A couple times a month, my 12 and 14-year-old daughters join me for some art journaling. It’s a great opportunity to sit and chat over a simple, personal art project. Elementary-age kids through adults can enjoy creating these unique illustrated names.

The goal of this project is to illustrate the letters of your first name, nickname, or last name to express parts of your personality. It’s fun, and sometimes challenging, to think creatively about how you can turn objects into letters.

Drawing with kids: illustrated names

This project works well on a long strip of paper. We drew our name illustrations on half sheets of letter-size white card stock. Gather some drawing and coloring supplies – we used a combination of colored markers, black Sharpies, crayons, and colored pencils.

Before beginning our letter drawings, we brainstormed and sketched ideas on scratch paper. We thought about our hobbies and interests, favorite things, and anything else we could think of to represent ourselves.

Drawing illustrated names with kids

Think about an object you could use to symbolize each of your ideas, such as a paintbrush if you enjoy art or a sandcastle if you love the beach. Here are a few topics that might spark some ideas for your letters:

  • sports
  • hobbies
  • favorite books, movies, TV shows
  • animals
  • interests (space, nature, castles, trucks, etc.)
  • favorite season
  • foods
  • places

When you have an idea for each of your letters, it’s time to start drawing! You can draw all capital letters, all lowercase letters, or a mix of the two. If you have a long name, think about spacing so all your letters will fit. One of my girls drew with colored markers, then added more color with crayons. I especially love her fall tree letter N and her A made out of chocolates!

Drawing project for kids - illustrated names

My other daughter chose to draw in pencil first, then trace over with a black Sharpie and fill-in with colored pencils. Go with whatever works best for you kiddos! I love her open book letter L and her stained glass letter E.

Illustrated name art project

I think these illustrated names would also make special birthday cards. You could illustrate the special person’s name with favorite things or birthday objects, like balloons, presents, cake, etc. What a fun card!

Have fun creating your one-of-a-kind illustrated name art!

Creative drawing project - illustrated names

For even more fun with names, try one of these projects: