National Handwriting Day + Tutorial

Today is a *very* special day for every letterer out there – it’s National Handwriting Day, yay!  I always look forward to looking at all the hashtags, whether on twitter or instagram.  People have some serious skills… seriously.  Join the fun and look up some of the more popular tags, such as: #handwritingday and #nhd (though this one seems to be used for other tags as well).

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Given all of this handwriting talk, I thought it might be fun to do a tutorial featuring handwriting from yours truly.

See below for the final piece, including all the instructions! (Don’t mind that I didn’t have time or care to iron the canvas bag)

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Yes, a TOTE.  A beautifully handwritten painted tote, that is.  This is perfect for those who grocery shop, go to the post office on a daily basis (ie: me), or just love carrying around a tote (whether for yourself or as a gift).  I’ve included all the files you need for this project.

First, the materials:

  • Canvas tote (you can get these anywhere – including Michael’s for only $2 piece)
  • Clear sticker sheet (any kind of transparency sheet will work so long as it’s adhesive)
  • Contact paper
  • Paint sponge (these were $.07 cents at Michael’s)
  • Wood stick (for contact paper)
  • Hook tool
  • Paint – any color
  • Love.studio file or .svgz file (use this anyway you need to – whether in Silhouette or if you are planning to hand cut, print and cut as needed).  File is downloadable here: LoveTote-GoldTinsel

First, I want to note that I will be using a Silhouette Cameo for this project.  This is ABSOLUTELY NOT necessary for you to get the same effect – I just happen to have all the materials laying around and it’s easier than using an exacto knife or scissors.

Open the love.studio file in your Silhouette program.  You’ll notice that in my particular file, I outlined the entire text.  Adjust as you need – my file the artwork is at 8.5″ width.  Go larger or smaller depending on how you want the tote to look.  Go ahead and cut from here (I didn’t use a mat, just loaded my media directly but you can do it either way).  My cut settings are as follows:

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Once you have your art cut, remove the positive (NOT THE NEGATIVE!).  If you’re not sure what this means, it means peel away the actual letters and leave everything else.  From there, you’ll want to place your contact paper over your stencil and then peel both away from the stencil backing.

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Once you have your stencil on your contact paper, you’ll want to lay this directly onto your canvas tote.  From there, you’ll peel away the contact paper (so all that’s left is your stencil).  *BE SURE NOT TO LOSE THE LETTER REMAINS*.  Also, once you start adding paint to the stencil, don’t forget to insert some paper into your canvas tote.  The last thing you want is for paint to seep through to the backside :)

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After the paint has dried, simply remove your stencil and you’ve got yourself a handwritten ‘love’ in-scripted tote.  Simple and beautiful!  And don’t you love it hanging next to my Rifle Paper Co. calendar??

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Please note the handwritten file is for personal use only.  All rights are reserved.

Happy Thursday! <3

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