meditate on words of Scripture.
What is hand lettering?
Hand lettering is the art of illustrating letters, words, and phrases. It’s a combination of three elements.
- Typography: Arranging type for a press.
- Calligraphy: The design and execution of lettering all in one smooth stroke.
- Your Mood: Because lettering is more illustrated than typography and calligraphy, it really depends on the mood you’re trying to portray.
The same rules do not apply in lettering as in typography, such as the leading (space between the lines of type) and kerning (space between individual letters) of letters. You can make the rules when you are lettering.
Now that we’ve gone through the basics, let’s talk about the six steps you can take to get started with hand lettering.
6 Hand Lettering Tips for Beginner Bible Journaling
Find Hand Lettering Inspiration
Explore what others are doing with hand lettering and what appeals most to you. Everyone has their own style and hand lettering really is all about conveying your feelings in words and as art. Start collecting your hand lettering inspiration on a Pinterest board. Don’t forget to also collect some of your favorite Bible verses for lettering, or proverbs so that you have an idea of a project you would like to start with once you feel comfortable with your hand lettering skills.
Get the Right Hand Lettering Tools
Having the right hand lettering tools will help you get started on the right foot. My hand lettering workshop bundle provides a quick list of materials you’ll need, including:
- Mechanical pencils
- Brush pens
- Fine tip markers
- Fat marker (for filling in strokes)
- Blue pencil
- And more…
You really shouldn’t be afraid of trying different materials, too. I’ve seen some folks use fancy brush pens and others Crayola markers, but both produced unique hand lettering pieces. It really depends on your preference and the mood you’re trying to convey through your hand lettering.
Just Get Started
Much like memorizing scripture, you should practice, practice and practice your hand lettering. One way to practice is by using a free lettering practice sheet to help you learn how to get strokes right. Hold yourself accountable by sharing your journey publicly on social media.
If you’re not on Facebook or Instagram already, open an account and start sharing your progress, including your mistakes. Make sure you use and follow popular hand lettering hashtags on Instagram such as #typography, #handlettering or #handmadefont so that others can see your work and you can find other sources of inspiration. Start hand lettering with these Bible journaling verses.
Kick your hand lettering up a notch by adding illustrations. Practice drawing banners and floral wreaths to make your work more fun and creative. You can also use scrapbook accessories instead of trying to draw these yourself. Do what you like and what you think adds another layer to your hand lettering. If you’re still not yet comfortable with drawing, start with simple embellishments on your letters such as zig-zags or dots to add variety. Try our Bible journaling designs for tips on drawing simple designs.
You will make plenty of mistakes in your hand lettering, but honestly, that’s what makes it so organic and original. If hand lettering had to be perfect, we would use typefaces instead. Embrace your imperfection and keep your lettering going. Eventually, you will notice yourself getting better at the smaller things like making your lines straighter and work your way up to techniques such as bounce lettering. If you like how a certain piece came out, but notice a typo, have a little fun with it by fixing the typo and making it part of your piece.
Emulate Digital Type
Hand lettering fonts/types have different personalities and their character can make a difference in your design. Identify one or two “go-to” fonts you can start learning and using on a regular basis for hand lettering. Some reference fonts you can download for free and practice with include Magnolia Sky, which is included as a practice sheet in this hand lettering workshop bundle, and Malisia Script. Once you learn how to hand letter one or two reference fonts, you can then create multiple designs and even create a font based on your own handwriting.
Additional Hand Lettering Tips
As you begin your hand lettering journey and continue to make progress, keep in mind these additional tips. When it comes to mixing fonts, you should avoid clashing fonts.
For example, if you’re using a bold typeface, try mixing it with a swirly font. You should also avoid using certain fonts, such as Comic Sans, at all costs because they are overused and can make your hand lettering look outdated.
Start simple by practicing the alphabet and do it often. Most importantly, remember that there’s no one way to do hand lettering. Certain techniques can help you produce certain styles, but your work should be unique and original to you.
Use Your Hand Lettering to Inspire Others
Share your work by creating gifts for others. Use your hand lettering to create notes for your coworkers or a bookmark for a new church member. Create a piece of your favorite inspirational Bible verse and gift it to a family member or friend who needs encouragement. Not only will they appreciate such a thoughtful gift, but also your work might spark their interest in hand lettering and they’ll have a great resource to go to.
I hope these six steps have inspired you to pick up your brush pen to begin your hand lettering journey. Below are additional resources we recommend.
Why NOT to do Bible Journaling
Bible Journaling for Kids
3 Ways to Use Bible Journaling Coloring Pages
4 FREE and Easy Bible Journaling Templates
Bible Journaling Tips for Beginners
25+ Best Bible Journaling Accessories
How to do Bible Journaling in a Notebook
How to do Bible Journaling
9 Easy and Simple Bible Journaling Ideas
Ultimate Bible Journaling Glossary
5 Steps to Bible Journaling for Beginners
Have a creative day!
Crystal Whitlow is a graphic designer, and illustrator. She absolutely loves encouraging people to use their creativity. She feels God is an amazing Creator, and loves thinking about how we inherited our creativity from the One who made the Universe. When she has opportunities to create, she feels a connection to her Lord and Savior. She thinks hand lettering is a wonderful way to do just that. She invites you to try to develop, not only awesome hand lettering skills but a stronger connection with Scripture.