An Imperfectionist's Guide to Hand-Lettering | Anna K. Originals

An Imperfectionist’s Guide to Hand-lettering

I’ve been working on a very special Anna K. Originals project. It’s got me equal parts giddy & nervous.


I’m going to offer a hand-lettering class!!

An Imperfectionist's Guide to Hand-Lettering | Anna K. Originals

Coming to you this June!! *kermit flail*

What’s with the name?

Yeah, it’s a bit of a mouthful, but it so perfectly sums up what I so want to share with you all. I don’t want you to walk into this with those heavy feelings of needing to be perfect. Hand-lettering is a medium that embraces quirks and imperfections. This is probably why I delight in it the way I do. I want you to delight in lettering, too!

What will I learn in the class?

  • Lettering basics and terminology.
  • How to recognize and develop your own personal style of lettering.
  • Ways to use lettering in journaling (art, visual, planners) along with practical tips.
  • What supplies I use in my hand-lettering projects.
  • How to put together a hand-lettering travel kit.
  • Basic introduction to digitizing your hand-lettered creations in Photoshop.

**  As a bonus, there will also be a downloadable Hand-Lettering Supply Glossary. This will include descriptions and tips about my favorite supplies for hand-lettering projects, including what I use for art journaling. AND instructions for how to make an easy DIY lightbox.

How will I learn?

Once you’ve purchased your spot in An Imperfectionist’s Guide to Hand-Lettering, you will be given access to a  private online classroom where you will learn through instructional videos, written content, and lettering exercises.

How much will this class cost?




Alright, I’m interested! What do I do now?

Sign up for the Imperfectionist’s Guide to Hand-Lettering mailing list! When the class opens for registration in June, you will be among the first to know. Who knows? Maybe there will be a special discount included… ;)


Sign Up for the Mailing List Here!



I’m so excited to share in your creative journey as you learn about hand-lettering. I hope to see you there, Dear One!

Anna K.
Hand-Carved Stamp Tutorial | Anna K. Originals

AKO Tutorial: Hand-Carved Stamps

Y’all, I had the best time discovering how to hand-carve my own stamps this past weekend (as my giddy posts to Instagram can attest). Basically, I became this:

carve all the stamps funny | AKO

I know, right?! I was laughing at myself, believe me. Anyhoo, some folks asked me a few questions about supplies and such so I thought I’d do a quick tutorial. The delights of stamp carving must be shared!

Now, I know that there are many products one can use for this but I’m just going to share what I used because, well, these are what I used. Okay? Okay. :)

Stamp Carving Supplies | AKO Tutorial

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to carve! Well, sort of.


Grab a sheet of tracing paper and your carving block. Place the block on top of the paper (near the corner is best) and trace around the block. This is to make sure your design fits on your block. Once you’ve done that, use a pencil to draw your design.

I suggest beginning with simple shapes and lines if you’re a newbie to stamp-carving like I am. I attempted the word “hello” after I’d carved a few and felt more at ease with my tools.


Hand-Carved Stamp Tutorial | Anna K. Originals



Is your design ready? Great! Now flip it over so it’s face-down on your carving block, keeping it near the edge to minimize wasted block material. Take the blunt back-end of a pencil or paintbrush and rub it across the back of your design. Doing this will transfer it to the carving block.

This is an especially important step if you’re using any kind of lettering. We want it to stamp with the letters going the correct way, right?


Hand-Carved Stamp Tutorial | Anna K. Originals



Decide what part of the stamp you’d like to carve. For a positive image, carve around your design, leaving the outline (which is what I did with the stamp below). If I had wanted a negative version I would have cut out the letters (the penciled in part of the design).

Now it’s time to carve! No, really, I mean it this time. Get to carvin’!
Hand-Carved Stamp Tutorial | Anna K. Originals


A few stamp carving tips…

  • Be careful, Shug! You’re working with sharp tools, after all.
  • Use the X-Acto knife for any areas you feel the carving tool won’t be precise enough (small detail areas, perhaps) or to cut away large pieces of unneeded block.
  • Save any extra chunks of unused block. You may be able to create a small stamp out of it.
  • Use a soft, dry paintbrush to gently clear away any tiny bits of block out of your stamp.


Hand-Carved Stamp Tutorial | Anna K. Originals



Give your newly carved stamp a try! Note cards, art journals, planners, calendars, small children…the sky’s the limit!

Well, maybe not small children. You get the idea though! ;)

Note: Before I got down to some hard-core stamping of everything in sight, I did a trial run on the drip paper on my art table. If there was any unwanted stampage, I carved away a little more.

When I was finally satisfied I tried out a couple on a blank note card. The results just tickle me! Imperfect but lovingly (and joyfully) made. *happy sigh*


Hand-Carved Stamp Tutorial | Anna K. Originals


I’m looking forward to adding “uniquely me” touches to all sorts of creations with my hand-carved stamps. I can see myself using these on everything from my art to gift-wrap. There are so many possibilities to explore both in creating them and in using them.

I hope you’ll be able to create your own hand-carved stamps!


Anna K.

Becoming | Anna K. Originals #oneword365

Becoming | One Word 365

The Hubs just ran out for Chinese food. When he walks back in the door, fragrant paper bag in hand, he and I will sit and continue our marathon of documentary shows while munching on lo mein. Our oldest is playing a train simulator game on the computer next to where I’m sitting, and our youngest is hanging over my arm asking what the icons on my computer mean. Meanwhile our dogs, who I’ve affectionately termed Thing 1 and Thing 2,  are sprawled out on the floor of our bedroom like snoring throw rugs.

Yep. That’s my New Year’s Eve.

And I love it. I love them.

2014 was…well, it was rough.

It was the hardest season I’ve walked through since Mom passed.

So this? This laid back family moment after a year of functioning in survival mode? Yeah, we need this. I need this.

And yet, for all of the roughness of 2014, it was a year for growth, learning, self-evaluation and self-knowledge, and re-learning what it means to trust.

Trust was my word for 2014. It turned out to be exactly what I needed even if it wasn’t what I wanted.

This year’s word came out of nowhere when I wasn’t even looking for one, gifted to me by a dear one who didn’t even know she had done so.


The first images that bloom in my mind when I hear the word “becoming” are those of a flower opening petal by petal to bask in a verdant field or of a butterfly flying away on newly unfurled wings to explore a world beyond that of its cocoon.

Until I realize “becoming” isn’t really about the pretty, photo-ready finish. It’s about the awkward, messy middle.

Even more, it’s about being okay with the awkward and messy. Too often, I’m not okay with that in my own life. I’d much rather take a leap of faith, an oft romanticized feat of height which is, yes, sometimes very necessary to work towards goals and dreams. They look great on all those cute Pinterest-worthy motivational posters, don’t they?

A great deal of those leaps have ended in heaps, honestly, and usually far short of my desired destination. Or what I thought was supposed to be my destination.

But God uses leaps and He uses heaps. Good thing, right? ;)

I want to take last year’s lessons of trust with me into 2015…

into my year of becoming.

Do you have a theme|focus|word for 2015? Feel free to share it with me in the comments below. :)


Anna K.