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I don’t think I have ever been this excited about a blog post! This piece was so much fun to make. I am so in love with the concept of combining stamping and lettering. I don’t always have time to draw images to complement my lettering, and let’s face it, I also don’t exactly have all the skill. Haha! Stamping images around lettering saves so much time and really gives a finished look to a piece.
In this blog post, I am going to show you how to create your own hand lettered Thanksgiving quote art step by step. You could use this piece in your home as decor when you have family over for Thanksgiving, or if you are invited to someone’s home for Thanksgiving, you could give this as a hostess gift! I love the idea of giving a hostess gift. I think it is a lost art and should be brought back.
If you are a little intimidated at the idea of creating your own lettered piece from scratch, or are pressed for time, I am including a foilable download at the end of this post that you can print and add whatever stamped images you like!
Now on to the creativity.
The supplies you will need to create this piece are:
- Drawing Pencils- I am using Tombow Mono drawing pencils because they are amazing.)
- A ruler
- Regular copy paper for sketching
- Light box (or a window if you are patient)
- Metallic watercolor- I am using Finetec, also known as Coliro Colors. These are the most beautiful metallic watercolors I have used.)
- Watercolor cardstock- I am using Canson Cold Pressed watercolor cardstock
- Gold embossing powder- I am using Gina K. Designs Fine Detail Gold
- Versamark ink
- Stamp set for decorative elements- I am using a newer stamp set at Gina K. Designs called “Rustic Autumn.”
- World’s tiniest paintbrush- I used a Princeton 2/0
- Watercolor- I used Gansai Tambi pans and Tombow Dual Brush Pens
The first step is to choose your quote. I am using the quote “In everything, give thanks.” This is such a good reminder as we go into the Thanksgiving season. I wrote my quote at the top of my copy paper (you don’t need fancy paper for sketching!), and then I sketched out lines to create an 8×10 box to draw in, since I wanted my quote to be an 8×10.
Choose how many lines of text you want and which words will go on each line, and sketch out your quote in a basic style. Always keep your words centered in your piece, creating a round or square shape. I use the loops to help create the general shape I want. Simply swooping your ‘tails’ around will really add a lot of whimsy. The pencil I use for my original sketches is usually a 2H or HB. I don’t like too hard or soft of a pencil tip when doing these sketches, because both are difficult to erase.
Once your initial sketch is on the paper, go over it a few times to tweak your lettering. I do this right on the actual paper I sketched on, but some people prefer to get a piece of tracing paper. I feel as if I have more control of the piece when I write directly on the original sketch. I use the little tiny eraser from Tombow (which is one of my top favorite crafting items ever) to erase the lines I don’t want to keep. This allows me to have the exact look I want.
I taped my sketch over my lightbox, then taped another blank piece of copy paper over it. I traced my design onto the new paper, editing the lettering as I went along to make sure it was how I liked it.
I wanted my final piece to have stamped elements, so I chose a few sizes of autumn leaves to help create an autumn vibe to my piece. I love these leaves from Theresa Momber’s set, “Rustic Autumn”, because they have beautiful detail and are colorable. I stamped them in black ink around my lettering on my sketch because I wanted to make sure that I left enough room for the stamps before I started painting (which is the next step!).
Let’s just take a moment to appreciate the absolute gorgeousness of these shimmers.
This is the Coliro Colors gold palette. I think this may be one of the original palettes. The rose gold color I used is not actually in this set, I bought an individual pan because I use rose gold so much. I just popped out one of the colors I don’t often use and switched it with the rose gold.
This step takes the longest, but I had so much fun. I have tried painting words with watercolor before, and it never went well for me. I realized that the reason was because I was always using too large of a paintbrush. I tried using this teeny tiny one, and it was glorious.
I once again taped my piece over my lightbox, and taped my watercolor cardstock (cut to 8×10) over my sketch. Watercolor cardstock is very thick, but with a lightbox, you can see right through it. This is where it would be tricky to use a window. I definitely recommend purchasing a lightbox.
Make sure to go slowly as you trace over your sketch with the paintbrush, making sure that your downstrokes are thick and your upstrokes are thin.
I just love that metallic shine! The painting of the words took about two and a half hours. It was nice to relax at night with a cup of coffee and paint. (I know you aren’t supposed to drink coffee at night, but it doesn’t really affect me.)
All done! I debated on stopping here, because I love the simplicity of golden words on white paper.
I kept going, because I really love using beautiful stamps to embellish my lettering. I looked to my original sketch as a guide for where to stamp the leaves, which I stamped in VersaMark. Stamping on watercolor cardstock was so stressful without my MISTI, since the 8×10 was too large to put in my large MISTI. (I need a Memory MISTI!) I had no tragedies, thankfully, and successfully embossed my leaves in gold.
You can see in this picture how reflective both of these metallics are. They are slightly different in color, but it really isn’t noticeable, especially after you watercolor the leaves.
I mixed a very light shade of orange to fill in the entire leaf, and added assorted watercolors from there. I built up the oranges and reds using watercolors from Gansai Tambi and Tombow Dual Brush markers. No fancy watercoloring needed for this. (Yay!)
Doesn’t this just look cozy and autumn-y? I love the leaves painted in. I painted several dots around the lettering for some interest and more sparkle. I had so much fun creating this piece, and I think it would be so sweet to be able to gift to your hostess this Thanksgiving.
That being said, I know how busy everyone is this time of year, and I understand that not everyone may have the time to whip out the paints for two and a half hours before Thanksgiving actually arrives. I created a digital download so that you can print your very own and foil it. You can even embellish yours with different leaf stamps!
Here are a few important things to remember when printing:
- If you plan on foiling, you must use a laser toner printer. NOT inkjet printer. Foil will only adhere to an image printed with toner.
- Make sure that you print on smooth cardstock. (Preferably the Gina K. layering weight white cardstock.) If you use rough paper, the foil will have a hard time adhering to the toner and will look patchy.
- If you decide to use stamps to embellish your foiled piece, then you must keep in mind which coloring medium will work with the paper you use. You cannot watercolor on smooth cardstock. You may want to try colored pencil, ink blending, or alcohol markers.
Here are your downloads! (Notice that one is 8×10, and one is 5×7.)
Print either of these downloads on 8.5″x11″ cardstock, and trim to size when printed. I gave you some handy cutting guides that you will see when it is printed. Make sure to do your foiling after your piece has been cut down.
Let me know what you think in the comments! Will you try making this project? Or will you print the download and foil yours? I would love to see your creations! Tag me on Instagram at @letteredandlovelydesigns or send me an email with a photo of your work!
Thank you so much for stopping by! If you are interested in any of the products I used, I will have them linked below.