Make an Easy DIY Father’s Day Card in 6 Steps With Illustrative Hand Lettering

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Learn how to combine hand lettering and illustration to make a super unique DIY Father’s Day card. This post also includes a FREE printable card that you can print out for your kid’s to color and write their own message inside.

One of my favorite ways to hand letter is through illustrative lettering. It’s the perfect way for me to combine two things I love- lettering and drawing. I will show you how you can use illustrative lettering to make your dad a Father’s Day card that is personalized to him and hand made. Parents always love handmade cards and gifts no matter how old you are.


  1. Pencil and Eraser– I always sketch with an HB drawing pencil. My favorite is my Stabilo Pencil 160 which already has an eraser on it.
  2. Drawing Pens– I love Micron pens and this set comes with three different sizes so it’s a great starter set.
  3. CardstockSuperfine white cardstock is my favorite! It’s VERY smooth so it can be used with your drawing pens and your brush pens so buying a whole pack will come in handy.
  4. Crayons, Colored Pencils or Markers– I use my Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers a lot for adding color because I like how the color becomes darker with more layers adding depth. You can also use the Crayola markers you have already.

Step 1: Choose a theme.

Write down three hobbies or topics your dad loves. One of these will be your theme. For each theme idea, list at least 6 items you could draw that are related to this theme. There may be way more but you definitely want to make sure you have enough illustration ideas to make up with 3 letters in DAD. Once you have done this, decide which theme makes the most sense to use based on both the number of illustration ideas and your ability to draw those items. The illustrations should be simple line drawings so don’t stress if you’re drawing skills aren’t the best.

Step 2: Cut and fold your cardstock.

Cut and fold your cardstock to the size card that you want to create. Even though you won’t be writing on this paper yet, it’s important to know the orientation and size of the final piece while you sketch ideas. For my example and printable I used an entire 8.5×11″ sheet of paper so it can easily be printed.

Step 3: Sketch out your letters on scrap paper.

On a scrap piece of paper use your pencil to sketch out the shape of your card (mine is a rectangle) and sketch your letters in block lettering inside the shape. Keep letters roughly the same size but this sketch is just for design ideas and you can do as many as you need to get the right combination of illustrations.

Step 4: Add simple illustrations.

On top of your sketched block letters add illustrations. Reference your list of illustration ideas and choose the items whose shapes best match the letters. You can use multiple items to create one letter if you want. Remember this is just the sketch so it does not need to be perfect. Illustrations should just outline the shape of the item being drawn and don’t need to be super detailed. Do multiple sketches using Step 3 and Step 4 until you find a design you love.

Step 5: Draw your final design on the cardstock.

Now that you’ve picked your final design, lightly sketch guidelines onto your folded cardstock to make sure your illustrative letters stay the same size. Sketch your final design onto the card in pencil and then use your drawing pens to ink over the pencil. Once the ink dries, carefully erase any visible pencil marks and your guidelines.

Step 6: Add color.

Finally, add some color to those lovely illustrations! Once you’ve done that, all that’s left to do is write your dad a note on the inside and be proud of the personalized card you made for him. He’s sure to love it!

What to do if you don’t have time for a DIY Father’s Day card

If you love this idea but just don’t have the time to make it before Father’s Day, please use my free printable Father’s Day card design. All you need to do is print it on thick 8.5″ x 11″ paper, like cardstock, color it, and write a message on the inside. This is a perfect activity for kids so they can create a Father’s Day card with their own coloring on it.

Leave me a comment here to tell me what you made or tag me in your stories on Instagram with a picture your own illustrative lettering card or with the printable all colored in!

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