Brush Script: My Attempt

If you came to brush up on the latest there is to know about the art of creating a brush script, you're probably in the wrong spot. Scratch that—you are in the wrong spot. But if you came to see a novice test her hand at this art of creating a script font using liquid color, I'm happy to welcome you aboard!

Over on the Scrapbook & Cards Today blog, I share a great deal about the up-and-coming trend of brush script. I invite you to take a look for more about products available, trend experts and artists, and even classes being offered on creating this cool look.

Painting at Grandma's house. Circa... 1988 (ish).

Here, I'm simply going to explore a few self-taught approaches to creating my script using a paintbrush and two different forms of ink: spray and dye. I've always LOVED playing with paint and paper, so this was a fun world to explore.

Spray Ink Painting
Let's start with spray. These are the tools I used:

Mister Huey's spray ink by Studio Calico; shipping tag from Office Depot; paper towel c/o Mr. Brawny; Tulip paintbrush by iLovetoCreate

First things first—the ink. I simply unscrewed a bottle of my Mister Huey's spray ink and dipped my brush right in. No muss. No fuss.

I practiced on basic shipping tags, though any paper surface should do. Ideally, I imagine watercolor paper would be the way to go, but I'm not certain about this. And I didn't have any on hand, so the shipping tags would have to do.

As you can see, it takes some practice to get the hang it. Good thing I have a massive box of shipping tags, eh?

I thought it would be fun to turn the tags into thank-you tags to go with the handmade goods I occasionally sell, so I set to writing many "thanks!"

To create the splatter effect, I simply held the nozzle of my Mr. Huey's bottle above the tag and tapped on in . I did this after I wrote "thanks."

I liked practicing the same word over and over for a few reasons:

1. I could compare and contrast outcomes as I painted at different angles/different amounts of pressure/different quantities of ink/etc.

2. I could see how the effect would change with different ink colors.

3. Like snowflakes, no two pieces of brush script art are going to be identical. It's fun to see how they each get their own splash of personality.

This hobby is so fun, I even managed to convince Cory to try it with me. He's a good sport!

I love how everybody's handwriting is going to make their brush script unique!

Yes, it was a regular family affair.

Eventually, I spread my wings and tried other surfaces, such as little gift bags.

Now, all I needed was a little clothespin (Crate Paper) to make a Valentine's Day package for Miss Maggie D.

From bags, I decided to get real carried away and go multi-color with my strokes. Whaaaaat?!? Yes, it's true!

To do this, I would suggest starting with the lightest shade and progressing to the darkest to avoid ink cross contamination.

A few things I picked up along the way:

1. Drag the brush at the beginning and end of words to enhance the look (like the U on my bag above). It looks more hand-painted this way or something (vs. making a clean cut at a word's end).

2. If you're using a flat brush, as I was (probably not the ideal choice), hold it on its side for a finer font.

3. Be careful where you start and stop. The start/stop marks will show. I did my best to complete an entire word before lifting my brush, and then I'd simply go back over areas as needed. NOTE: Don't over go-over. You can quickly add too much color by going back over. I messed up many a tag this way.

Know Before You Go
As I've said, I'm far from a trained expert on the matter. If you're seeking more formal training (and who could blame you?), I suggest you check out Studio Calico's new Life Scripted online class, happening now. It looks like lots of fun, and students have had great things to say about it.

Image credit: Studio Calico
Ink Pad Painting
Back in the day, I worked for Stampin' Up!, where I learned this cool tidbit—If you squeeze your stamp pad when it's closed, a pool of ink will form in the lid.

Okay, maybe "puddle" is the more accurate word, but it's enough ink that you can dip your paint brush and use it to try a round of scripted painting.

So I dipped a toe... errr, brush, and tested the dye-ink waters.

How does this compare to spray ink? Let's pro and con!

Pro: It's easier to control because your brush is dryer.
Con: It has a less artistic look to it (in my opinion).
Pro: It's more even coverage (if that's the look you seek).
Con: It's harder to see.

Hmmm... I suppose there's a time and a place for both approaches.

I then decided to add little hearts to my envelope. Here's how this is done. First, hold your brush at an angle, slanting it on the diagonal, and rub it back in forth on the paper.

Repeat. This time, going at the opposite diagonal, to complete the heart.

You don't have to reapply ink to the brush between each heart. If you don't, some will have less saturation and others more, giving the project more depth.

Will, that's all she wrote. While this is far from the Brush Script-ures, I hope my trial and error process has offered you some insight as you approach your own projects. And I'd love to know which approach— spray ink or ink pad — you like better.

Thanks for stopping by!


Build a birthday card from border strips. I created this colorful design by punching several pieces of patterned paper with an EK Success scalloped border. I then staggered the scallops on the front of my card base, layering from the top, down.

My favorite part of this card is the flap that the card front slips into. To create it, I punched a scalloped border in the bottom of my card base. I then folded the edge over and stitched it into place. Now the front of the card tucks neatly inside to hold the card closed.

Following the same rainbow color scheme (and order), I made the letters in my sentiment stand out with colorful bits of bling. This card came together quickly. It’s a good one to try the next time you need a bright design that you can make from scraps in minutes.

Wishing You a Bright Birthday. Supplies: Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper; Patterned paper: Bella Blvd and Jillibean Soup; Letter stickers: EK Success and Making Memories; Border punch: EK Success; Bling: Doodlebug; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L. 


Cuckcoo for Cone Crafts

Here’s an elegant fall craft to try, whether you’re decorating for Thanksgiving or just want to warm up your home as the weather outside cools. It’s a Happy Fall banner made from rolled paper cones. Call me a conehead, but I just can’t get enough of the paper cones. And this is yet another idea for creating with them. 

Step 1: Cut 6” x 6” cones from paper (I used vintage music paper), one square for each cone in your banner.

Step 2: Roll your paper through a paper crimper for added texture. (Note: This step is optional.)

Step 3: Cut two of the four edges of the square with decorative scissors. (This creates the decorative edge around the top of the cone.) 

Step 4: Fold corners of paper in to form cone shape, making sure the cut edges are at the top (the cone opening), and glue or staple cone into place.

Step 5: Punch holes in both sides of the cone. You will eventually string your cones onto your banner using these holes, so you’ll want a larger enough hole punch to fit your ribbon choice through. 

Step 6: Color cone with spray ink (optional). 

Step 7: Create accordion flowers from scraps of paper. Attach letters to centers of flowers to spell your banner’s greeting. (I spelled out “happy fall,” but you could also do words like “thankful,” “home,” “family,” or “love” if you want your banner to be less seasonal.) Adhere accordion flowers to cones.

Step 8: String cones to form banner. Note: I strung mine with tulle. This works well, because it holds the cones in place, where they might slide around on a thinner or smoother trim. 
Happy fall! 

Folded-Paper Wreath DIY

I’m loving these rolled paper wreaths right now. So when my pal P.K. asked me to come up with a card-group craft this month, I knew this was just the ticket. We had so much fun making them that I thought I’d share the steps here so you can make your own. Here's how!

Step 1: Cut 26 6x6 squares and 20 3x3 squares from book paper. I used an old dictionary, but any book or sheet music will do (or you can use patterned paper for a completely different look).

Note: You may not need this many sheets. It depends a great deal on high tightly you roll you cones (step 2).

Step 2: Roll your cut squares into cones (with your paper positioned like a diamond, bring the sides in and form a point at the tip). Use a strong liquid glue (or a hot glue gun) to hold each cone in place. I used Fabri-Tac by Beacon.

Step 3: Add glue along the sides of the cones to glue them together, forming a larger circle wreath with the 6x6 cones and a smaller circle wreath with the 3x3 cones.

Step 4: Once glue is dry, color the wreaths with a little spray ink for a splash of color. I used Glimmer Mist by Tattered Angels.

Note: For the larger back wreath, you may want to spray it in sections before adhering the entire thing together, depending on how large your box is that's catching the spray.

Step 5: Color doily with spray ink. Once dry, adhere crepe paper to the back of the doily, pleating it for a more textured look.

Step 6: Adhere cone wreaths to cardboard-circle back for stability.

Step 7: Layer wreath components with glue, and your spooky sentiment, and hang your wreath for a splash of frightful fun. (Note: I glued a strip of tulle to the cardboard for a hanger.)

These wreaths are extremely affordable and can be done in an hour or two. To make it even faster, skip the back wreath and go with the smaller wreath only. And try switching out the colors, the paper, or the center piece for different holidays and seasons.


World Card Making Day and Prizes

It's time to "create & celebrate." World Card Making Day 2010 is here! Today marks its fifth anniversary. I remember when I worked for Paper Crafts magazine when this holiday was born (an idea put together by our creative team.) We did everything we could to introduce the day to the world in a big and beautiful way. We wanted it to be about the art of card making (and getting a jumpstart on the holiday card-making season) and connecting through creativity, which is exactly what it is. The creative world embraced the idea and it has grown into something bigger and better than we could have hoped for. Here are just a few places you can go to celebrate today (and win free stuff)!

  • Paper Crafts Connection blog: They're giving away a prize package worth over $600!
  • My creative friend Alicia Thelin's blog
  • SRM Stickers blog
  • The Studio Calico message board

Since this day holds a special place in my heart, I want to celebrate it in a big way. For starters, I’m sharing this Celebrate card. Like my projects in previous posts, this one was created with a cupcake liner that I cut down and adhered to a doily. The center of the fair ribbon is a second liner, which has been spirally wrapped to create a flower. (Thanks, Cindy Tobey, for the idea!) The next time I make a card like this, I'm going to adhere the fair ribbon to a pin so it can be removed and worn by the person doing the celebrating!

Speaking of celebrating, I'm going to my monthly card group tonight, where we’ll honor this hobby we love by exchanging handmade greetings. We each bring a dozen of the same greeting, and we swap them, leaving with 12 unique cards. Fun! I’ll be sure to post all of the cards from this event on here soon.


And what would a party be without a giveaway? I want to celebrate with you by awarding three lucky winners with a big box of paper crafting goodies. To enter into my random drawing, simply leave a comment on this post, stating what it is you love about creating or receiving handmade cards. From the comments received between now and next Saturday, Oct. 9, I’ll select my winners.

Happy World Card Making Day!

Fun with Felt: A Mini Album

When was the last time you felt like doing something a little different with your crafting? For me, it was back in July when Studio 5 asked me to create a mini album from felt. They saw the idea on scrapbooker Elizabeth Kartchner’s blog and fell in love with it, as did I, so I naturally jumped at the chance to play with this forgiving crafting medium. Since today is Grandparents Day, I thought I’d share the outcome of my felt adventures today.

I went with a generational theme, including photos of my great-grandma (Don’t you just love her attire?

My grandma...

My mama...


And a blank space, where I hope to eventually include pictures of my own little girl.

Plus a few shots of us together, again with a few blank pages that I hope to fill in as the generations continue to grow.

I originally created this book as a gift for my mom, but I fell in love with it and decided I want to be selfish and keep it just for me, so I’m in the process of making a second one for Schmom. It really is that easy to make. I don’t even mind making a duplicate. Hooray for felt!

Have you ever played with this textured medium? If so, I’d love to hear about what you created. If not, I hope you’ll give it a try. This Grandparents Day seems like as good a time as any. :)

Speaking of Grandparents Day, there’s a beautiful assortment of grandparent-themed scrapbook pages on the Creating Keepsakes blog today, including a generational one by me, which was inspired by this very book. I hope you have a minute to check them out.

A very happy day to all of the loving grandparents of the world! If you’re anything like my amazing grandparents were, you make the world a wonderfully imaginative, fun, and caring place. Thank you!

For more on how this little book is made, you can watch this television segment I did, which includes helpful felt pointers, shopping tips, and more! (And you can see more of my Studio 5 segments on the Creating Keepsakes website.)