How to Make Hand-lettered Thanksgiving Gift Boxes

If you’ve spent any time around this blog, you know that I’m hugely passionate about hand-lettering. For so long, it seemed like a dying art form and I’m so thankful it has been making a comeback.

Recently I received “The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering” and I was very excited to try out some of the tips and tricks that it offers. Even though this is not a sponsored post, I highly recommend this book as a fabulous resource if you want to learn this skill.

Complete Book of Chalk Lettering |

While I digging around in my craft supplies, I came across these burlap gift boxes that I had purchased on clearance at our local craft store. I decided they would be the perfect item to try out hand-lettering on. Because they are burlap and not chalkboard, I modified the techniques found in the book.

How to Make Hand-lettered Thanksgiving Gift Boxes

Burlap Gift Box |

Supplies to Make Hand-lettered Thanksgiving Gift Boxes

**This post contains affiliate links. Many of the supplies listed can be found at your local craft or fabric store, but the links have been provide for your convenience in recreating this project.**

How to Make Hand-lettered Thanksgiving Gift Boxes

With the rustic look of the boxes and wanting to create these for Thanksgiving, my focus was on the word “Thankful”. I selected a script font from the book and sketched it several times on paper. I highly recommend practicing a bit before actually starting your art. It helped me get comfortable with the strokes that would be involved and it gave me the confidence to take the next step onto the burlap box lid.

The gift box pack I purchased came with two boxes and I chose to start with the smaller one as my “sample”. I wasn’t sure how writing would be on the bumpy burlap and I wanted to test it out on the smaller box before moving on to the larger lid.

With the ultra fine sharpie I wrote out the word “Thankful” and then retraced it with the fine pen.

Then I played with embellishments. The book has numerous suggestions on adding laurels, flowers, banners etc.

This is the result of my first attempt.

Thankful Gift Box |

I was so glad I tried the technique out on the smaller box lid as there are things that I learned and wanted to adjust for the larger one. You can see that the “k” is a little squished and the spacing among the letters needs to be balanced better. However, overall, I’m happy with how it turned out.

With the larger lid, I had more space so I decided to change the messaging to “Very Thankful for You”. When creating chalk art it’s recommended to draw out guide lines (a baseline and a cap height line) to help get consistent letter height. The lines can be easily erased once your chalk lettering is established. However, with pen, since I wouldn’t be able to erase, I opted to tape my guide lines instead.

Hand-Lettering Guidelines |

These guides capture the base letters and the taller letters with flourishes going beyond the boundaries.

Guidelines for Hand-Lettering |

Again I sketched the word in with the ultra fine sharpie and retraced it with the fine pen. Once this was finished, I have to confess that I started to panic. I liked how the lettering was coming out and I didn’t want to mess it up with the next step.

Hand-Lettering Tutorial |

But after painting the Pixelgarden Sign, I knew that you just have to get over that fear. I took a deep breath and reminded myself, we’re not solving world problems here. If I messed it up, I’d move on. There was no reason to procrastinate.

Pushing ahead, I knew that I wanted san serif lettering for the “very, for, and you”, so that the “Thankful” would be the star of the piece. Again I taped off guidelines for these smaller words and then added the remaining lettering.

Sharpie Hand-Lettering |

With the lettering complete, it’s just a matter of playing with some decorative accents… flowers, swirls and random dots for fun. A little glue made it easy to add some black satin ribbon to finish off the edge of the gift box.

Thanksgiving Burlap Box | Storypiece.netThanksgiving Hostess Gift |

If you are attending a Thanksgiving party, I think these will make a sweet hostess gift when filled with a small treat or Christmas ornament.

Gift Box for Thanksgiving |

Have you tried hand-lettering? What do you think of this trend? Is it getting over done or are you as excited as I am to see a resurgence in this art form?


  1. Chloe Crabtree says:

    Sounds like a book I need to try! I love hand lettering, but I am not good at it, I only dream about being good at it! Your little boxes are so cute, I am sharing this over at Twitter and FB and G+!

    • Danielle says:

      It’s a fantastic book that I think you’d really like… especially if you love hand lettering. I’m so glad you like the project and thank you so much for sharing it. You are too kind!

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