Do you love the look of a hand lettered print but don’t know how to make one yourself? Learn how to fake a DIY hand lettered print!
A while ago, I shared a post on how to hand letter and it’s by far become my most popular post. I love the process of hand lettering and I love the look even more. I can spend days perusing Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration. If you’ve ever looked at anything hand lettering on Pinterest (are you following my hand lettering board and alphabet inspiration board?) you’ve probably come across some beautifully done hand lettered print that you wish you could recreate. Maybe it’s a free printable, but you’d still like an “original” to hang in your home – one that was done by hand rather than a printer.
And maybe you know how to hand letter, but not in that style. Or maybe you don’t want to put in the meticulous effort of creating your own print. Well, I’m going to solve that problem. Today I’m going to teach you my simple trick for how to fake a hand lettered print.
How to Fake a Hand Lettered Print
First, you’re going to have to find what form here on out I’ll call your inspiration print – the print that you are going to fake. Search Pinterest for free printables (again, check out my hand lettered board on Pinterest for some inspiration and sources, and be sure to follow it as I’m always adding new stuff!). Save and print it to the size you would like. (I suggest using a larger size for your first few tries until you get the hang of it).
I created one on PicMonkey that you can download here if you’d like to follow along. (It’s a quote from the Taylor Swift song, Never Grow Up which I sing to Ryan every night. I can’t listen to it without crying.)
First, take your printed image and tape it to a well-lit window. This also works (and to be honest is probably easier) well with a glass coffee table and a light underneath. Carefully tape the paper you want your final print to be on. I used cardstock and I could still see the image just fine. If you have it, I suggest just taping the corners with masking or painters tape so that it comes off easier, but if you don’t have any like me, you can loop tape on the back. If when you take it off you’re worried about the paper ripping, cut the loop and either cut it as close to the paper as possible OR just lay the tape out of the back of the paper.
Once everything is taped up, begin tracing the image that is showing through with a pencil. You can either we intricate with it and trace every detail, or do like I did and get the general shape and outline. I chose this route because then I was able to customize different parts of the font that I wasn’t a huge fan of and could make it my own. I just used the outlines as a template and followed these steps for how to hand letter later.
Once you’re finished, you can either proceed with going over with a pen of your choice (I use Sharpie pens – I like how the lines are crisp and the ink flows smoothly without bleeding.) or follow the next steps of hand lettering and shape each letter out in pencil.
Either way, once the penciling and ink are done, let it dry a few minutes and then erase any and all pencil marks. Go back and fill in any weird spots to make the script or image smooth.
Add to a frame if desired and enjoy your brand new hand lettered print!
These prints make beautiful gifts and home decor – but please be sure not to sell these if you are using someone else’s design since that’s both untruthful and illegal. Also, if you are using something like dafont.com or picmonkey.com to create your inspiration print and plan on selling that, be sure to look into the font licensing rules – I know that a lot of dafont’s free fonts have a restriction for commercial use or profit.
So tell me – are you as obsessed with prints in your home as I am? What’s your favorite quote? Let me know in the comments!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy these posts!
Teach Yourself How to Hand Letter
DIY Nursery Print
Heather @ Polyglot Jot says
oh wow so cool! I always love how these look but never thought i’d be able to pull it off. So awesome!
Seriously, anyone could do it!
I love this idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Glad you liked it – thanks for stopping by, Gretchen!
I am intrigued by hand lettering, but at this point I don’t think I have the time to take to learn what I’m doing. Your method looks great!!
This was is definitely much quicker! Just print, trace and go!!
This is awesome!! I’ve always been so jealous of people who can do this! Now I can do it myself, thanks for sharing this!!
That’s my goal! And it’s a great way to get your feet wet with it, since in a way you’re practicing strokes and shapes!
THANK YOU for the tips. My favorite quote: Love is like a butterfly, it
goes where is pleases and pleases wherever it goes”. Anonymous
So glad you enjoyed it, Gwen! That’s a wonderful quote as well!
What a great idea!!
brilliant!! I have no handwriting skills but this might work for me!
That’s the beauty of it!!
I love this little cheat! I usually do the whole rubbing pencil on the back of the printout to trace it, but this works nicely as well. My hand lettering is definitely not up to par yet!
It’s so super easy! I love the pencil trick for smaller things, but for bigger ones it’s kind of a pain. (just like how taping up all of this just for one word would be silly, ha!)
Jasmine Hewitt says
I want to try this! I usually fail at crafts though, but I could do a million different quotes like this for my house
I’m working on a “quote wall” using this method and my other hand lettering tutprial and it’s coming out so cute!
Lilies + Lambs says
Great idea! Will have to try this soon xx
Let me know how it goes if you do!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table says
This is genius! I just pinned it to try – when we get settled in our new place I’m going to be a DIY fool!
Yay! I’m so glad! And yes, new homes make me want to make ALL of the things!! Thanks for pinning, Laura!
You totally got it Morgan! Your ingenuity is amazing, and this is definitely something I would love to do!
It’s so easy, Emily!I hope you give it a try!
Kristy @ Southern In Law says
This is such a sweet idea! You are too clever, my friend! <3
WHile I wish I could take aaaaaalll of the credit, most of it belongs to my grandma who showed me something similar on a glass coffee table when I was a kid, ha!
DIY and Dinosaurs says
I love to hand letter and doodle but it always takes me a while to perfect the letters! This is a fantastic way to get a great looking piece done in no time! 🙂 Thank you!
yes! I love it for gifts for that exact reason.
I’ve been making my own practice hand lettering sheets using fancy fonts (picmonkey has great free ones and lots of sites have pretty fonts to download for free) I’ve been printing them in pale grey and going over them, the alphabet and things like happy birthday, to practice for cards. I’ve not thought to do a whole phrase, quote or song lyric to keep like this, what a good idea.
Yeaup! It’s a very similar concept, but it’s easier to see how the words connect if you create words and what not. It’s so funny that you mention doing that because I actually have a post on how to create those coming up in the next few weeks! 😉
Fab, I’ll look out for it, it’s always nice to have more ideas 🙂
Vivianna @ Mums Orchard House says
My lettering is sooo far from perfect. What a great idea!
It’s such a great way to get started with letter!
I love hanging prints up in my home, but am terrible at hand lettering! This is a great way to get that look.
Yes! That’s the main thing I do with it!
Smart way to copy the letters! Pretty fonts, especially hand lettered ones used for sentimantal sayings always tug at my heart strings:) Pinning!
I’m the same way – my husband make fun of me because I basically just have words all over our home, but whatever!
Looks awesome! I’m always in awe of things that are hand-lettered! They’re so beautiful. Thanks so much for linking up with The Alder Collective! Hope to see more of your posts soon! Have an awesome weekend!
Thought would tell you something about Taylor Swift. There was a very special and brave young girl in Grand Junction that idolized Taylor Swift. She had been battling cancer since she was may 8 or 9. She did so many brave things to help other kids with cancer. Taylor took time to visit Delaney at her home on a Sunday afternoon, there were pictures in paper as Delaney was regarded very special all over our area.
That wonderful little girl (13) had gotten tumors in her brain also ,had to be placed in Hospice. She died few weeks, maybe longer ago and think we all grieve for her. How special that Taylor took time to see her,grant that wonderful childs wish..
This looks great and it is nice take it back to basics. Not everyone has a Silhouette to make stencils.
handy Dmitri says
Now ain’t that handy! Minimalistic and stylish. Personally, I myself would not questions if it’s handwritten or not, as long as it looks as good as you made it. 🙂
Such a great idea! Looking forward to trying it out!
Anne @ Domesblissity says
Aren’t you a clever thing Morgan. That is amazing. I love the brush stroke fonts that seem to be all the rage at the moment but I just couldn’t even begin to try it free hand. Thank you so much for sharing this post at Thriving on Thursdays last week. I’m featuring this one at tomorrow’s party. It’s always lovely to see you each week.
Anne @ Domesblissity
Very neat trick! I can think of a few places in my house where I would want to display a hand lettered print. Thanks for sharing with us over at Simply Natural Saturdays!
Kim Six says
This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing at You’re Gonna Love it! Pinning!
I’ve tried hand-lettering lots of times to have it turn out ugly, but this is something I could do!!!