This is One Summer DIY Project All Creative Makers Will Love

With summer in full swing, now is the perfect time to host dinners, barbeques and cookouts with your family and friends.

Need some personal, art-filled elements to incorporate into your next social gathering? Check out this fun do-it-yourself project from designer and North Light Books author, Jen Wagner.

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Butcher paper is a really flexible medium that comes in a few different colors to suit different occasions. For this classic white menu variation, I combined cursive lettering and lowercase italic serifs to create an elegant and minimalistic menu.

 

In our home, we absolutely love having friends over for dinner. Every week, we have a family dinner at our house where the goal is to make others feel loved and welcome.

Decorative elements like a butcher paper menu can easily add an extra handmade touch to whatever event you’re hosting, making your guests feel that much more special.

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Butcher paper or kraft paper roll (and roll holder)
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Permanent marker, black
  • Straightedge (optional)

Getting Started

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 1: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Begin creating your butcher paper menu by rolling out your butcher paper to the length you plan to use. Then, create your title “MENU” (or whatever title you desire) on the top in simple, tall sans serif letters. You can enclose the title with a box or other decorative element if you like.

Placing Section Headings

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 2: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Next, write out your section headings in cursive lettering, trying to center it to the best of your ability. I used a varying baseline and standard kerning for my headings.

Creating a ‘Centered’ Illusion

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 3: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

If you’re finding it tricky to center your headings, try creating the illusion of it being centered using your tails. Creating tails on each side of your word that begins and ends in a way that frames the word will help center it. So if your word is a little too far to the right, create a tail at the beginning of the word that is a little bit longer to help visually move the word over to the left.

Listing Menu Items

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 4: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Next, begin listing your menu items in all capital, narrow sans serif letters. Lightly create guides with a straightedge if you need help keeping your words straight on the page. You can also use the blocking technique to guarantee each item will be centered. Then lightly erase your guides after you’ve finished using them.

Using Downstrokes

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 5: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Now, we’ll finish each of our headings by creating downstrokes for each letter. Using techniques explored earlier, create larger downstrokes and fill each with your marker.

Getting Creative

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 6: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Add decorative elements to each heading as you like. I chose to use the underline swirls we learned to do in the lettering with a Nib section.

Applying More Decorative Elements

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 7: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Once your menu is complete, begin adding decorative elements to each side of your menu. To create the olive branches for this menu, draw three lines on each side of the menu in various lengths.

Adding Final Touches

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

Step 8: DIY menu on butcher paper

 

Then, use your marker to create leaves going down each branch, from top to bottom. Don’t be afraid to use different sizes and angles to make it look more natural.

Once you’ve finished your decorative elements, either cut your menu from the roll or mount the roll on a wall to display your beautiful menu to the world!

 

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

The final menu on butcher paper

The Endless Possibilities

Butcher paper isn’t just for menus. Use yours to create grocery lists, welcome signs, seating arrangements and more! For the variation, below, I used a chalk marker and spattered the ink a bit to give it some texture. (You can do this by creating a quick motion from about a foot above your paper and quickly stop a few inches where you want the paint to spatter.)

Make sure your marker is primed. You can use a white paint marker, but I’ve found them to be far less opaque than chalk markers as they require you to go over the text several times to get a bright white.

 

The Perfect Summer DIY Menu in Just 8 Steps | Jen Wagner | Happy Hand Lettering | ArtistsNetwork

DIY grocery list

Want More from Jen Wagner?

If you enjoyed this step-by-step DIY guide to creating menus, be sure to check out Jen’s new book, Happy Hand Lettering, which features this project above, as well as a vast array of other fun arts and crafts.

From thoughtful notes and invitations to inspirational signs and home décor, Jen shows you how to incorporate typography, calligraphy, watercolor and more into your next creative project. Enjoy!

The post This is One Summer DIY Project All Creative Makers Will Love appeared first on Artist's Network.

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Published by

maxmallie

I am obsessed with water colours and have been painting since I could hold my first brush, I have a huge passion for my own work and others, I love to teach and inspeier others. I'm a very proud Dad with 3 girls and amazing wife who shares my passion for painting.

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