Write Like a Lettering Pro With This Faux Calligraphy Hack

New to hand-lettering? Even beginners can master this easy technique.
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Do you often find yourself swooning over the gorgeous hand-written wall art you find at big box stores, only to be shocked by the hefty price tag? What if I said you could create your own at a fraction of the price? Cue faux calligraphy. Also known as "cheating calligraphy," this type of hand lettering looks just like the real thing and is a great first step for beginning calligraphers. All you need is a gel pen, paper and a little creativity!

Photo by: Chelsea Faulkner

Chelsea Faulkner

Materials Needed

  • black gel pen
  • paper, envelope or gift tag
  • scratch pad

Practice Your Cursive

This type of calligraphy looks best when written in cursive. If it's been a while since you've written in cursive, practice writing your chosen word or phrase on a scratch pad before putting ink to an envelope or gift tag. This will eliminate waste and allow you to experiment with different looks. If you don't like the way your cursive handwriting looks, find a font you love and practice imitating it.

Write Word or Phrase

With a gel pen, write your word or phrase. Don't worry if it looks sloppy! The next couple of steps will remedy any unevenness. If you're worried about messing up, write in pencil first, then trace over in ink. 

Enhance the Downstrokes

Downstrokes are the lines you draw while moving your hand downward. Draw a line parallel to each downstroke, creating a shadow or "thick line" effect. Make sure the width of each thick line is equal. If your original downstroke is uneven (like the end of my 's'), simply create a new parallel line on each side of the downstroke. No worries, you'll fill these in next. 

Fill In Space Between Lines

Simply fill in the negative space between the two downstroke lines and you're done!

Experiment with different effects like elaborate cursive styles, varying downstroke thickness or filling in the downstrokes with color. The possibilities are endless!

Photo by: Chelsea Faulkner

Chelsea Faulkner

I think my next project will be something like this gorgeous nursery wall art from Fixer UpperWhat a sweet gift idea!

For Baby on the Way

For Baby on the Way

Fixer Upper hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines transformed a depressing room into a bright and festive nursery for the Purks' baby on the way. The old wall paneling was removed and replaced with light blue painted drywall with white trim.

From: Fixer Upper

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