The Best Pens, Paper, and Supplies for Hand Lettering



But before we get to my ultimate supplies list (below), let me tell you a quick story:

Many times when I post a piece on Instagram, many people ask me – “what pen are you using?” (my husband thinks it’s hilarious to join in and ask me what pen I’m using too!). Do NOT feel bad if this was you because I did the same thing when I was first starting!

My problem was that when the pens arrived, they didn’t magically make my lettering look like beautiful modern calligraphy. Can we say major bummer???

For so long I kept thinking it must be that pesky pen’s fault because I wanted to put that pen to paper and create a masterpiece with my eyes closed. Holy smokes, this was NOT what happened. I got soooo frustrated and wanted to throw all those pens in the trash can (I’m so serious!). Instead they just got thrown to the back of the drawer for awhile.

There are so many different utensils that you can use in lettering – pencils, markers, chalk, calligraphy pens, brush pens, watercolor brushes – the list goes on and on… The important thing is just to get your feet wet and DO IT! When you start, it won’t look perfect and you may take some time to find the supplies you love. You don’t need to spend a million dollars on supplies.

In fact, learning proper technique is so much more useful that fancy tools (in my humble opinion!).


The most important tools you need….

As I explain in this post, the most important is actually an ERASER! (Don’t roll your eyes! It really can help you create magic!)

I love the pentel white eraser – they don’t leave any pink smudging on your paper like pink erasers do & are soft and gentle on your paper too. They’re the best!

Tombow Sand Eraser and it really will erase pen! It is not meant for erasing a whole letter or word. This is for minor things. You get a smudge of ink on an envelope and don’t want to re-write the whole thing – you can gently use the sand eraser and it will sand off a tiny bit of that envelope to “erase” the smudge. This can truly be a lifesaver!

And of course, you’ll need a pencil (I use any pencil but I do love Yoobi pre-sharpened pencils) and a white eraser. I generally use this one or this one.

The pens I recommend for beginners:

Faber-Castell Duo-tip Markers – the perfect tip for making both wide full lines as well as thin strokes, and super affordable for getting started

Copic Multiliner Brush Medium Pen– Beautifully used as a regular marker or with pressure applied can work like a brush pen. It’s nice and firm for someone just starting out!

Tombow Dual Brush Pens – If you are going to try out brush pens, these are fun ones to try but do not get discouraged if they don’t magically work right away!

Faber Castell Primary Colors PITT Artist Brush Pen – I love these medium-sized brush pens! They create beautiful brush lettering with their flexible brush nibs which work like a paint brush to create thick and thin lines. And the colors can be layered on paper, canvas, books and journals!

If you want a set of all my faves for getting started in one place, I’ve created a starter kit right here!


…And If You Have Been Lettering For A While:

If you need some new inspiration, try out a medium that you haven’t tried before! I suggest:

the Aquash Water Brush

 the Copic Gasenfude pen or Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush pens which both require more control.

Great Paper supplies:

To get started, you’re going to want a great notebook to capture inspiration and sketches on the go. These are my favorite!

I truly love the having a Dot Pad. It’s super smooth and I love having the guidelines of the dots that help as I am writing but aren’t too intrusive.

You can easily use Super Smooth Blank Paper. Spend a couple of extra dollars on this paper that won’t ruin your pens.

Tracing paper – This is the smoothest paper and will treat your pens right! It’s also awesome to be able to trace designs you have done on other paper.


So, are you ready to start hand lettering?? Keep learning along with me by downloading my free faux calligraphy worksheet & video, or keep reading for more hand lettering tips:

Happy lettering!

Xo 💙 Lisa


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