My Favorite Script & Handwritten Typefaces

favorite free script typefaces

Hunting down the perfect typeface for a project can take some time, especially when it’s for a personal project. I hate designing for myself, but often do it out of necessity, like when I revamped my blog design last week. Hand drawing type is definitely not my strong point, so I usually end up looking for a free or not super expensive typeface that fits the bill. Here are a few of my favorite free typefaces I’ve used in the past year, including one $29 font you can see in my new blog logo, Filmotype Horizon.

Click the links for each typeface below. Enjoy!

Images are from my recent abstract painting. Check out the process here.

diy abstract art

Lately at A Beautiful Mess

Mandi Johnson at A Beautiful Mess

Lately I’ve been waking up in the morning, pinching myself, and getting right to work on my projects for A Beautiful Mess. Is this really my life? Pinch again. Back to work. Is this really work, though? Oh yeah, it’s work— but it’s the best kind! I’ve really enjoyed my recent projects, especially this mid century modern side table (above) and quilted wall art (below left).

Right now I’m working on a couple of easy-as-pie projects that I hope you’ll like as much as me, but while I wait for the paint to dry, I thought I’d share my recent projects with you in hopes that you’ll be inspired to make something fun for yourself!

Mandi Johnson at A Beautiful Mess

Mid Century Modern Table DIY // What a fulfilling project this was! I was surprised at how relatively simple it was to make, but I definitely feel like the process flexed my craftsman muscles and made me a more confident DIYer when I saw the beautiful end result.

DIY Quilted Modern Art // Inspired by the quirky graphic textile art of Ethan Cook, this art uses simple quilting techniques alongside tradition canvas stretching for an unexpected design element in our living room.

DIY Mid Century Inspired Plant Stand // I have some larger houseplants that needed a little boost off the ground, and this was the project was the perfect simple solution! 

Mandi Johnson at A Beautiful Mess

Make This Metallic Lightning Bolt Mobile // This was a really fun and whimsical project that would be perfect for a nursery or office space.

Vinyl Chair Makeover // People didn’t believe it was as easy as I described, or that it would hold up as well as it has— But I promise this is such a simple way to update an old vinyl chair, and it seems like the finish is going to wear really nicely through the years!Mandi Johnson at A Beautiful Mess

Wall-Mounted Jewelry Box Display // I love rescuing sad antiques and repurposing them in modern ways. This time was for a quirky little jewelry display in our powder room!

DIY Marquetry-Inspired Wooden Trivets // Got a craft blade and a hot iron? Then you can do this project! It’ll really add some pizazz to your dinner table and dress up the walls in between meals.
Mandi Johnson at A Beautiful Mess

Turn a Bird Cage into a Mod Floor Lamp // This project definitely upped the cool-factor of our living room. So easy, too! The funnest part was shopping for the bird cage stand. I was surprised as how many are for sale in antique malls and shops!

Try This: Type Tray Nail Polish Display // I always see a wide variety of type trays for sale at antique shops, and finally realized it would be perfect for nail polish display! After I finished this project I discovered my lipstick fits perfectly in the in between spaces too. Victory!Mandi Johnson at A Beautiful Mess

Simple & Sweet Donut Pillow // Finally— A calorie free way to enjoy doughnuts! This project is really simple, and a good one to make with a child’s assistance.

Try This: White Tablecloth Makeover // Tired of looking for a fun patterned tablecloth that suits your specific tastes? Quit looking and make your own!Mandi Johnson at A Beautiful Mess

Modern Mirror DIY // I wanted a bold, graphic mirror, and it was really easy to make one myself with some plywood, paint, and a jigsaw!

Make Your Own Faux Marble Drawer Knobs // Are you into the marble trend as much as I am? You might also be sad because marble is $$$, but you can fake the look pretty easily!

Mandi Johnson at A Beautiful Mess

Build a Mini Horse Bookcase // This folk-art inspired bookshelf adds the perfect amount of whimsy to Lucy’s bedroom. It would also make a nice stand for potted herbs too!

Spotted Curtains DIY // I can’t get enough of spots these days, and this set of curtains I made will look great in Lucy’s next bedroom!

Mandi Johnson at A Beautiful Mess

Make Your Own Pop Art Pet Portrait // This Andy Warhol inspired craft project is so incredibly easy to do! You don’t even need photo editing software.

Budget Curtain Rod & Finial DIY // Curtain hardware can be so expensive, but I made my own rod and modern finials for very little money! I was really pleased with how store-bought it looked when I was finished.Mandi Johnson at A Beautiful Mess

How to Create a Weathered Paint Effect // This easy rub-off weathering technique takes very little time and gives a great patina to any of your projects.

DIY Marble Jade Earrings and Pendant Necklace // Another simple jewelry DIY with lovely results! You won’t believe how easy they are to make.

Black and White All Over

3-D movie screening

Black and white photography is such a great addition to a colorful home. It adds an element of neutrality amidst the creative chaos of an artistic home— or just a home full of crazy color, kids, and plastic toys. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for some black and white photography to frame and display in our dining room, but nothing I found really felt like “me.” Too stuffy. Too try hard (which is ironic considering how hard I was looking). Or just too boring and hotelesque.

Needless to say, as internet searches usually go, my quest turned into an obssession. I ended up finding not one, not two, but just seven pieces I loved, but only purchased one. Can you guess which one? (Check my Twitter for hints!)

CLICK AN IMAGE TO BUY A PRINT OR CANVAS

Animals in Motion 1907

water skiier    Oregon Weeds by Brett Weston
Mae West lifting barbells in bed
diving swimmers photo print    Loomis Dean Motorcycle Riding

Sew Your Own Custom Back-Wrap Top

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Ready to get your sew on? If you liked the back-wrap top I shared last week, then check it— I’m back with detailed instructions! I hope you won’t be too intimidated to give it a go. If you’re worried about making darts, you can start out with a knit fabric instead of something woven. And you don’t have to make it reversible, but then it would only be half the fun. Point is: You make the rules! If you do make your own, though, just do me one little favor. Link it up, babies!

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step One: Find a shirt that fits closely (but doesn’t stretch) to your figure. Transfer its shape to a piece of kraft paper by poking holes along its border with straight pins. You may also chose to trace the shirt with a fabric pen.

Step Two: Trace the pinhole outline with a pen, cropping the shirt at its natural waist. It’s better to crop it longer than you may eventually want it and you can trim it down later. Add a 1/2″ border to the outline for hem allowance. Then Cut out the piece of paper.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Three: Trace the pattern from step two, and indent the outline of the 1/2″ hem allowance. Find the middle of the piece between the armpits.

Step Four: Draw a curved line from the inside, top of the shoulders to the waist, just about 3-4″ from the bottom. Make sure the line you draw intersects the middle point you marked in step three. Cut out the paper along the curve, flip the paper up-side-down and trace it to create the other side of the back.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Five: I got a little creative with the neckline by making a ’50s style v-shape. I also created extension pieces for each of the back wrap pieces, each measuring 19″ in length. I decided on their length by having a friend hold ribbon pieces at my waist, tying them comfortably at the front of my waist, and trimming the excess ribbon. Each piece measured 19″ long.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Six: Pin the pattern pieces onto your both layers of coordinating fabric and cut out each piece. Make sure as you stack the coordinating fabric that the right sides are facing each other or away from each other. I laid out my pattern pieces on the bias (diagonally) so the fabric would stretch a bit against my curves. I was able to get the back wrap pieces and their extensions all in one piece, instead of cutting out the extensions separately and connecting them.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Seven: Begin the process of making bust darts by finding the middle part of the front piece. Then measure out 4″ from the middle point on each side. This is the measurement I used to make my darts after holding the fabric to my body and judging where they should go.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Eight: Measure 1.25″ out from the points you just marked in step seven. This will be the width of your darts.

Step Nine: Place a dot in between the two dots from step eight, then measure up 5″. Connect the dots to create the lines for the darts.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Ten: Create darts using a similar technique on the sides of the front piece. Again, I measured my darts according to my own body, but if you are similar to me, you may want to measure 5″ down from the armpit hole for the top line of the dart. Then go down 1.25″ for the bottom line of the dart. The point of the dart was positioned 1″ above the point of the bottom darts, as shown in the above image. Connect the top, middle, and bottom lines of the dart to the point.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Eleven: Iron the darts so that the crease is right at the middle line of each dart. Then stitch along the outside lines of the darts. Then Iron them flat.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Twelve: Begin assembling the top by placing the back wrap pieces face-to-face onto the front piece. Pin along the shoulders and sides and stitch together, 1/2″ from the edge. Then iron the hems flat to prevent bulk when assembling the entire pieces in the next step. You may be able to see that I also sewed darts into the back wrap pieces for an extra fitted design, but it’s really not necessary due to the wrap style.

When you are finished connecting the pieces, make sure it fits you properly. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to make the proper adjustments before continuing.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Thirteen: After you’ve completed steps 1-12 with a coordinating fabric (make sure the patterns don’t show through each fabric), fit the pieces together carefully, face-to-face. At this point you are checking to make sure the armpits and shoulders match up. This is why you need to cut both fabrics at the same time and stitch precisely 1/2″ from the edge of the fabric. If they don’t match up at this point, you will need to rip out the hem and correct the fit of one of the pieces.

Pin together the pieces along the neckline, reaching all the way to the ends of the wrap extension pieces. Then stitch 1/2″ from the edge.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Fourteen: Cut little slits along the neckline and other curved areas where you have stitched. This will prevent puckering after you flip the piece right-side out.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Fifteen: Now pin along the bottom edge of the two pieces and stitch them together everywhere except along the front. This open part is where you will flip the piece right-side-out in the next step.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Sixteen: Now you can flip the top right-side-out through that opening you left in the previous step. Use a capped pen to help you with the pointy ends of the wrap extension pieces. Now iron along the hems to flatten it out. Flip under the open section of the front and iron along with the rest of the bottom hem.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Seventeen: Pin along the opening of the front, where you just ironed, and then stitch it closed, very closely to the edge of both layers of fabric.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Eighteen: Cut little slits long the armholes to prevent puckering after finishing them.

Make your own sewing pattern for a custom wrap top. Step by step photos of sewing process included!

Step Nineteen: Fold under the fabric along the armholes, ironing as you go along. Work one fabric side at a time.

Step Twenty: After each fabric side has been folding under at the armpit holes, each fabric side’s edge matching up, pin the two faces together and then stitch very closely along the edge.

I hope to get a lot of wear out of this top through the Summer— with high waisted shorts, skirt, and even over top of dresses. Yep, it’s a suitor!

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