Poppy & Mint Design: 2015 Holiday [Lettering] Gift Guide

The Poppy & Mint Design version of a Holiday Gift Guide is here! (Sorry it's so late.  But I don't know about you but I am always holiday shopping under PRESSHAH.)

There's a ton to share but I love a lot of things. :)  This list mainly focuses on the lettering field but most of you know that I like to incorporate crafty items and techniques with my lettering so you'll find those types of products in the categories below as well.

Note: If I was able to utilize them, there are affiliate links within this post. It would be so appreciated if you used them to purchase your gifts! Your support allows me to continue providing the free lettering resources that I do on my blog and social media accounts. Thank you friends :) 

Below each category image, you'll find links to each product.  Happy Browsing and Happy Holidays to you!


A- Copic Multiliners   ||  B- Pigma Microns  ||   C - Le Pen Technical Drawing   ||  D - Zig Photo Signature

All of the multiliners shown above are favorites of mine!  The Copic set also includes a brush pen labeled "BS" and you can check out a review over at my Brush Pen Roundup post! (You can find the link to that blog post in the next section!) The Zig Photo Signature is a great pen to use on glossy material and I also use it to address envelopes since it is a waterproof medium.

Brush Pens

Did I just alarm you?  Have no fear!  Here's where I link you over to my Brush Pen Roundup Blog Post and you can either watch the different videos of each brush pen I reviewed or you can skip down to the end to see my summary and top picks!  All of my top picks would be great for beginners but I've also noted in each individual review if I think they'll be user friendly when you're first starting out or not. :)

Ready, set, Brush Calligraphy - HERE.

Gold & White

A - Uniball Signo Broad - White  ||  B- Uniball Signo Broad - Gold  ||  C - Faber Castell Big Brush Pen - White  |  D - Sharpie Paint Pen - Gold

The Uniball Signo Broad White pen is my absolute FAVORITE (as compared to the Gelly Roll white gel pen etc.)  It's extremely opaque, writes smoothly out of the pen, and you can find me using them on envelopes, on dark cardstock for prints and for adding highlights to my lettering.  

Those same attributes of the Uniball Signo Broad White are also why I love their Gold pen as well--- it's solidly metallic and writes smoothly for me.  I also prefer the yellowy gold color it produces.

The Faber Castell Big Brush pen in White is a good option for writing overtop of multiple mediums.  It's not has opaque of a stroke as the Uniball Signo White pen but it will allow you to write at a larger scale.

Gold Sharpie paint pens are gorgeous and eye catching every time.  They write smoothly and evenly and I use them on a variety of mediums - cardstock, posters, glass, mugs etc.


A- Pentel Aquash Waterbrush  ||  B- Kuretake Fine Waterbrush  || C - Princeton 3/4 Oval Wash  || D - Silver Black Velvet Round No. 2  || 

E - Winsor and Newton Series 7 Size 1

Here's a roundup of my favorite brushes for watercolor lettering - I like all the sizes in the Aquash and I really like the Fine tip of the Kuretake.   The paint brushes shown are some that I personally use. I love that Princeton Oval Wash for creating backgrounds and the Silver and Winsor for watercolor lettering.


A - Fold Palette   ||  B- Finetec Transparent Watercolor (24 count)  ||  C - Finetec Gold  ||  D - Koi Field Box  ||  E - Kuretake Gansai Tambi 36 Count  ||  F - Dr. Ph Martins Set 1  ||  G Dr. Ph Martins Set 3  || H - Artist Loft Collection

Can you tell that I have an obsession of having ALL the watercolors?  There are even more - like all the different tube brands...SWOON.  But these are the easiest to use and I love them all and use them all consistently.  

Of the paints shown, the easiest for application would be the Dr. Ph Martins because they are already in liquid form. I store them in airtight ice cube trays with a corresponding swatch attached to the top ( you can find that link down below in the Organization category.)

The Finetec palettes are both awesome.  The gold? It can only be described as dreamy and as you use it, you'll see the little flecks of mica swirling around.  #swoon.

The Koi Fieldbox comes with both a built in palette to mix onto AND a Koi water brush. (This isn't my favorite type of water brush but still great that it's provided with the set!  You can see my water brush picks above!)

The Artist Loft Collection is only $5, people.  and it's so great for lettering purposes! I can't speak to its quality for legitimate watercoloring but for the purposes of having a ton of pretty colors to use to blend for lettering, it's a worthy buy.

The fold palette is something I like to use for more than just tube watercolor mixing.  Especially with the Finetec Gold, this plastic palette provides you with a space to gather your pigment and the water won't soak into the actual pan of paint too fast.  When this happens, you have to use that much more water to keep your paint pan ready for use.

One note about the Gansai Tambi set.  Well 2 notes.  These are such nice watercolors...I really enjoy them.  However, if you prefer transparency to the max, these can be a little creamy. However, you can always combat that with more water applied!  I also wanted to mention that I link to the 36 count set.  I have this one and I love it because it provides the metallics at the bottom and I use them often for background washes.  If you don't think you'll need those, there are smaller count sets available too!



A - Zebra G (10-pack)  ||  B - Nikko G (3-pack)  || C - Dr. Ph Martins Bleedproof White  || D - Black Sumi Ink  ||  E - Distress Ink

The Zebra G and Nikko G are the two types of nibs I use whenever I (rarely) use pointed pen technique for my work.  They are forgiving for beginners like me and allow me to control my pressure a little more than other nibs that I've tried.  

I grab my Black Sumi Ink and Dr. Martins BPW whenever I need a black or a white ink but not just for pointed pen.  I will use these with a brush as well for brush calligraphy technique as well.

If you follow my Instagram account, you know how much I love using Distress Inks for watercoloring.  They blend so beautifully, the colors are awesome and I'm loving these mini ink cubes.  I've linked to some good 4-packs with a good array of colors.  You can check out my blog post on creating Watercolor Backgrounds to see some techniques I've used with these.


A - Neenah Solar White 80 lb ||  B - Canson XL Watercolor 12x18  ||  C - Rhodia Dot Pad 8.25 x 12.5  ||  D - Arches Cold Press Watercolor 14 x 20 ||  E - Trace Paper 12" x 50 yd. Roll

What's lettering without the paper, right?  Here are some of my favorite picks for both lettering and watercolor.  

The Rhodia and Trace paper are my go-tos with my brush pens so that I can protect the tips from fraying as much as possible.  The Neenah Solar White is smooth enough to write directly on as well, but I, more times than not, use this paper for creating prints and for watercolor lettering.  While it is not watercolor paper and is a a true cardstock, it can still handle the small amount of water that water brush lettering uses.

I've shared both a more affordable watercolor paper in the Canson XL and then a higher price point/higher quality in the Arches.  There is a difference in how the paint moves on the Arches and I like to have some in my studio for special occasions but my typical grab is for the Canson pad.  I buy this is 12x18 pads so that I can cut it down to what I need.

Crafty Items

A -  Glossy Accents  ||  B - Perfect Pearls  || C - Zig 2 Way Glue Pen  || D - Versamark Ink Pad  || E - Versamark Ink Pen  ||  F -  Hero Arts Gold Embossing Powder  ||  G - Ranger Mini Ink Blending Tools and Distress Ink Storage  ||  H - Ranger White Embossing Powder  || I - American Crafts Gold Thermafoil  ||  J - StazOn Opaque White Ink Pad

I know this is a [Letteriing] Gift Guide but you guys know me...I like to get a little crafty in my lettering techniques!  I thought I'd share with you so of my favorites and especially because I've used them in my Instagram posts and I've received a lot of inquiries on what the products were that I used!

The first item is called Glossy Accents and this is more of a "fun" product to add some dimension to your lettering if you want that option! Check out this video for an example of how I've used it in the past.

For the next two items, the glue pens and Perfect Pearls (Items B and C), I'm going to leave the video below to explain how I use them--- this is a fun technique to achieve a metallic look to your lettering!  I've used it often on envelopes that I send out to friends and family.

For the next items involving embossing and foil, you can find a technique video from a past blog post found HERE.

I've created a short demo video to show how to use the Mini Ink Blending Tools in Item G with Distress Inks and stencil.  

The opaque white ink pad shown in Item J,  Stazon White, can also be used for this technique.  I've recently shared a video HERE on how I created a "Faux Stamp" using a clear gel pen and a white ink pad.  That's another great use for the opaque white!


Tools & Masking

A - 3M Low Tack Paper Tape ||  B - Tombow Mono Zero Eraser  || C - 12" Rolling Ruler  ||  D - Winsor and Newton Art Masking Fluid  ||

 E - Tombow Mono Multi Glue  ||  F - Pebeo Drawing Gum Masking Fluid

These items are pretty self explanatory but they're some of my favorites and most often used.  I use the Low Tack tape for techniques like I showed in the above video for ink blending.  The masking fluids that seem to work the best for having a crisp edge when I brush letter with them are Winsor and Newton and Pebeo Drawing Gum.  ( I missed including this in the graphic but I like to use an Adhesive Eraser to remove the masking fluid after it's dry and any paint or ink thats been put over it is also bone dry.)



A - ArtBin Satchels  ||  B - Dinky Dips  ||  C - Tombow Dual Brush Pen Stand  ||  D - Komax Sealed Ice Cube Tray

Organization can be the best part of this creative hobby/business!  I have been loving my ArtBin Satchel to store my Copic Sketch Markers and also my Faber Castell "B" Brush Pens.  Make sure to check with the manufacturer of your pens to see if it's recommended that their markers be stored horizontally on their side or not.  (The only pens I have that I know of with this limitation are my Distress Markers).  

The Tombow stand is a great size to sit on top of your workspace for easy grabbing of your Dual Brush Pens.

I've said before that I don't use the pointed pen too often but when I do, I find the Dinky Dips to be really helpful so that I'm not getting ink too high up on my holder when I dip in.  The size of the little plastic tubes is just right to fill the reservoir for writing.  

And finally, the Komax Ice Cube tray has been a great way to store my Dr. Ph Martin's watercolor as it's already in liquid form.  I just squeeze as much out of the actual 1oz bottles into the tray compartments, slap a swatch card on the top of the ice cube tray and you've got an easy reference for which colors you have in which tray.


A - Milwaukee Heat Gun Tool  ||  B - Royal Sovereign 12" Laminator  || C - We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch  ||  D - Huion 17" Lightpad  ||  E - HP Color Laser Jet Pro M277 dw Laser Printer ||  F - WeighMax Scale  ||  G - Cintaq Pen and Touch 13HD Tablet

You've made it to the end! This last group of items are some of the things I use most frequently to get 'error done.  Oh and also things I really want on my own wish list like that Cintaq Pen and Touch. #NeedWantSantaPlease  (This is a tool that is NOT inexpensive but if you do as much lettering for product as I have been, its a tool that allows you to letter straight to the touch pad and have it automatically ready to digitize and manipulate.)

The first item is a heat tool that some of you have seen me use in past videos to either dry my watercolor backgrounds or to heat set my embossing powder.  You can also use a hairdryer but this heat gun is extremely efficient as it gets SUPER hot. Be aware of that if you'll store it near your children!

The laminator, Item B, is the one I purchased to do my foiling and it's worked pretty well for me so far.  I'm considering trying out the Minc Mini in the future but at such a low price point, this laminator is a good way to try out the technique.  You can see one of my blog posts and videos on Foiling in the listing HERE 

I use Item C - The Envelope Punch - to create my own envelopes, especially if I want to use watercolor stock so that I can create a watercolored background to my lettering. 

The light pad I've shared is the Huion brand and i LOVE it.  I have the larger 17" so that I can put a full 11x14 print on it.  It's thin and light weight and auto adjusts the light levels to its surroundings.

The last (2) items are geared toward producing deliverables -- my trusty Laser Printer that has continually been impressing me and the WeighMax scale that I use to weigh my packages so I can create the necessary shipping labels at home.  

This printer has been a winner among many that I wasn't a fan of.  While it still doesn't have a back feeder (this limits the weight of paper I can feed through it), it's still worked for the majority of my purposes and it allows me to create my 8x10 and smaller prints right out of my house instead of always having to get over to the local printer for pick up.