I was playing around with the Cricut write function the other day and found a way to do Cricut lettering with a pen and drawing function.
That’s right! Fake hand lettering!
I love all the hand-lettered artwork I see all over Pinterest and Etsy but I just haven’t put enough hours into it to do it well myself.
The reality is, I actually just don’t write anymore so my handwriting has just gone off the deep end.
I wrote a thank-you note the other day and it was like 20 sentences long and my hand was tired afterward. Yeah, I know, pathetic.
There’s no way I’d have the endurance to put in the hundreds of hours it takes to do hand lettering.
My problem is really in the consistency of the letters and lifting the pen after a heavy downstroke.
But look at what happened when I decided to take a little shortcut with my Cricut pen:
Not bad right?!
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Cricut Calligraphy Pen and other Materials for Cricut Lettering
- Black Pens – I used the o.4 Tip Black Fine point pen for the calligraphy in the photos. I found this is the best option if you’re going with black. I love this set of all black pens from Cricut though because it gives you a lot of variations on black depending on your font style and size.
- Metallic Markers – I used the Medium Tip 1.0 Silver ones in the photos with the black envelope. This Martha Stewart set of metallic markers is my all-time favorite and I use it a ton. You can use it with the Cricut and as the tracing marker afterward.
Brush Pen – If you are using a medium-size tip pen or larger, you will not need an additional brush pen to make the highlights. However, if you are using a smaller font size or a fine point pen to draw, I love the Tombow brush pens to do the additional highlighting.
How to do calligraphy on Cricut Cutting Machines
There isn’t much to it actually.
If you are unfamiliar with writing then cut using the Cricut, check out my tutorial on how to write and cut this with gift tags.
A subset of the fonts within Cricut Design Space have a “write” version of the font. You can filter for these Writing fonts in the upper right hand corner of the fonts drop down menu.
When you switch the Linetype to “draw”, the Cricut will automatically use the pen tool instead of the blade for any graphic. The Linetype is automatically set of “draw” for all writing fonts.
After writing your text and setting it to “writing”, be sure to set the Letter Space to 0 for cursive fonts so all the letters connect.
To install the pen, simply take the cap off and snap it in to the holder. Don’t forget to secure the closing tab. I can’t seem to remember that last part more often than not.
People love to talk about hacks to use with Sharpies and adapters. The thing is, the Cricut branded pens are not that much more expensive compared to Sharpies so I just don’t bother. If you really want to save on Cricut supplies, check out my other generic brand recommendations that have more impact on material cost savings.
How to use calligraphy pen on cricut
The problem is a lot of graphics are not designed for the pen. What I mean by this is you can see the start and endpoints of a pen line whereas you can’t with a blade cut.
I found this frustrating in the past with all the cursive writing fonts because it looks weird when the pen picks up between connected letters.
You can’t “weld” writing letters together. You can only weld shapes together.
So not only does faux hand lettering look great, it really opens up a ton of options with the Cricut pen. Because you are doing another highlighting layer, it covers up the joints where the pen lifts and starts another segment.
The font I used is Babette which is free and available in Cricut Design Space. I like it the most for that bouncy hand-lettered look.
After having the Cricut write and cut the cardstock, I just trace over the downward strokes with either the same Cricut pen or the brush pen in the same color.
Sometimes, I have to color over the start and end of the downward stroke but that is relatively straightforward.
By highlighting the downward stroke, I can cover up some of the connections.
Be sure to use a matching color, otherwise, you will be able to see the underlying pen marks.
Who doesn’t love a perfectly executed bouncy font!
This actually works great with non-cursive fonts as well.
Free Cricut Calligraphy Templates – If you are interested in adding an additional single line flourish like the heart one on this envelope, I have an entire set also for free available in my resource library. This set of table seating card templates are also included in my free resource library.
Best font for Cricut calligraphy pen
I mentioned Babettes earlier and it is my go to for a bouncy cursive base writing font that looks like I am a master at hand lettering. Here are a few of my other favorite writing fonts:
Check out my tutorial on how to use the Cricut pen adapter hack to do watercolor painting.