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Illustrating Birthday Invitations

Friday, September 18, 2015


hand lettered and illustrated kids halloween birthday party invitation by Brittany Sherman Va Voom Vintage

Usually, our kids birthday parties are pretty low key. We typically do something fun, just the 4 of us or have cake and ice cream with the family. This year, though, Olivia is in school and she is so excited to invite friends from class so we're having a party at home with a Halloween theme.

I like to go the DIY route for just about everything in life and party supplies are no exception. I remember my artist mom illustrating invitations for our birthday parties so I thought I'd do the same.


Months ago, I took a few classes on Skillshare, one of them being a wonderful hand lettering class from Mary Kate McDevitt called Vintage Hand Lettering: Styling Phrases for Timeless Appeal. Hand lettering is her day job and her passion and she really put together a fantastic class. I learned some lettering basics, layout ideas, how to come up with a design idea and techniques. I hadn't ever put her teachings to practical use until now. For my first attempt, I'm pretty tickled with it.


First sketch and rough draft
The first sketch was just a doodle on printer paper, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. In the rough draft, I had a pretty good idea but had to make some changes. I used my light box to transfer the draft on to my bristol paper for the final design. At this point, I moved some of the lettering over a smidge too, to get it all centered.



I used Halloween pencils- left over from Olivia's party goody bags, a medium point Sharpie pen and watercolor paint on Bristol paper. I always use smooth surface Bristol paper so it scans without those pesky watercolor paper dimples. The Sharpie pen is waterproof so it doesn't bleed or smudge when you paint over it.

Olivia wanted to doodle some ghosts too! Most of them say "Ooooooo" but the Grannie ghost says "xoxoxoxoooo"


Most of the lettering was just my own doodles but I wasn't sure what kind of letters to use for the "Come if you dare" part. I poked around on a few font websites, typing in "come if you dare" until I found something I really liked. From there, I free-handed the letters. Some of it is wobbly or uneven but I like that hand drawn, not perfect look.

hand lettered and illustrated kids halloween birthday party invitation by Brittany Sherman Va Voom Vintage


I love the way her invitations turned out and she was so surprised when she got off the bus that day! I never would have found anything so unique and fun at the store.


4 Responses to “Illustrating Birthday Invitations”

  1. They turned out wonderful! I love hand lettering. So special.

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  2. Sooo splendidly cute! Happy early birthday wishes to Olivia!

    ♥ Jessica

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  3. Really charming, dear. Great job, do share more from her birthday. :)

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  4. Great invite, love the lettering!

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