How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for Free

Have you ever wanted to turn your own handwriting into a font and use it on your computer???  I know I have!  I’m a self-proclaimed font junkie.  I just can’t help myself….once I go on the hunt for a font or see a pretty or unique one somewhere on the interwebs, I get caught up in a downloading spree.  Happens every time.

I’m especially fond of script and handwritten fonts.  They’re just so pretty and casual, and honestly, I’m a little jealous that I don’t have such beautiful handwriting….ahhh, a girl can dream.

Creating and using your own handwritten font would be great for making personalized gifts (especially from kiddos with their cute little scribbles!), scrapbooking, digital graphics, family keepsakes such as Christmas cards, and more!

Here I’ll walk you through the steps and show you how to turn your handwriting into a font for FREE! This is so, so, so easy, y’all!

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for FREE! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 [Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  I truly appreciate any and all support!]

 

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for Free

Now, I’m sure there are lots of different ways out there that allow you to turn your handwriting into a font.  This is just one that I’ve used because it’s incredibly simple, quick, and best of all, FREE!

 

The Site & Template

First, go to MyScriptFont.com.  You’ll then need to download the printable template, either as a PDF or PNG.  Once you open up whichever version you prefer (I used the PDF), then print it out.

You’ll need a scanner for the next step, so if you don’t have one available or if you’d rather keep things digital, you could also fill out the template on your computer with a Paint-type program, or use an iPad with a stylus (or just your finger) like I did when doodling on my son’s many faces.  I haven’t tried making a font that way yet, but I plan on it very soon!

If you’re going the printer/scanner route like I did, I would suggest printing out multiple copies, especially if you’re OCD like me.  I had to go through many attempts until I was happy with my chicken scratch!

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for FREE! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Fill Out the Template

The instructions on the template say to use a medium-thick black felt pen.  I don’t have any fancy smancy pens here, so I just decided to use a good ole Sharpie and made two different templates: one with the fine tip and one with the ultra fine tip (the ultra fine tip ended up being too thin and was not a success though….more on this later).

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for FREE! | Where The Smiles Have Been

It’s really important that you also stay within the light gray box that is inside each character’s box (it’s hard to see in the pictures, but there is a very faint light gray box inside each larger box). Anything touching the line or outside of it will be chopped off in your final font.

This proved a little difficult for me since my handwriting is naturally large and loopy, so it was good that I printed out multiple copies of the template…..that dang lowercase g just did not want to stay within the boundaries!

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for FREE! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Scan the Filled-In Template into your Computer

Once you have your template filled out, scan it into your computer.  I have a printer/copier/scanner all in one (aren’t most at-home printers like that nowadays?), so I just had it scan directly onto my Mac.

Here’s what my settings were:

  • Black & White only
  • 300 DPI
  • Standard US Letter size
  • Gave it a name (My sheet with the fine tip Sharpie was named Christine Thick and the one with the ultra fine tip was given Christine Thin….I know, I’m very creative.)
  • JPEG format

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for FREE! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Upload Your File, Name Your Font, and Convert It

Once you have your file scanned into your computer (if your scanner is like mine, you can probably do it wirelessly or with a USB cable or SD card), you’ll need to go back to MyScriptFont.com.

From there, upload your newly-scanned file and gave your font a name of your choosing.  I left the output type as TTF, but you can change it to OTF if you’d like (to read more on the different between True Type and Open Type fonts, check this out).  Then click on Start.  

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for FREE! | Where The Smiles Have Been

How I Chose My {Unfortunate} Name: My dad always used to call me Christine The Dancing Machine as a kid, so I named my first font (the one with the thicker fine tip) Christine The Thick Dancing Machine….I now regret this name because, well….it’s not very flattering is it?  Yeah, I didn’t think about it until after I already had it rendered and installed.  Oh well.

So, moral of the story, please choose something more clever than I did!

 

Boom! Your Handwriting is Now a Font!

A few moments later, a new screen should reveal a preview of your own personal handwritten font!  So easy, right?!

If you’re happy with the preview, awesome!  You can then get onto downloading it (more on this below).  If you’d like a do over and want to try it again, just print out a new blank copy of the template and start over!  That’s the beauty of a fast and free service like this.

Below is a preview of what my handwritten font looks like.  Not too shabby, eh?  Although what is up with my lowercase e’s and p’s??  Ugh, I wish I had cute handwriting….

Moving on…. If you’re ready to install your font, just click on the blue link with the name you gave your font and downloaded it onto your computer.  This will probably send the file to your Downloads folder, so just double-check where your file’s destination is.

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for FREE! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Install the Font on Your Computer

Ok, now that your font file is downloaded, you need to install it.  Directions for how to install a font vary depending on if you’re using a PC or a Mac as well as what operating system you’re running (like that tech lingo there?), but here’s a handy guide if you need a little help with this step.

Since I have a Mac, I just found the font file in my Downloads folder and double-clicked on it, which then brought up the window below.  From here, I clicked on the ‘Install Font’ button and….

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for FREE! | Where The Smiles Have Been

….wham-o!  Installation complete!  Here you can see my new font is now installed in my Font Book along with the rest of my fonts.  The preview now shows all the letters, numbers, and characters I filled out on my template.

Oh, and can you tell I’m an American and never write the symbol for the Euro or Pound?!  Yeeesh…chicken scratch for real.

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for FREE! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Now, whenever I open up a program, such as Photoshop Elements here, my new font shows up in the menu with all the others.  Success!

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for FREE! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Type Away!

I told ya it was super simple!

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for FREE! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

 

Not Good with Thin Marker/Pen

Remember how I said I also used the ultra fine tip of my Sharpie?  Well, here are the results of this template.  As you can see, it’s too thin and did not turn out well….whomp, whomp.

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for FREE! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

My Husband’s Handwriting Font

My husband also got in on the fun too (although he was all “And why am I doing this??”….ahhh, the joys of being married to a craft blogger).  His handwriting is, uhhhh, very man-like.

Also, see how his g in “dog” is cut off on the bottom?  He didn’t follow the instructions very well and went outside the boundary….tisk, tisk.

How to Turn Your Handwriting into a Font for FREE! | Where The Smiles Have Been

If you’ve got cute handwriting, or even if it’s not the cutest like mine, this would be so neat to do and use in lots of creations!  I also think it would be fun to play around with and create a bunch of different dingbat fonts with all kinds of doodles and characters….let your creativity flow!

Oh, and if you have any suggestions on pens, please pass the knowledge along….inquiring minds would like to know!

 

Other Fun with Fonts!

Check out my original list of Fabulous & Free Chalkboard Fonts as well as my list of 50 More Fabulous & Free Chalkboard Fonts!

Free Chalkboard Fonts 50 MORE Fabulous and Free Chalkboard Fonts<

And don’t miss my favorite free dingbat fonts for chalkboards, either!

Awesome Free Dingbat Fonts for Chalkboards

Also, if you’re a font junkie like me, learn how to preview all of your fonts at the same time….not gonna lie, this is pretty incredible!

Preview All Fonts

 

Thanks so much for stopping by!  If you enjoyed what you saw here today, please share the love and pin it!  And I’d love for us to stay connected!

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About Christine

I'm Christine, a SAHM to a spunky toddler and his mini-me infant brother, and married to the best guy you'll ever meet. I (try to) spend their nap times getting my craft on and I blog about my creations and adventures in parenting at Where The Smiles Have Been. My loves are all things DIY, especially Silhouette projects, wreaths, & personalized decor. And ice cream....definitely love me some ice cream.

Comments

  1. Finetuner says:

    It was awesome. Unfortunately they have stopped it and made a paid service available in its place.

    • Well that stinks. MyScriptFont was a really cool tool. Bummer. There is a new service in its place, but it looks like there’s still a free option available that you can use to make your own font, so that’s a plus at least!

  2. Hello Christine,

    Thank you for this wonderful tutorial.

    May be a dumb question, but I am a newbie. How do you now take the font, and put it on Christmas cards, or Get well cards, that you can send out?

    Annette

  3. I’ve tried several, MyScriptFont, Font101.com and Font Painter. Most of it came out okay but the spacing on some letters was a little off, but with my Corel Draw program I can move individual letters to where it looks good with the Shape Tool. Handy Tool for a Cartoonist or Greeting Card Artist. In my case I do it for fun adding it to my cartoons.

  4. Sumguynobuddynoes says:

    Awesome font service! You have unique and useful ideas which stand out from the crowd. Keep going!

  5. Michelle Cramer says:

    I attempted this and the font came out as the crosshairs of the main boxes. None of them were the letters I entered — just a bunch of lines. I stayed within the gray boxes and scanned as instructed. Any idea what may have happened?

    • Hmmmm, Michelle. I’m not sure what the issue is. I’ve never had anything but success. Maybe reach out to the creators of myscriptfont.com and see if they can offer any technical advice?

  6. Can i make myanmar (burmese) font by my hand writing. Please …..

    • Hey Koluhla! You know, I’m honestly not sure. Maybe you can check with the creator of the font site and see what languages they support? I know the sheet you print out and write on has lots of different/extra characters that aren’t part of the English language, but I’m not familiar with them all. Hope this helps!

    • This is quite late but you could substitute your keyboard letters with the Burmese ones, and write down what each letter represents, so instead of an A you would get your Burmese letter as a for instance. I did something like this simple shapes.

  7. Just created my own font thanks to your awesome tutorial! Thank you so much! I’ve created other fonts on paid sites and I think the quality of this font is superior! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

    • That’s so awesome to hear, Gigi! I’m glad this was helpful to you and that you were able to create an awesome font! (Hopefully your handwriting is better than mine, too.) ;)

  8. Wow, it looks amazing! Definitely going off to give this a go! :)

  9. This is great information for a digital scrapbooker like me so I can incorporate my own handwriting onto my pages. I will definitely be making my own font soon. Thanks for the tip Christine!

  10. This is so stinking cool!! I will be doing this ASAP!!!!!

  11. Hey Christine!
    I have always dreamt about a site like yours and I finally found it. I saw one of your posts on Pinterest. I have to say that I love everything you do here and your posts are very useful. I LOVE IT. Thank you for generously sharing all the things you know :).
    THANK YOU!

    • Hey there, Mia! THANK YOU so very much for all the kind words! You literally just made my day. Getting sweet notes like yours are what makes blogging awesome. You’re so very welcome and I am thrilled to hear you find what I’m sharing helpful! Thank you so much for stopping by, and for taking the time to leave me such a nice message! :)

  12. AY! DEAR Christine!
    You and I are going to become best friends very soon!
    Whew!
    I need to read something from this site every day, just to overcome waking up in the morning!
    Thank you, thank you, not only for this font tutorial, but also for being all the things I don’t have time to be, so I can come borrow your brain like an external hard drive! Signing up now. <3 K

    • Haha, Katharine! Your comment made me simultaneously crack up and get a huge grin! THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the kind words…I’m so happy to hear you enjoy what you’ve found here….come back anytime, and we WILL become BFFs! :)

  13. WOW! This is so incredibly helpful! And the instructions are simple enough that I think even I could do it! Thank you, Christine!! :D

  14. i have samples of my dads had writing. And have saved a lot of my mom handwriting I would like make them in to a font for my kids. Is this the best way to do that. Seems pretty easy. I would just have to trace them on the templet. Sounds great way of doing it

    • That sounds like a great idea, Jenna! And a wonderful memento to pass along to your kids!

      Yep, I think you could trace them onto the paper and create the font that way. One other idea is to create the template digitally. I haven’t done it myself, but the site says you can use a digital program to complete the template instead of doing it by hand. I guess in your case you could scan in your parents’ handwriting samples then transfer the letters individually to the template, save the file, then upload it. Photoshop would work along with possibly even Preview (if you have a Mac), or maybe other programs too. It’s definitely an idea! If you’re able to create a font using your parents’ handwriting, I’d love to hear about how you do it! :)

      • I’ve done it this way too scanning one letter at a time and you can centre it more accurately but it does take more time to do it that way.

  15. Thank you for this interesting article on making your own handwriting fonts. I would actually love to have one of my cursive handwriting. Do you know if that is possible?

    Thanks!
    Rosemary

    • Hello Rosemary! You know what, I honestly don’t know about a way to get a cursive handwriting font created. I would like to know that as well since I tend to write in cursive more than print, too. I’m sure there are services out there that will allow for that, but I would bet they’re not free. It may be worth it though if you have really pretty handwriting (something I do not have, ha!). I’ll look into it a little more and if I find something, I’ll be sure and pass it along!

  16. You and I are too much alike! I currently have 3 templates sitting on my bedside table waiting to be finished!! I have about 10-15 designs I’ve been wanting to get uploaded, but the baby nursery renovation is taking up any extra time I have!!! Your post just motivated me to finish them already :) Thanks for sharing and the reminder of how truly easy it is!!! I have to MAKE time to just finish it. Sigh…life of a crafty DIYer, living in the land of unfinished projects ;) Happy Friday, Christine!!!

    • Oh Mel, we do sound like twins!! Ha! Yes, unfinished projects are littered around my house as well…..too many projects, never enough time. Like you said, the wonderful world of a crafty DIYer. New Baby definitely takes precedence though. :) I hope you share the renovated nursery when you’re finished working magic with it!

  17. too bad there are no Æ Ø Å, but cool otherwise

  18. Thanks for sharing this info! Giving it a try. One thought, you mention scanning b&w, they suggest greyscale, might allow for a finer line working.

    • Hey Sarah! Thanks for the suggestion! I did actually try scanning my thicker template in grayscale, but it looked all wonky so I didn’t upload that file. Maybe it’s just my scanner since it’s a little older though and they have several newer models available. You may be right though….one of these days I’ll have to get around to giving a grayscale version a try and seeing if the results are any different! Thanks for visiting!

  19. This was awesome! Thanks for sharing!! I was curious if you have an apostrophe that works with your new font. Mine seems to be missing. :(

    • Hey Lisa! I just went back into Photoshop and played around with my font a little bit more. To answer your question, yes, my apostrophe is showing up. I noticed, however, that it won’t work if I type it first or by itself….the font defaults to Myriad Pro. However, if I start typing a word and include the apostrophe like normal (such as with “Christines”), then the apostrophe works just fine. Weird! I’m not sure why you’re having difficulties with your characters. :/ Best of luck working out the kinks though, and thanks so much for stopping by!

      • Thanks for replying so quickly with your experience! I’ll have to see what I can figure out. Thank you again for providing this fantastic tutorial! I’ve always wanted to have my own handwriting font. :)

        • My pleasure, Lisa! Glad I could help. I’ve also always wondered what kind of font my handwriting would make, so I was very glad to stumble upon this method since it’s so easy and (best of all) free!

          Hopefully your handwriting is cuter than mine though. ;) Oh, and please let me know if you find a pen that works well! My big loopy letters were a little much for the Sharpie. :)

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