Express Yourself: A Hand Lettering Workbook for Kids: Create Awesome Quotes the Fun & Easy Way!

Express Yourself: A Hand Lettering Workbook for Kids: Create Awesome Quotes the Fun & Easy Way!

by Amy Latta


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Personalize Your School Supplies, Room Décor, Note Cards & More!

Decorate your life with fun fonts and beautiful quotes made your way. Amy Latta will show you the basics of hand lettering and beyond. Learn fancy cursive and watercolor lettering. Add adorable details like flowers and animals. In the craft bonus section, you’ll find ideas on how to turn your finished work into fabulous DIY projects. Embellish pillows, notebooks and wall art with your own unique writing. It’s easy to share your art online, and make one-of-a-kind cards and invitations for friends and family.

With high-quality art paper and practice space, you can try your new hobby right on these pages. It’s the perfect activity for kids ages 10 and up to do at home, after school or on the go. Once you’ve mastered the quotes in this book, you can change up words or styles to make them your own. Packed with tons of creative ideas and helpful tips, this book will inspire you to create your own art every day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781624146138
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 286,336
Product dimensions: 9.40(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 10 - 18 Years

About the Author

Amy Latta is the author of the bestseller Hand Lettering for Relaxation. She’s an artist, hand lettering designer and the founder of As a former teacher and mama of two boys, she loves working with kids and teaching them lettering. Amy lives in Hampstead, Maryland.

Read an Excerpt



You've Got This

Do you want to know what I love most about art? Art is never wrong. Unlike a math problem that has one correct answer, art is open-ended. You can create anything you can imagine. As we work through the lessons in this book together, remember that even when something you write turns out different from what you expected, it's still awesome. Your art should be your own and reflect your personality and style. Some of the lessons will be easy for you, while others might take practice and patience, but you've got this. You're already on your way to creating amazing things!

The art of hand lettering actually includes many different styles of writing, as well as embellishments and doodles. Basically, it's all about creating awesome-looking artistic designs that are focused on written words, no matter how you choose to do it. There is one particular writing style, though, that's become incredibly popular, and it's the main thing most people associate with hand lettering. It's called brush script, and it's basically cursive writing that has letters made with a mixture of thick and thin lines. The technique behind brush lettering is to use a special brush pen and control the thickness of the lines by the amount of pressure you put on the pen.

Later in the book, we'll learn and practice that technique a bit to give you a feel for how it works. Honestly, it's a little tricky to do, and it will take a lot of practice and repetition before you'll get the hang of it, so instead of starting with the authentic technique, we're going to begin our lettering lessons with the next best thing: faux calligraphy. Faux calligraphy looks very similar to brush script, but it's much easier to do! You'll be a pro at it in no time, and you'll be able to write anything and everything you want in a fabulous hand lettered style. Ready to get started?



Write your word in cursive.

You'll want to leave just a little bit more space in between the letters than you normally would. You can use any type of pen, marker or even a pencil to try this technique.


Find your downstrokes and draw a second line for each one.

What's a downstroke? Every time you write, your pen is either moving up, down or horizontally across the page. A downstroke is any time your pen moves down toward you on the paper. The trick to getting the look we want is to draw thick downstrokes and keep all the upstrokes and horizontal strokes thin. In the example below, you can see how I have a second line only where the pen was moving down on the paper as I wrote my word.


Color in the double line areas to give them the appearance of thick lines.

That's all there is to it! Now you have that pretty brush lettered look with a contrast between thick and thin lines in your letters. It's actually really easy to do, right? For most people, the hardest part is figuring out exactly where the downstrokes are in a specific word or letter. To help you as you're practicing, here is a sample alphabet for you to look at while you write. It's okay if you form some of your cursive letters differently than I do. You want to have your own unique style! This is just a reference to help you figure out which lines should be thick and which stay thin.

In the practice space on the next page, use these letters as a guide as you try writing some words like joy, love, your name and, of course, the words in this design.

When you're ready, create your masterpiece in the special bordered space on the next page. You might want to sketch your phrase in pencil first to get it centered and spaced where you want it to go before tracing over it with a marker. Drawing horizontal lines on the page with a ruler or other straightedge before you start will help you keep your letters lined up. Once your design is finished, you can cut the page out of this book, take a photo of it or scan it into a computer. Then you'll be able to print it out, frame it or share it online.



You Are Enough

Imagine you were granted one wish to change something about yourself. Most of us wouldn't have to think too hard to come up with what it would be. Magazines and movie stars can make us feel like we need to be thinner, prettier or more popular. Some of us might want to be funnier, more athletic or smarter. But guess what? You don't need to change a single thing. You're enough just the way you are. If you ask the people who matter most — your parents, your best friends and your mentors — they'll say the same thing. They don't love you for how you look or how fast you can run a mile. Those things don't make you valuable; it's the real you they care about. Next time you look in the mirror, instead of focusing on what you want to change, remind yourself that you are already enough.

Sometimes, a word or phrase written in Faux Calligraphy Script can stand alone and look fantastic. Other times, you might want to add a few extra decorations to take your artwork to the next level. One easy way to embellish your lettering is with some basic flourishes. They're simple to draw, but they make a big difference in how your project looks. We're going to take a look at a few different types and then you can use your favorites to accent your designs.

The specific design we'll be creating in this chapter is meant to help you remember that you are enough, just the way you are. In addition to creating it here in your book, you might also want to make a copy to hang on your mirror or in your locker as a daily reminder.


The easiest flourish to create is a simple swirl. If you can draw a spiral, you can create these embellishments. All you have to do is draw a spiral and then give it a tail that's as long or short as you like.

These swirls work well all by themselves, or you can draw them in pairs.

Here's how it looks when you put a spiral on both ends. This looks great as a border or as a way to underline an important word.

Another type of flourish I use a lot is really just a curving line with a little loop added on. You can make the loop go up or down, depending on what works best with your design.

Once again, these flourishes can stand alone, or you can pair them together and make your design symmetrical (the same on both sides).

In the space below, take some time to practice the swirls and looping flourishes. Play around with making them different lengths, colors and styles. I think you'll find that these are fun to use and really add a lot to your lettering.

When you're ready to create your design, pencil in the quote "you are enough" on the border page. Don't forget that you'll get a better result by first sketching the horizontal pencil lines so your words are straight and centered. Then sketch your favorite flourishes around the words. Once you're happy with your design, go back over it with markers to create your Faux Calligraphy Script, and erase any pencil lines you can still see.



WHY fit in WHEN YOU WERE born TO stand out?

One of the best things about human beings is that no two of us are exactly alike, not even identical twins. In a world of over 7.5 billion people, not one of them is just like you! Sometimes, though, we forget what a great thing that is. Instead of celebrating our individuality, we get focused on trying to fit in and be just like everyone else. Each of us has something special to offer. We all have different talents, personalities and interests for a reason. If everyone were the same, just think how boring the world would be. Instead of blending in with the crowd, let people see what makes you unique! As Dr. Seuss said, "Why fit in when you were born to stand out?" Take your special traits and let them shine for everyone to see!

We all know how to print. In fact, it's the first way we learn to write. But did you know that printing is actually really useful in hand lettered designs? As great as our Faux Calligraphy looks, it's not always meant to stand alone. When we want to letter a longer quote or phrase, it's better to mix things up and use a combination of print and script to make our design more interesting and help people focus on the most important words. Although you can certainly use your regular printing, it's fun to make the printed letters more artistic too. In this chapter we're going to learn the quick and easy Funky Print Font that pairs perfectly with the Faux Calligraphy you already know. Let's get started!


When we write, we use certain guidelines to show us where the different parts of our letters go. Sometimes, the guidelines are visible, like the lines on notebook paper; other times, we can't see any guidelines at all. Even if we aren't consciously thinking about them, they're in the back of our brains, left over from when we first learned to write, and they affect the way our letters come out on paper. Here's a look at where the guidelines are and what they tell us.

The baseline is the line our letters sit on. It's where the bottom of each letter begins and ends, unless the letter has a tail called a descender, like a lowercase g, j or p. Those tails go all the way down past the baseline to what's called the descender line. The cap height line shows us how tall our capital letters should be. The x-height shows how tall our lowercase letters should be, except for letters like t, d and b that go all the way up to the ascender line. X-height is where we draw those horizontal lines called crossbars that go across letters like t and f.

Normally, the x-height line is between the cap height and the baseline, a little higher than the center. As artists, though, we can play around with things like that to change the look of our letters. One easy way to make our normal printing look totally different and funky (in a good way!) is to place the crossbars in a different spot instead of at the xheight. In this chapter we're going to look at an alphabet that places them much lower, just above the baseline. To form these letters, all we do is print as we normally would, but we cross our letters close to the bottom, like this.

Also, we'll make the curved lines of letters like R and P touch their stem close to the baseline instead of higher up like we normally do.

Here's a look at the upper and lowercase alphabet written in this style, which we're going to call the Funky Print Font.

In the practice space below, take some time to write individual letters and words using this new style. Then use it along with your Faux Calligraphy Script and flourishes to letter the Dr. Seuss quote on the border page. You'll want to start by penciling in horizontal lines for your baselines and any other guidelines you'd like to use. Then pencil in your words and go back over them with markers to create your final design.



Donut Every Give Up

Before Thomas Edison invented a light bulb that worked, he made 1,000 that didn't! I'm sure there were plenty of times he felt like quitting. Wouldn't you? But thank goodness he didn't, or we might still be living in the dark. It's no fun to fail even one time, let alone 1,000, but if we give up, we'll never know what we could have done. There are plenty of successful people whose lives tell the same story. Walt Disney went bankrupt before he created the Walt Disney Company. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team before becoming one of the best NBA players ever. We all fail sometimes, but it's what we choose to do next that matters. If you want your dreams to become reality, don't ever give up. Your light bulb moment might be just one more try away.

No matter who you are or where you're from, we have something in common. We all have to eat! And I'm betting that we just might have some of the same favorite foods. As delicious as they are, our favorite foods aren't just for eating. We can also learn to doodle them so that they can make our hand lettered designs even more awesome. In this chapter we're going to look at one particular food item that I'm pretty sure you like as much as I do — donuts! You'll learn to sketch a basic donut, then you can change the "flavor" by the way you choose to color it.

In this chapter our lettering project is going to remind us that we can do anything we put our minds to if we "donut ever give up."



Draw a circle.

Don't worry if it's not perfectly round. Whenever something is created by hand, there will be little imperfections. It's all part of the hand-drawn look, so embrace it instead of getting frustrated.


Draw a smaller circle inside.

Think about how a real donut looks. Make sure your inner circle isn't too big, or there won't be enough to your donut — although I would like to eat a giant munchkin!


Draw a wavy line around the inside of the big circle.

This will be the edge of your icing.


Color in your donut and icing.

Here's where you get to be creative. A light tan or golden color is good for the donut itself and then you can choose your favorite frosting: chocolate, strawberry, vanilla or any other color of the rainbow.


Add sprinkles!

Use fine-tip pens or markers of many colors to draw short, colorful lines or dots that represent sprinkles. If you chose to use dark brown for chocolate icing, you may want to use gel pens because the ink in a gel pen sits on top of the paper and will show up better than regular pens or markers will.

Have a different favorite food? Here are some other easy illustrations and funny food puns you can have fun with and that your friends will love!

In the practice space below, it's time to get busy making some donuts. Try a variety of sizes and colors, and you can even try some without holes to represent the kinds that are filled with jelly or cream. Also, try your hand at drawing some of the other food examples or even experimenting with your own food designs!

When you're ready, go on over to the border page to sketch our "donut ever give up" quote in a mixture of Faux Calligraphy Script and Funky Print Font and accent it with whatever kinds of donuts you like best. There are lots of other donut quotes you can create too, like "donut worry, be happy" or "donut go breaking my heart," that are fun to draw on cards for your friends.



Work Hard & Be Kind

Every day, you make hundreds of decisions. Will you get out of bed or will you snooze? Will you do your homework or not? No matter how hard it might be, there are certain things that are always the right choice. It's always better to work hard rather than not to give your best effort. You'll never regret giving something your best shot. You'll also never regret choosing to be kind. It may be hard right now to be nice to the girl or boy everyone else makes fun of, but it says a lot about who you are. Being kind to everyone, no matter how different they are from you, is another thing you'll always be glad you did. These kinds of choices make you the person you are and will put you on the right path every time. What do you have to do today that deserves your very best effort? Who needs a smile and a kind word from you?

Now that you're an expert at writing in Faux Calligraphy Script and Funky Print Font, we can take those same basic skills and use them to create a Calligraphy Print alphabet too! The more styles of writing you can do, the more choices you have when you're designing a project, and that's always a good thing. Using two or three fonts to letter one quote makes it more interesting to look at and helps us emphasize the most important words. This Faux Calligraphy Print combines well with both of the other fonts you've learned and is definitely more interesting than normal, everyday printing.

Let's get to work learning our newest lettering style so we can create a visual reminder of the important choices to work hard and be kind. This would be a great phrase to display in your room or in your locker at school, where you will see it every day.


Just like our Faux Calligraphy Script, Faux Calligraphy Print is made up of both thick and thin lines. Once again, we're going to look for our downstrokes and make them thicker than our upstrokes and horizontal lines, but this time we're thickening just the first downstroke of each letter.


Print your word.

Make sure to leave a little bit of extra space in between each letter.


Draw a double line next to the first downstroke of each letter.

Remember that downstrokes are all the lines that you draw with your pen moving down toward yourself (see here for a refresher if you need it).


Excerpted from "Express yourself A Hand Lettering Workbook for Kids"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Amy Latta.
Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
How to Use This Book,
Supply List,
Mastering Faux Calligraphy Script You've Got This,
Embellishing with Fancy Flourishes You Are Enough,
Funky Print Font Born to Stand Out,
Drawing Donuts Donut Ever Give Up,
Faux Calligraphy Print Work Hard & Be Kind,
Watercolor without Paint Adventure Awaits,
Polka Dot–Filled Alphabet Making Mistakes,
Drawing Festive Banners It's Party Time,
Three Flower Doodles No Rain, No Flowers,
Floral Letters Happiness Blooms,
Animal Doodles The Road to My Heart Is Paved With Paw Prints,
Comic Book Print Miracle Muffins,
Comic Doodles Creativity Is Messy,
Descender Letter Flourishes Chase Your Dreams,
Ascender Flourishes & Crossing Your Ts Doing the Right Thing,
Basic Bounce Lettering Be the Change,
Basic Brush Technique Life Is What Happens,
Ampersands Keep Calm & Create,
Galaxy Effect To the Moon & Back,
Lettering Numbers Someday,
Let's Make It Five Easy Project Ideas,
About the Author,

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