Digitizing Your Handwriting for Photo Overlays

I love adding text over my photos. Overlays are a fun, decorative element to add to photos. They liven up some of the boring photos of objects.

I prefer my own organic handwriting instead of fonts. Seriously, someone invent a pen that allows me to doodle right on my photos. Until that happens, I will have to settle for digitizing my handwriting and adding it to photos digitally before printing.

In this tutorial I will take you through the steps to digitize handwriting for photo overlays. You can also convert your own handwriting to clip art and cuttable SVG files.

Write Something

For the first step, write down a fun phrase or word to digitize. I choose to do three different Christmas phrases. I used a black TomBow Dual Brush Pen. I wrote each phrase down on some tracing paper. I used a grid as my background to help structure the letters.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. Make it organic! The way you write should be uniquely your own and I think that should be reflected in your overlays.

Handwritten Christmas Phrases | LovePaperCrafts.com

Lets Digitize!

Once you have your phrase written down, scan it into the computer and open it up in Adobe Illustrator.

Open up the Image Trace Window. I used the 3 Colors preset because my image was in black and white. The less colors you use the better.

Tutorial for How to Put Handwriting Over Photos | LovePaperCrafts.com

Go to Object > Expand
How to Make Photo Overlays in Illustrator | LovePaperCrafts.com

Now Ungroup the paths.
How to Text Photo Overlays | LovePaperCrafts.com

Select each area that you don’t want and click delete. If you only used a few colors this step should be pretty easy. You can hold down Shift to select more than one path at a time.

DIY Calligraphy to PNG | LovePaperCrafts.com

I copied each phrase into it’s own document. You can skip this step if you only did one phrase.

DIY for How to Put Handwriting Over Photos | LovePaperCrafts.com

For my overlays I changed the color to white so they would show up on dark photos but you can colorize them anyway you want. Go ahead and get creative with your coloring.

Tutorial Photo Overlays | LovePaperCrafts.com

Save as a PNG and you are done. You have now created a stylish, handwritten photo overlay.

How to Add Text Over Photos | LovePaperCrafts.com

Handwritten Photo Overlay Examples

Photo Overlays Tutorial | LovePaperCrafts.com

How to Make Text Photo Overlays | LovePaperCrafts.com

How to Make Text Photo Overlays | LovePaperCrafts.com

How to Digitize Your Handwriting Into a Photo overlay Tutorial and DIY | LovePaperCrafts.com

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