Friday, April 22, 2016

Book Review: DIY Handlettering: 25 Handcrafted Projects by Melissa Averinos and Asharae Kroll

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge,from Adams Media, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

And now for a book that is perfect for ADULTS to use to make great items for your house, to give as gifts (especially for Your Mom) and maybe even to sell (to earn that money for a mini vacation!)

DIY Hand Lettering: 25 Handcrafted Projects cover


DIY Handlettering: From Monogrammed Pillows to Personalized Stationery--25 Handcrafted, Handlettered Projects You Can Make!

Add a touch of personality to any object with stunning projects like Etched Wineglasses, 
Customized Picture Frame, Statement Monogram Necklace, Personalized Journals, Woodburned Lovers' Plaque, Lettered Mugs. 

DIY Handlettering: 25 Handcrafted Project collage of projects

Complete with beautiful photographs and plenty of inspiration, DIY Handlettering adds the perfect finishing touch to just about everything.


I love, love, love this book!

If you've read this blog any time, you know we love all things crafty, and I've made handlettered crafts before. However, I recently looked at a sign and realized that it didn't matter how I was making it, I had a 'signature' way of lettering that seemed to come out, no matter font I was using! Yikes. Probably just too many years of crafting, and absorbing different fonts! LOL. So I was thrilled to see this book, as it would be a way to work on handlettered fonts, and maybe learn to adjust mine!

DIY Handlettering: 25 Handcrafted Projects font practice collage

As you can see from above, the beginning of the book introduces you to different fonts and then gives you practice pages. I found it better to copy the pages and then work off of them, as being flat they made it easier. Plus that way I can practice over and over, when ever I need to! The authors then present flourishes and other ways to bling up your lettering, before getting into the project section.  The 25 projects use most items you can find at your local chain hobby store, that you might have on hand, or that you can find at the big box stores. I give it a huge thumbs up for that alone. As you can see from the collage above the review title, the projects vary from simple to more involved, but none really require more than 2 days, and that is just to allow for drying time in between some steps. All of the projects are great for giving, for kids or adults, and once you read through the book, your crafty side of your brain will be raring to go off and CREATE!

I decided to replace a mermaid sign that Miss Grace had made for her bathroom, which was lost after the county fair (after it won 2nd Place), and not returned. But I wanted to use a larger canvas, and move it to a different wall, as I had a great mermaid stamp I wanted to use (as I no longer had the one I used originally). 

mermaid print lettering

So the first step was to practice the lettering and layout. Instead of using the included practice pages, I just grabbed a note pad and sketched out the basic plan, using the book as my guide. Then it was painting the canvas, using a variation of the custom painted frame technique in the book. I really liked how it turned out-it really mimics the movement of water, as you can see in the close up below.

mermaid print collage

Then it was off to color in the mermaid. I used shading markers for that to get more emphasis on her, especially for her hair and scales. Then I went back with glitter pain and drybrushed the hair and scales again, for more shine. Then it was time to glue her into the canvas. At that point I realized I didn't like the stones included on the stamp, and removed them. Then I started my lettering. I was really surprised at how uniform I was able to keep them to the book font, by doing that practice layout. Lesson learned!

 It still needed 'something' (besides the apostrophe in the first word. LOL-brain freeze. I left the room, just forgot to go back in and add it-so it's on this weekend's agenda). I went back with the same blue from the background and put dots on the letters in mermaid. Better, but it still needed something. So out came the modge podge and sand from our last vacation trip (seriously what I used came out of the CAR afterwards, LOL). By adding in a little sand bar for the mermaid to sit on, it rounded out the frame, much better, as you can see below.

finished mermaid print

Yes, the 'beach' bathroom is our folk room, with lots of crafted and handmade art.It makes the room interesting, brings back great memories and really livens up the small space! Due to the flash, the sandbar on the painting isn't as dark as it actually is. The only thing missing is a small seastar that I am going to glue in the mermaid's hands, as soon as I can remember WHERE I put it for safe keeping last Summer (crafters lament 101, right?), LOL.

This is a great book for beginners to advanced crafters, as it will give you some new inspiration , and that is always a good thing. It would be a great gift to give Mom too, with a gift card to her local hobby store. So head on over and check it out!

About the Authors

Melissa Averinos is the author of DIY Mason Jars and DIY Wine Corks as well as a designer, painter, good listener, and lover of strawberry rhubarb pie. She can usually be found getting messy in the studio in the back of her Cape Cod house. Visit her website at

Asharae Kroll, cofounder of Grain and Compass, is a handlettering artist who specializes in incorporating her artwork into bespoke presentations for her clients--from handlettered physical gifts to handlettered details in wedding videos. Visit her website at

1 comment:

  1. Love this! I always try to do hand lettering on my own and I'm never quite happy with how it turns out.


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