How to Art Journal When You Don’t Have Pretty Handwriting

Hi friends! Happy Monday! Today I wanted to talk about a barrier to art journaling many people face, including me: You don’t want to write on the page because your handwriting isn’t pretty! Maybe it’s too small, too large and bubbly to control, you simply can’t write in cursive, or your printing looks like a chicken walked across the page.

art journal techniques

This text barrier is a big deal in art journaling, as adding that bit of text can really complete a page.  The fear of ruining your art journal page by writing on it can be a real road block to your creativity. So here’s a list of ideas to get words into your art journal without worrying about ruining it! (And without studying how to improve your own handwriting – these are quick fixes!)

Practice on a scrap piece of paper first – You don’t have to dive right into your journal page, practice how you want to write on a spare piece of paper.  Take your time and figure out what’s working an not working, and you’ll be able to focus on adding text without the nervousness of messing up your art.

Use magazine letters – Cutting letters from random fonts out of magazines can give a really unique and whimsical look to your journal. Just cut them out and arrange them to say what you want.

Use scrapbook paper – This is the same idea as the magazine letters, but scrapbook papers tend to have entire words or phrases written on them, and in a pretty font too! Plus they’re already in the journaling/reflective genre, so you can find things you want to write like “You are my Sunshine,” or “happy”, or “true love”. You can add in some collage from the pieces of paper as well to really ground your letters and make them look like they fit right into your page.

Use stencils – There are a tons of letter stencils in the crafting world, in different scripts and styles.  Buy a set you like and then simply trace or paint over the letters you need to spell out your message.

Use letter/word stickers – You can find word stickers and letter stickers at craft stores, and simply stick them onto your page! The downside to this of course is that you’d have to continue buying them, but it’s a quick, easy, and pretty solution to not writing on the pages yourself.

Use fonts from your computer – This is a technique I do quite often for a styled handwritten element.  Type what you want to write in a text program on your computer using a pretty font, print it out, then trace over it onto your art journal page! There’s a ton of beautiful fonts you can use in your art journal, and many of them are free. Check out Creative Market every Monday because they offer different graphic elements for free every week, and there’s usually at least one free font in there. Over time you can build up your own little collection of beautiful fonts.

So there’s a few ideas that will hopefully give you some options when it comes to alternatives to writing by hand.  Of course you can always work on your handwriting and practice Calligraphy, but that is an art form all in itself, so these other methods are great simple solutions that can work now.

Leave a comment with how you add text to your art journal pages, and till next time, keep creating!

-Ashley <3


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