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How To Add Easy Doodles To Your Lettering + Quote Pages

by Ambassador Team 08 Jan 2023 0 Comments

Lisa from @nolalettering here, and today I’m going to show you how to add simple and cute doodles to your lettering composition. If hand lettering is not for you, this easy drawing tutorial can also be helpful in adding doodles to your bullet journal spreads.


Image of A&O dot grid journal, Calliograph brush pens, gray brush pen, lead holder, A&O White gel pen, eraser, and fineliners

The main tools we’ll work with are

Don’t forget to use my affiliate code nolalettering to get 10% off Archer and Olive products.

image of hand lettered quote "spring is here. I'm so excited I wet my plants" with a variety of spring-themed doodles.

For today’s tutorial, I’m going to be using the quote “Spring is here. I’m so excited I wet my plants” to demonstrate the different ways we can add doodles to a lettering piece.

If you’re worried that you can’t add doodles because you’re not a great illustrator, don’t be. We are going to focus on easy drawings that are made up of relatively basic shapes that we fill in with some details. Simple doodles are great for lettering compositions because anything that is too detailed will detract from the words, which we still want to be the focus of our lettering piece.


Choose your doodles

There are an infinite amount of potential doodles you can add into a lettering piece, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to choose. For me, when I’m feeling overwhelmed with choice, I like to let the quote guide me. If the quote is about love, simple hearts and roses could be my doodles. Or if the quote is about coffee, the doodles can be a coffee cup, coffee beans, coffee pot, etc. Generally, I choose things that are the easiest to draw because I don’t want to detract from the quote, and easy is always good.

image of hand lettered words love, coffee, and spring on dot grid paper and calliograph brush pens

Add the doodles

There are many ways we can incorporate doodles into our lettering, but in this tutorial, I’ll showcase three ways.

One, add doodles into the words themselves.

For example, since the quote I’m lettering today has the word “plants” in it, I decided to make the word itself out of petals. I could also have made it out of leaves or flowers. There are different ways you can add doodles into words, and I’ve demonstrated a few methods in the video below.

Two, use doodles to fill in empty space around the composition.

Sometimes in a lettering composition, the words don’t fit perfectly and there will be gaps and spaces in between lines, words, and even letters. These spaces are great to add small, simple doodles like stars, dots, and hearts.

In my composition, I had a number of gaps that I filled in with leaves, water droplets, stars and dots. Generally I would suggest choosing only one or two types of doodles so it doesn’t get too busy. I went a little overboard here.

image of hand lettered quote "may your coffee kick in before reality does" on dot grid paper with calliograph brush pens

In this example, I added stars and circles in order to make the overall composition into a square shape. Since the line “may your” is slightly shorter than “coffee,” I added stars and dots on both sides in order to make it the same length as “coffee.” Similarly, “before” is far shorter and lighter in weight, so to bulk it up, I added in the same doodles.

Three, fit the word or even the whole quote inside a big doodle.

In my spring quote, I put the words “is” and “so” inside flowers. If you don’t want to draw flowers, you can also put your words inside basic geometric shapes, like a circle or square. I like to do these kinds of word-in-shape designs for words that have only one or two letters so the doodle doesn’t need to be too large to accommodate the word. Similarly in the coffee example above, I put the word “in” in a coffee cup. Again, you don’t want the doodle to be too distracting from the overall quote!

If it’s a short quote that has a well-defined theme, you can also consider fitting the whole quote inside a doodle.

image of hand lettered quote "I am sunshine mixed with a little hurricane" on dot grid journal

For example, this quote has the word “sunshine” in it, so I put the whole quote inside a sun.

And that’s three different ways you can add doodles to your lettering to make your compositions even more interesting and fun. One thing to keep in mind is to add only a couple of types of doodle per composition. As I mentioned before, the words should still be the main characters of your lettering, so you don’t want to make it too busy and take the focus away from the quote.

image of printable graphic with doodle image.

I have included a printable with doodle ideas for further inspiration. You can also print, cut them out, and stick it in your journal.

And just in case you need some more ideas, here’s a tutorial on more cute and easy spring-related doodles. 

Thanks so much for following along, and if you do create your own lettering with doodles, please share with us on social media and tag me, @nolalettering, on Instagram along with @archerandolive, and use the hashtags #AOShare and #archerandolive so we can see your beautiful creations.
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