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Illuminated Letters Project

Time: 2-3 Class Periods
Difficulty: Moderate
Cleanup: Soap & Water

9x12" Mixed Media Paper
Ultra Fine Black Sharpie
Metallic Gold Paint
Colored Pencils
Detail Brush
View Project Video


  • Step 1
    Study fonts used for illuminated letter designs. Common fonts are Roman and Uncial.
  • Step 2
    With a pencil, draw a line that is 1" from the edge of the paper. Draw a second line that is 2" from the edge, creating a 1" wide frame.
  • Step 3
    Select and draw a letter; it can overlap the frame a little bit if you want. Tip: Letter stencils can be made by printing large fonts from a computer.
  • Step 4
    Decide what theme you want to use and design the border. Images can flow from outside and inside the border.
  • Step 5
    Continue designing inside the box and the background.
  • Step 6
    Trace over designs with an ultra-fine black Sharpie. Erase pencil lines.
  • Step 7
    Add "illumination" by painting areas and design elements with gold paint.
  • Step 8
    Color remaining areas with colored pencils.
  • Optional
    Experiment with other letters and creative elements; use a design element to create the letter and tell a story.

Products Used