When You Hate Your Handwriting: 8 Creative Lettering Ideas for Your Art Journal

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Do you ever wish you had better handwriting? If you’ve ever been frustrated with trying to write in your art journals to add text and words to your pages, hopefully this post with creative lettering ideas for art journaling will help you!

We’ve included 8 lettering ideas that will help you find some great alternatives and new ideas to try –

Plus some tips for how you can learn new lettering techniques if you want to try and improve your handwriting in your journals!

Lettering Ideas for Art Journaling

Don’t Feel Bad if You Don’t Like Your Handwriting!

Most of the time, I don’t really like my handwriting. It’s messy. It’s inconsistent. Yes, I acknowledge its a part of what makes me unique…but even then I still don’t like how it turns out!

Since my own handwriting is so terrible, and I know I envy so many of those art journal pages with gorgeous hand lettering and writing.

I thought I would share some alternatives to handwriting in your art journal that can help you get beautiful words and letters without having excellent penmanship.

Here are 8 Hand Writing Alternatives and Lettering Ideas for You to Try in Your Art Journal Pages

1. Magazine & Newspaper Ransom Style Letters

This one takes some patience. How do those kidnappers do it, I don’t know! Cutting out all of those letters individually to create words – might seem a little overwhelming – but the effects can be a lot of fun and very unique!

If you have a lot of magazines (what art journalist doesn’t? LOL…I know I clean out the magazine rack at our local library where they sell them for 10 cents a piece all the time!) – then you have everything you need to cut out letters and use them to create words in your art journal.

It takes some time to cut out each letter and find them, but it can be a fun way to take some time for yourself and find letters for words.

2. Find Fonts You Like & Print Them Out on Your Computer

This is a little easier than say rummaging through 10 magazines for letters you want/need. With this, simply just type out the alphabet or the words you like to use in your favorite software program.

Copy and paste these words and letters a few times, choose a few fonts you like and print. Plus, you can choose any font and words you like!

You can print quotes, make lists and more! Want 365 words ready-to-print and cut? Grab our free printable over on our page of 365 one word prompts!

3. Practice Drawing Letters in Pencil First

It’s hard to cover up mistakes in marker or pen. But with pencil you can draw your letters any way you want and then outline/trace and go over with marker or pen once you’re done drawing them.

This has helped me have much neater letters in my art journals! By thinking of each letter of the alphabet as something to draw it has helped me get much better results.

There are also a number of great books that can help you learn lettering styles with alphabets and pages to trace as practice exercise!

4. Try Hidden Journaling: Journal First, Then Paint/Collage Over It:

Hidden journaling is a technique where you write whatever you’d like to write – and then cover it up with layers of paint or collage elements. No one will ever see what you wrote, which is great for privacy. It also builds up on layers to create unique and interesting backgrounds in your artwork! hidden journaling handwriting example

The beauty of an art journal is the handwriting doesn’t have to be legible and it’s all about expressing oneself anyways.

So allow yourself to write in a stream of consciousness without worrying about it being messy – you’ll be painting, collaging, and gesso-ing over it anyways πŸ™‚

5. Alphabet/Word Stickers

You can also often find word and alphabet stickers in the scrapbook section of most craft stores. These stickers come in a variety of sizes and themes, and certainly can help you express yourself without having to have perfect handwriting!

Here’s another fun idea – make your own stickers! It’s easy and fun to do.

All you need to do is get some of Avery Sticker Project Paper and then print out letters and words in different fonts that you like onto it from computer.


6. Write on Separate Piece of Paper & Collage

For some reason I get the jitters when writing on my art. I’m afraid I’ll mess it all up! So, another solution I’ve found getting around my messy and inconsistent handwriting is to write on a separate sheet of paper.

If I like it, I can simply just glue it onto the page that way! And, if I don’t like it, no worries – I can always use it for something else and try again!

7. Use Hand Lettering Stencils

I picked up a pack of alphabet stencils at my local craft store for just a few dollars and it is one of the best investments I have made.

It makes creating letters for your pages so much easier! No more worrying about messy handwriting or trying to paint letters by hand!

8. Alphabet Stamps

There are hundreds of different sets of alphabet stamps, many priced extremely affordably considering you get at least 26 stamps in each set!

I wasn’t able to find any in my local craft store, but you can find a wide assortment at Amazon.com as well as other online shops.


If you have horrible handwriting, don’t let it hold you back from creating your art journals! These 8 solutions will hopefully get you creating in no time!

Do you have any ideas for how to improve your handwriting and lettering in your art journals? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

 

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17 thoughts on “When You Hate Your Handwriting: 8 Creative Lettering Ideas for Your Art Journal”

  1. Thank you for saying you have terrible handwriting. I love honesty and find it hard to believe I can be so artsy and have such BAD handwriting. Nice to know I am not the only one. I hope to learn a lot from you….
    Donna

    Reply
    • I also have rotten handwriting. No matter what script I write in (Latin, Cyrillic, Arabic, Japanese (Hirgana, Katakana and Kanji), it absolutely SUCKS!

      Reply
  2. That is the one thing that I get fearful about when journaling. I do not like my handwriting. This had some great ideas! Thanks so much!

    Reply
  3. Thanks for the tips! I’ve wanted to search for my “artistic” side for years, but I never thought I had any artistic ability. I’ve gotten pretty excited lately when coming upon and searching out art journaling. AND my handwriting sucks!! According to this blog post and the accompanying comments, my bad handwriting may indicate some latent artistic ability? Hhmmmmm…..

    Reply
  4. I don’t like my handwriting either. I try to remind myself of how much I love seeing my grandmother’s writing. I mostly write for scrapbooking and some art journaling. I won’t mind if my grandkids read it after I am gone.

    Reply
  5. I have the same problem… and for that reason I rarely use words on my pages, although I would like to. I’ll try the template idea.

    Reply
  6. I got a roll of washi tape that is the alphabet in different colors, from Office Depot. It would be perfect for journaling and such, and I’m sure they would be easy to find.

    Reply
  7. My favorite way to do is is to display my words on my computer screen (in font and size that i want) and then turn the lights in the room down and place my page over the computer screen. I then can see through and outline them out on the paper. Works perfectly for me and I can do all those fancy letters if I want

    Reply
    • Placing journal page over computer screen is a fabulous idea… I’d never have thought of that… and it works, I just tried it πŸ™‚ … Lots of great ideas in the post too!

      Reply
  8. I’m a few years a little late to this party but here are a couple more ideas!
    1. Go to dafont.com
    2. Search for fonts
    A) There is an option to search in the myriad of themes.
    B) If you already have the word(s)in mind, then enter that into the sample box. Choose how many results are shown on a single page (I always change it to 100), and then click Search.
    Example could be “My Favorite Quotes”. Now you can see every font in those exact words!
    -You can install the fonts or simply take a screenshot/cap of the sample

    -Want to make your own coloring page of patterns? Search in the wingdings type fonts and install them on your computer or phone. (Android I use the Phonto app to install – it’s very easy.) There are many, many options. I’ve picked floral ones and then made my own tiled patterns in Microsoft Word. I’ve also used editing programs that include ‘Add Text’.

    Another fun thing I’ve started doing is pulling text from a book using regular Scotch tape. You simply find a word or quote you like and apply a piece of tape. I use my finger nail to secure it better. Then just pull the tape off.
    You can use books you own that you are okay with defacing, or head to a thrift shop to find books.

    Reply
  9. I live in craft stores and craft sections of dollar stores! A couple years ago I found full alphabet sets of individual letters, upper and lower case.
    I haven’t used them yet, although my friend keeps raiding my stash! Lol
    Also, you could use word or note or whatever to type out what you want to say, fix the font and size and print it out then glue it (or tape it) into the journal. You could use craft paper and tear letters. Scrapbooking paper
    When you have free down time you could also take a magazine and cut out or rip those letters out and save them in an envelope for a time when you want to use them.
    Paint brushes (the brushes with the paint or water reservoir), then nobody needs to know how bad your penmanship is.
    Use wax to write your message then paint over it.
    Lemon juice so the writing is invisible.
    The possibilities are endless.

    Reply

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