Improve Your Handwriting Skills For Adults!
I found out recently that this particular post that I had written back in 2012 got it lost in the Internet time continuum, so I decided to repost – A Super Helpful Guide To Improve Your Handwriting Skills!
Are you left handed? Check out this post with free printable worksheets for Lefties.
If you haven’t been following my blog for long; back in January (2012), I decided my handwriting was like the scrawl of a 4-year-old and decided to do something drastic.
I retrained my handwriting arm as I had terrible habits of writing from my wrist and not my shoulder.
It hurt, and it took a lot of practice.
I did go to Google and download free handwriting practice sheets, and I practised and practised and practised.
Then I took some lettering classes when I decided to get fancy.
We’re not talking about fancy schmancy calligraphy here I’m talking about plain old, regular handwriting and my tips for training yourself not to write as if you’re sitting in a moving car as the ink flows.
Get a dedicated notebook like this one, for practice or download the free worksheets from this post.
Click Here to Download The Freebies
I have used a grid notebook, 1 cm squares I think so it’s possible to define the shapes without having to rule lines every time I want to create a letter.
The image here is probably the most recent page from my typography practice notebook. It’s a big A4 pip studio notebook, and it is full of training shapes. Pages and pages of A’s and O’s to get my arm used to the movement.
Before you start working on paper, let me ask you one thing…
Are you sitting comfortably?
If you’re not comfortable and if you’re not holding a pen properly then it can affect your handwriting.
When I say holding a pen properly, I don’t mean grip it like it’s a weapon.
Find a comfortable way to hold your pen or pencil but don’t squeeze it.
As long as you can write a letter comfortably then it shouldn’t matter which fingers you use to grip your pen.
Personally, I hold a pen like a weirdo apparently (the kind words of my other half), but I don’t mind.
I tried retraining how to hold my pen but it was so uncomfortable, gave up, and I haven’t looked back!
Click Here to Download The Freebies
The Pen’s The Thing!
I’ve discovered that the right pen makes a HUGE difference to my handwriting.
A thin nib is marvellous and I feel like a pen with a small nib was made for my hands.
But you should experiment (the perfect excuse to buy more pens!).
My perfect materials are:
- Mechanical pencil 0.3* (check my favourite mechanical pencil here*, of course it has to be pink) I chose 0.3 because it’s lightweight and if you need to erase it, it comes away easier than an HB or 0.5.
- Retractable eraser like this* (my favourite brand is Pentel because it’s easier to find refills here in the UK)
- A Guided ruler (if you are having difficulty finding one, Olfa have released a thin quilt ruler which is excellent for the task at hand)
- Good sharpener (Click to see my favorite brand – Staedtler Double Hot Tub Sharpener*)
- Black Ink pens like these, ranging from 0.2 to 0.8 in size (I recommend the Uni Pin pens*, and you can find a great deal on packs on eBay or Amazon)
So obviously I got them in all the colors I possibly could, and they’re a joy to use when writing. It makes writing much less of a chore when there’s a beautiful color flowing onto the page in front of you.
I find that it’s also really noticeable when I use anything thicker than a 0.35 nib.My mother favors a full on 1.0mm nib on an ink pen, and I can’t seem to use them at all, we don’t get along ;). My advice – experiment.
Take a little notebook into your favourite stationery store and play with all the tester pens that are there.
You can refuse to leave, sure you won’t be allowed back in the store but you’ll be certain about which pens you want.
Seriously though, that’s why tester pens exist. So go crazy!
Begin writing each letter of the alphabet, slowly and thoughtfully into the individual squares of your notebook (if they’re large enough).
You will be able to see quite quickly which letters you can draw well and which need a little work and a bit more care.
I always get stung by the Y’s G’s and J’s.
Sometimes my hand flicks off to the side, and my letter looks pants.
It can be quite frustrating!
If I haven’t practised in a while, I also like to practice my shapes first.
Doodle and shapes, which will act as a warm-up exercise.
Like a tiny little workout 🙂
Click Here to Download The Practice Sheets
Finding phrases like ‘The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dog” is great to practice cursive writing.
The practise strokes shown above are what I used as a guide for practising arm movements.
Trying to improve my penmanship improved greatly by doing these exercises.