Holiday Lettering with a Watercolour Background using Tombow products

Holiday Lettering with Watercolour Background

How to solve those last minute gift needs with a simple holiday lettering piece that transforms into a framed gift!

Holiday Lettering with a Watercolour Background using Tombow products

Hello Friends!

I just love, LOVE, this time of year so much! Everything is so magical. Spending time with family, baking cookies, watching Christmas movies, lounging in my PJs and just having no agenda are some of the things I love most about the holidays. I also look forward to decorating (my house has been decorated since November!).

Today on the blog I will be showing you an easy way to create holiday lettering with a watercolour background. It makes as the perfect hostess gift when framed, can be used as decoration around the house or even on your holiday tablescape. However, for this project, I decided to challenge myself by using a non-traditional holiday colour palette. Read on to see how it turned out!


  • Canson Mixed Media Paper
  • Tombow ONLO Swift Mechanical Pencil
  • Tombow Mono Eraser
  • Tombow Dual Brush Pens (847, 856, N89, 373, 528)
  • Tombow Coloured Fudenosuke Brush Pens (Black, Blue and Grey)
  • Water
  • Paper Towel
  • Uni-ball Signo Gel Pen in White

Holiday Lettering with a Watercolour Background using Tombow products


  • Choose a thick, watercolour paper as you will be using a significant amount of water to spread the colour.
  • You could easily swap the dual brush pens for a watercolour pan palette or any other watercolour medium of your choice.
  • I applied two layers of ink with the Tombow Fudenosuke Coloured brush pens to get the desired intensity of colour I liked.
  • Try this project on gift tags!

Step 1: Choose a Colour Palette

A quick Google search will give you tons of ideas (I searched non-traditional Christmas palette)! I went with a blue, white and red colour palette. I wanted to try something that was non-traditional. Next, try to match your chosen colours with the corresponding Tombow dual brush pen colours. Don’t worry if you are off by a shade or two! The colours I used are listed above.

Step 2: Add Colour Palette to the Paper

Decide in which order you would like your colours to appear on your watercolour background. When you are happy with the order, start by applying some horizontal strokes across your page with your Tombow dual brush pens. Start at the top with your first colour and work your way down the paper until all your colours have been used and your paper is filled.

Holiday Lettering with a Watercolour Background using Tombow products

Step 3: Apply Water

To activate your colour, you will need to apply water to the paper. Instead of using a paint brush, I decided to go with using a semi-wet scrunched up piece of paper towel (the theme is non-traditional after all)!. Apply the wet piece of paper towel to the colour. You will see that the colour will activate and start to create your watercolour background. Keep applying water to your colour, add more colour if needed, until you have your desired background. Let it dry completely before adding your lettering.

Holiday Lettering with a Watercolour Background using Tombow products

Step 4: Letter in Pencil

Use the Tombow ONLO Swift Mechanical pencil to letter your quote. I like to use pencil first because once the ink is applied, you can’t change it! You can always play around with your design when using pencil. Be sure to apply light pressure as you will need to lightly erase.

Step 5: Letter in Ink

Once you are happy with your design, lightly erase your design with the Tombow Mono eraser and start lettering in ink. For this piece I used the Fudenosuke coloured brush pen in blue. I like how the blue goes with the colour palette I chose.

Holiday Lettering with a Watercolour Background using Tombow productsStep 6: Add Details and Embellishments

I love this step as it’s so much fun to ‘dress up’ your lettering! For this project, I used the Fudenosuke coloured brush pen in black to add a think black line on the right hand side of each downstroke. Then, I used the Fudenosuke coloured brush pen in grey to add shadow to each letter. I just love how the lettering pops when shadow is added. Finally, I used the Uni-ball Signo gel pen in white to add some details to the lettering. I added a small white line and three dots afterwards, to each downstroke.

An easy way to create holiday lettering with a watercolour background for your next gift or decorating idea. You should also challenge yourself to use a non-traditional holiday colour palette for your next project or to recreate this one. Tag me in your creations! I would love to see what colour palettes you choose!

Be sure to follow me on the blog and on Instagram (@letteringbyusha) to stay tuned to all of my lettering, crafting and personal adventures!

What is your favourite project to create to gift for the holidays?


Life Updates

  • Only two more episodes of Survivor…ahhhh! What are your predictions for a winner?
  • Our schedules are jammed packed until Christmas….let the Christmas madness begin! Do you have any Christmas traditions?
  • My favourite food at the moment – pepperoni pizza!

Other Blog Posts To Check Out

How to Draw a Christmas Tree 7 Ways
3 Ways to Create Blended Brush Lettering with the New 12 Coloured Tombow Dual Brush Pens
DIY Quote Art (Using Inspirational Quotes)



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