step by step ribbon handlettering

Step-by-Step Ribbon Handlettering (with a free worksheet!)

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to do some really cool ribbon lettering, step-by-step.

Ribbon lettering is so cool, right?! Even better, it’s so easy to do. Be sure to download my free worksheet below and follow along!

First Things First…

The links below may be affiliate links where appropriate. This means that your purchase through these links may result in a few cents in payment to me, to support creating further resources like this one! That being said, I will never suggest supplies that I do not personally use and fully recommend.

Tools Mentioned

Prefer watching over reading? Feel free to skip right to the video and see these in real-time! ??

If you’ve never learned calligraphy before, this will be challenging. I have a ton of videos about how to actually DO calligraphy, and I’m skipping right into this tutorial as if you’ve done calligraphy before. If you haven’t, start here.

If you DO know calligraphy, let’s do this! We’re going start with just one letter, then move into a full word.

Step 1: Draw your normal calligraphy letter

Keep your upstrokes slightly thicker than you usually would.

Step 2: Outline your letter with your mono-line pen

 This part is optional, but helpful if you’ve never done this before. 

Step 3: Draw in the folds

Imagine you have a piece of ribbon and you’ve contorted it to be in the shape of this letter “h”…where would the folds go?

Think about where your upstrokes and downstrokes would go. The downstrokes (thicker parts) are going to be in the front (the lighter parts).

See how the ribbon “folds” where you add in the lines? If you need help figuring out where the lines go, I’ve done it for you – be sure to download the free worksheet below!

Next, trace the upstrokes. This will give you an outline that’s similar to colour by number. The upstrokes will become the darker parts, “behind.”

Step 4: Shade in the darker parts!

Use the darkest pen for the edge spots, and another layer of your original pen to blend. Alternatively, you can also use your darker coloured pencil. 

Step 5: Get fancy with the shading (optional)

You can keep adding layers of darker colour at the edges and blending with the lighter pen until it really pops.

You can also try this without the black outline– the two h’s below are identical, except see how different the one on the right looks without the outline?!

And, what would this look like on a whole word?

And that’s a wrap!

Make sure you grab the FREE worksheet below and try this technique with different letters!

Free Ribbon Lettering Worksheet

Free download!

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  1. I have just heard about Ribbon Lettering, but didn’t exactly know what it is. You videos always help me a lot in Calligraphy and Art. The best Thing is that you always provide a Freebie when you introduce something new except Calligraphy to make us learn it Nicely. You are the Best Becca. Thank You so much for these helpful Videos. ??????

  2. Seriously Becca u are the one who helped me to know my inner hobby,………. This means a lot for me thanks Becca ?

  3. Never heard of ribbon lettering until now. Thanks. I prefer B, it looks more like ribbon than A, and the “h” pops.

  4. This was awesome! Your directions are so clear and easy to understand. I love them both (A and B) but the outline really makes it look finished. You used words to give me clues to make it easy to understand. The worksheet is genius. I’ve tried it before but can’t always see where to put the folds. Well done! Thank you!!

    1. This was a first for me in learning to do
      Ribbon Lettering! I always look forward to your emails every week!
      I have learned so much from your tutorials!! This will be fun to do especially for a birthday!!
      Thank you Becca for your generosity as well! Take care!!

  5. Dear Becca,
    I want to tell you that you are my calligraphy teacher. I’m still practicing and
    perfecting my basic strokes. Also started with alphabets…but whatever I have learned, it is all because of your free worksheets. In future I wish to purchase your full calligraphy course.
    Few days back I was searching for ribbon lettering and here you are with your step by step tutorial and worksheet.
    Can never thank you enough..

    Priyasree ( I am from India ???????? )

  6. Always fun new things to learn from you Becca! You are a terrific teacher, and know just how to break things down for a newbie like me to understand, thank you thank you! Rockstar is an understatement!!!

  7. When I have a question about a technique or tool I always see if you have a video on the problem. You usually do! For this style I agree that the example A is more finished but the version without the outline is lovely and dreamy, perfect for certain applications. Thank you Becca!


  9. You rock!!!!! IT’s fun, “easy” (at least you make it look easy). Thanks for preaching mother’s how to do it!!!!

  10. I always love your videos. You are very clear and easy to follow and understand! I appreciate your sharing your talent with us. It’s truly fun to follow you! Thank you!! ?

  11. Becca,
    Thanks so much for this fun tutorial. It was easy to follow and fun to watch. Both styles look good and may be a preferential thing. I would personally opt for the outlined version with the extra touches you added at the end. Thanks for the helpful freebie!!!

  12. I loved it. I think I could ho either way. In the purple example. I liked it without the outline, but I think there could be some awesome things done with blending snd gel pens! Thanks for the worksheet!


  14. Thank you SO much, Becca! Such a wonderful tutorial and an awesome worksheet! This was incredibly helpful!?

  15. Beautiful lettering. I’ve learned a lot from you. You asked our preference. I like both,
    the outlined one looks more continuous the other looks stencilled but they’re both great.

  16. Thank you for doing the tutorials. Learning so much and getting deeper and deeper down the calligraphy rabbit hole. I liked sample A for the ribbon h.

  17. Thank you very much. I admired this ribbon look, but was totally clueless as to how it was done.
    I liked A with light color pens and B with dark colored pens.
    Becca you’re terrific!

  18. You have the most amazing videos. I had not heard of ribbon lettering and it is so beautiful. By the way, I liked “A” with the dark outline. Thank you for you passion and sharing.

  19. Becca,
    I just LOVE, Love, love everything you teach. This is what teaching is all about. Your passion allows you to make it look easy in the way you demonstrate the skills which gives me the confidence I didn’t know I had. 🙂 I ALWAYS get excited when I see that you emailed “little ol’ me”. It’s if we’re friends. You have such a cute personality, Becca. Stay HAPPY, it’s contagious, even if it’s through the computer screen.

  20. Thanks, Becca! This is a lovely add-on to all the brushlettering I have learnt from your tutorials. You have a terrific way of doing your tutorials so that everything is so well explained and set out. You have helped me through my broken foot last year (I can tell you, if I hadn’t been so involved with learning calligraphy, I would have gone mad!) through the heartbreaking loss of my dear Dad and my mother-in-law in the last year and now battling through Covid. What a happy relief to have your wonderful tutorials and ideas! Many many thanks!!

  21. I prefer option B as it actually gives dimension and you can actually see its a ribbon! I am definitely trying this out!

  22. I save everything you do onto my iPad. I am now making my own cards to send to my friends and family thanks to you. I made my own Christmas cards this year too. I am seventy eight years old and loved art classes at school. I always got top marks and longed to go to Art college. My father had his own business I I had to work for him instead. It is never too late to learn. Thank you Rebecca. X

  23. I have just taken up Calligraphy and simply love your videos. Let me know if you have an online course that I can join (something like calligraphy for dummies & retired people). Ian.

  24. its very good but i dont have different shades of one colour and i still dont know how to do shading with brush pens

  25. LOVE THIS. You really have a great way of breaking it down so anyone can do it. also the FREE work sheet is amazing. Thank you

  26. Thank you so much for all your lessons, I an just starting en so lucky to have found you on the internet. I’m not able to get my lessons from you personelly because I live in Europe but I am very happy with all what you do and give to others… thank you so much! 😘🌹

  27. Awesome… I’m using this to put names on my postcards for exchanges this month and next… so fun!

  28. I love the free worksheet, but I can’t ever download the link 🙁 I signed up for the course, but for some reason this link isn’t working. I’m doing something off?

Tell me what you thought!