Meg’s Makes: Week 10 - Brush Lettering

This week I tackled the art of brush lettering. I wouldn’t exactly call mine ‘art’, but I certainly gave it a good go, and with some (quite extensive) practice and patience, I’m convinced we could all be well on our way to becoming greetings card gurus. Apologies if the instructions are far too simple for you pro-painters, but I very much guessed how to make it work so have written all of my thoughts down just in case you’re in the same boat!

<< BRUSH LETTERED GREETINGS CARDS >>

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Plain white / cream greeting cards (the thicker the better)

A variety of paintbrushes

Watercolour paint tubes

Paint palette

Water jar

Kitchen roll

Paper + pen for practice

TIME: 30 mins

COST: £10 - I had some random sizes of paintbrushes and ordered paints from Amazon for £10

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN

1. Mix a tiny dot of the colour with water in your palette (or eggs cups in my case…) - add lots of water if you want your colours quite faint, and a little if you want bolder colour.

2. If you want a washed out background, take your brush and dip in clean water, and lightly cover the area you want to colour. Then get some colour on your brush and tap across the surface to let the colour spread - introduce a few colours for a fun effect. Set it aside for 20 mins or so to dry.

3. For the lettering, you’ll probably want to practice first on some scrap paper. The style of writing can obviously very much be your own, and the only thing to remember is that your upwards strokes should be very thin, and for downwards strokes you want to press down and use the full width of the brush to make them a lot bolder.

4. Take a very thin and probably quite short brush for your lettering - I found this a lot easier to control than a brush with longer bristles. I took a different colour for each letter, washed off my brush in between and blended in the colour with a dab of excess water. You could of course stick to one colour to start with, to reduce the complexity and room for error! It took me a few tries to get my spacing right, so it might be worth adding some pencil dots / lines for guides, so that you know where your letters should sit.

5. Time to get creative, colourful, and a little bit kooky! I took some designs I saw on Pinterest and had a little play around with them. The possibilities really are endless though, and if you’re more skilled in the art department than me, a floral border is always a great addition.

6. Let your fabulous work dry and send it off to your most treasured pen pals (or frame it - you painting princess/prince)!


MEG’S VERDICT

How easy was it? 3/5

It’s SO great, but also reasonably tricky to get the lettering right. Turning tight corners (like the top of an ‘L’) with a paintbrush is harder than you’d think! You can get wonderful brush pens which are more suited to the task, but I had paintbrushes in the house so that’s what I went for. I found I had to stop between letters and join them up, as the colour runs out and I didn’t want to rush the letters, but that’s fine as the water blends it all to make it smooth anyway.

How much fun did I have? 4/5

It’s really fun once you get into the swing of it and super satisfying to see how effective it can look in such a short space of time!

How useful will the skill be in future? 4/5

I’m so pleased I gave it a go - with some solid practice I’m convinced you can make professional looking cards in a few minutes.

Does Pinterest lie?

Our lovely Pinterest painters are definitely rather more polished and have a stronger artistic flair than I do, but that’s not to say I won’t get there with a bit more time.