Hand Lettering Tips with Elsie

Hand Lettering Tips with Elsie from www.abeautifulmess.comHi, friends! I have been looking forward to this post! Today I’m here collaborating with our friends at Pentel to share my tips for practicing hand lettering. With Valentine’s Day coming up this Saturday, it feels like the perfect time for cute, hand-written notes. But regardless of the time of year, I use hand lettering daily to design for this blog and our stationery products. I LOVE practicing and trying new styles. I hope this post inspires you to get out your pens and write because the best way to improve really is repetition! 

Hand Lettering Tips with Elsie from www.abeautifulmess.com Most people don’t love their own handwriting. I feel that way sometimes too. Through the years I’ve designed a lot of fonts, and I’ve learned how much repetition it really takes to get lettering I am happy with. Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t pleased with your first attempts. I promise you, no one is.

Watch my video to hear more of my tips for hand lettering: 

Hand Lettering Tips with Elsie from www.abeautifulmess.com Tools Used:
• Pentel Color Brush
• Pentel Sign Pen
• Pentel Aquash Pen

Well, what do you think? Is hand lettering something you’re interested in? Have a great day, you guys! xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson, Videography and Music:  Jeremy Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions



  • What kind of paint did you use to fill the aquash pen with? I just got them in mail! So far I have just filled them with water and have been using water color cakes for color. I love these pens already but don’t know how to use them!

    Kristin 🙂

  • Hi Kelly! It’s this Pentel pen: http://www.pentel.com/store/sign-pen 🙂 -Jacki

  • What pen did you say you like to use? I heard you say ” I like to use the pen” but I would love to know which one specifically 🙂

    Great video!

  • I’ve never seen anyone else who holds their pen like that! Thanks for the tips. <3

  • LOVED this tutorial! It’s true that finding a pen, pencil, or maker that suits you is really important! Every one has their own style. Thank you for this video! 🙂


  • Could you explain more about how the aquash pens work? Do you put watercolor ink and water into the brush? Is it powdered ink? Any info would be great! Thanks.

  • Great video. Elsie you have such a great voice that makes you want to listen to this. Great music background also.

  • So great!! Really inspiring. I really want to improve my hand lettering – I’m getting married this year so need pretty lettering for place names!! X


  • Love this! I can’t wait to get home from work to practice my hand lettering!

  • I’ve always been interested in hand lettering for scrapbooking, card making etc. I have OK handwriting but I’m a choronic doodler and often sit writing out my name, dogs’ names etc while on the phone. I’ve decided that from now on I’ll try and doodle the alphabet or words I want to write for scrapbooking/card making. It’s my new hobby! I have bought the Pentel Sign pens too from Amazon. LOVELY to write with. I felt so inspired after this video. I’d love to see more on this topic!


  • love this video! I have always been interested in creating my own font. What process do you use to create one?

  • I love this! Can you describe what kind of paint you filled the Aquash pen with? I see online that most people put just water in it and then paint over watercolor pencils, but I love the effect you have here.

    I bought a set of felt-tipped pens by accident a couple months ago and LOVE the way they make my handwriting look! I definitely started practicing my hand-lettering a lot more after that — finding the right tool is important!


  • Oh, I love my Pentel Pens! And I would love to handle the hand lettering. It’s on my to do list since last year, I guess. 🙂
    Thx for your lovely video.

    xo Jennie

  • This post came at a timely manner! I’m looking for resources to help me with my hand lettering journey 😉

  • Loved this! I always get so jealous of beautiful hand lettering but I know I just need to practice more. I am even taking a modern calligraphy class this weekend to add a new spin to the letters for me! Can’t wait! I have all of the tools you mentioned but never thought to put paint in the aqua brush! I’ve always just used it for pearlex painting! Great tip!

  • Elsie- great tips! I know you have answered this before… But can you recommend a good pen to write on photos with?! ( brand and type) I’m having a tough time finding the perfect photo writing pen…

    thanks for the tips! i thought i was weird for being obsessed with handwriting and constantly pointlessly writing down things for the sake of it! <3

  • I loved this video! I’ve been interested in hand lettering for awhile now, but didn’t feel like it was something I would be good at. Your video inspired me to go for it though. Thanks for the tips!

  • These tips sound great! X

  • happy valentine day all

    Judi Online
    Judi Bola
    Taruhan Bola Online
    Agen Judi Bola

  • Hey!
    This post is great, I love hand-lettering also and I can’t wait to get my paws on one of those watercolor pens. Quick question: what kind of ink or paint do you use? 🙂


  • yes! Soooooo cuteeee. I love her pitchy-ness in Elsie’s voice when she gets over excited and happy with creative stuff. The ultimate cuteness 🙂

    tsiou, http://www.inwhirlofinspiration.com/

  • Could’ve used this when I made Valentines the other day!
    A great tutorial as always – and I plan to use on other cards I make in the next month or so.

  • What a great post! Love these tips! So all those preteen years of writing my name over and over along with the boys I had big fat crushes on actually have paid off in practicing my hand writing! Love the idea of practicing more. Will definitely be filling in my down time with practice. Some of these creative things I did when I was younger were often out of boredom or to pass time. I appreciate that you challenge us to look at it differently. It is improving a skill that will only benefit my creative work. So thank you! So inspired!

  • The clip is great! Lovely layout girls! 🙂

    Have a nice day


  • AHHHH!!! This is great! I have been working on hand lettering lately, and never realized other people did this too. I’m so glad you made this post.

  • Loved this video! I’m obsessed with writing and it’s different almost everyday. Thanks for the inspiration and can’t wait to pick up the sign pens this weekend. tgif!

  • Hand lettering is something that I always turn to 🙂



  • Love this article! Fabulous & so helpful, thankyou!!!

    Aimee xxx

  • Aw! You sound so cute, really! And the video is too cartoonish it made Me smile! I’m so practicing now!

    The Chronic Dreamer

  • I am saving this post for the weekend where I have time to practise. Than you so much for sharing, this is something that I have wanted to do for a long time! 🙂

  • Cute post! Now I know what to do in a boring lecture, practicing hand lettering lol


  • I love this! You have a really pretty handwriting Elsie! I like doodling a lot and practically writing on my notebooks and planners. I love these tips and I didn’t know about the Aquash pen! I want one!


  • Definitely giving this a go – I love unique handwritten fonts! A new hobby to get started on

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Fashion Beauty – www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

  • This is soo fun and cool idea! I’ve always love writting hand notes and playing around with different tools! 🙂


  • Great post! I’ve been interested in hand lettering for a long time, your tips will help me to get better. I love it when you present general tips and techniques!

  • This is perfect! I’m always going to dafont.com so that I can copy the fonts on to everything (binders, papers, labels)! Exactly what I needed! <3

  • Of COURSE your first video was going to be perfect and useful and GREAT! Thanks so much: truly very inspiring….to see you in action, to hear your tips and to see your tools (I had no idea those pens existed and have been trying to get similar effects with paintbrushes (they *don’t* really work)….)…..great, great, great to see this video….thank you! [I’d always wondered how fast you write your ‘normal’ handwriting….I’d assumed it would be slow, as it’s so fabulously and intricately designed….but it was kind of reassuring to *see* you write it slowly….you’re like some sort of uber-Super Crafty Woman and it was so good to see you go slow….! (Weird side note!)……one last thing….your voice is totally different to how I imagined it….!

  • What a fun project! I’ve never liked my “chicken scratch” writing. You have lovely writing.


  • Really excited about this post! I can’t wait to order a couple Color Brush colors. Thank you for sharing!

  • OH man, I literally wrote “learn to hand-letter” on my to-do list yesterday, so this is perfect timing for me! Thanks Elsie!

  • Thanks for sharing. I need to get back to hand lettering 🙂 Great tips!

  • Thanks for sharing. I need to get back to hand lettering 🙂 Great tips!

  • wow! this post came into perfect timing. I just discovered hand lettering like, a week ago and I have been searching all over the web for tutorials and advice. Of course, I’d rather hear it from my favorite blog ever 🙂 Thank you for the post!

  • This is really fun and inspiring – I definitely need to get back to doodling and maybe try out some lettering. That said, my hand writing normally is pretty atrocious!

  • I love this post! Can’t seem to figure out what paper angle works for me. Would love more on writing!!

  • Love this post! I’ve been really into handwriting lately and would love to take a calligraphy class at some point. I’m totally going to look into these tools so I can start practicing on my own.

  • What a fantastic video. Really useful tips, thank you. My handwriting is atrocious! Very small and more like shorthand than words half of the time so this has encouraged me to just grab a pad of paper and practice.

  • Love this post! I have an Aquash Pen & it is my absolute favorite. I fill it with half india ink and half water and get really great results.

  • Yes, Elsie! I’m so interested in hand lettering and had no idea the beginning tools are so simple. I’d love to see more on this topic!

  • Great post! I love hand lettering! It’s so soothing and inspiring.

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee | Bloglovin’

  • This is AWESOME!! I was thinking of hand lettering my wedding invitations, and this has all the tips I need to get better!! Thanks! 🙂

  • This is something I’ve been trying to get good at lately! I’m obsessed with calligraphy and hand-lettering, so thank you so much for these tips! Time to practice 🙂


  • Great video Elsie! I been dabbling in hand lettering for a while and these tips will really help. I absolutely loved the editing and the new site design!

  • Lovely post! And the video is really fun and inspiring.

    Just a note: Around here (Brazil) everyone write with hand lettering. It’s the only kind of write that the teachers accept in school. When I lived in NY my boss was surprised with that. Just some useless information. 😉

    xo, Deborah

  • Love this post! I’ve been trying to write more in my project life and haven’t been happy with how my writing looks at all. I’ve always been jealous of your cute writing! Can’t wait to start practicing!

  • I loved this post!! I love to hand letter as well, one of my oldest hobbies in fact! I can’t wait to try out some of the tools you mentioned.



  • Great video! The aquash pen look like it could create some amazing art!

    Jennifer Ashley

  • I am loving all the cute video posts you guys are doing!!
    I for one feel really inspired whenever I have new tools, paints, paper.. Anything new inspires so much. I am gonna try the Aquash pen

  • I love this post! I always love seeing all your hand lettering on things like your app and your logo, so these tips are great!
    I love the idea of that aquash pen!
    xo April
    April | April Everyday

  • Loved this post! I really enjoy hand lettering, but I am definitely still learning. Super inspired to grab a pen and get in some practice now. 🙂

  • This is so cool! I really love hand lettering, I think I’ll have to practice a lot more though 🙂


  • Loved this little post. I had never heard of any of those tools before.

    Feeling inspired… xoxo

    Taryn Nicole


  • Hi Elsie,

    Just wanted to compliment you on this post. In today’s world, where schools are considering and doing away with handwriting, this is a really endearing post. I’ve actually been a little disappointed in some of the posts lately because it’s non-stop, back-to-back DIY posts but this one, inspired me in a sincere way. Thank you for thinking outside the box and sharing one of your special hobbies with all of us!


    You’ve inspired me to pick up on my handwriting again! So, thank you:-)



  • AH, I love this! I laughed that you practice while on conference calls — that’s prime doodling time for me, haha!

  • Yes, I am interested in this! I was just practicing hand lettering yesterday on homemade cards, so this post came at just the right time!

  • That squash pen is so cool! I didn’t even know something like that existed. The water coloured letters have such a pretty effect.
    The tip you shared about writing the alphabet many times is a great idea because I stick to the same fonts all of the time and it gets boring after a while!
    Great video 🙂 – the editing and music choice was perfect!

    Monica – Mocha and Moccasins

  • This was a lot of fun to watch (great background mmusic!) and also very informative. Handlettering is something I’ve been wanting to get into for a while now but it always seems a bit overwhelming and I don’t know where to start. Thank you for these tips!

    x Kathryn
    Through the Thicket

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.