When we first started working on text based art projects, we were quite of the mind that digital text design was where it’s at. It seemed so modern and professional to start designing text, quotes, and wording on our laptops and tablets, learning all the different design programs. Then one day the power in our home went out on an afternoon where we’d had all the creative crafting time in the world and it didn’t come back on for several days. We happened to pick up a pen and start doodling and sketching the text project we’d had in mind to work on… and we liked the basics of what we created even better. That’s how we got into calligraphy! As grateful as we are that we also learned some simple graphic design, sometimes going back to the traditional way of doing things is just as satisfying, if not more. We’ve been doing calligraphy for a number of years now and it has certainly levelled up the quality of greeting and thank you cards we send out to our families and friends. Even so, we’re still always eager to practice, improve our skills, learn new styles, and give different shapes and lettering techniques a try.
Just in case you’re as interested in calligraphy as we are, if not more so, here are 15 helpful tip resources, inspirational designs, and project ideas that will get your pens moving!
1. Foiled canvas beach bag with calligraphy quote
Were you particularly intrigued by our introduction because you’ve actually got both the traditional and modernized sets of skills we were talking about above and you’ve been looking for ways to combine them into one project and create something really neat? Well, if you’re also the kind of crafting enthusiast who loves a good laser cutter and vinyl press project, then we’ve absolutely found the perfect project for you! Check out how Crafts Unleashed chose a quote, designed a calligraphy style rendering of it, printed and cut the vinyl, and created a lovely metallic customized tote bag. If you’re great at hand calligraphy, you could even sketch out and then scan in your own design rather than using text design programs.
2. Calligraphy canvas quote art
Whether you’re an advanced calligraphic artist or a beginner who’s just dabbling right now, creating quote art on canvas is a great project regardless of your skill level. You can choose any quote you please, design and hand sketch your own weaving font, or get your hands on some calligraphy inspired stencils that will help guide you as you practice. We love adore the way Angela Marie Made teaches you how to keep your edges neat and then frame your canvas with some wooden siding, which balances the minimalist look you’ve painted or drawn on the canvas itself.
3. Chalkboard calligraphy decor sign
Part of what we love about calligraphy so much is that every time we try our hand techniques on a new surface or with a new medium (ink, paint, etc), it’s a completely new experience! Our years of practice still serve us well but we get the excitement of learning something new and challenging ourselves. That’s why we were so into the idea of doing a bit of farmhouse inspired chalk calligraphy when we came across this project featured on Making Joy and Pretty Things! We love that they show you how to make it happen with a stencil as well, just in case you’re not confident in your freehand skills yet, but we actually did ours using our own calligraphy abilities, simply using their font style as a guideline because we liked what we saw in the original.
4. Hand written calligraphy Christmas cards
Did we really peak your attention when we started talking about hand drawn and calligraphy designed greeting card for friends and family, but you’re still quite new and feel like you could use some practice? Then we think we’ve found a resource that you’ll go back to again and again! Check out how Graphic Det used a wonderfully scrawling, slightly more modern calligraphic font to greet their loved ones for Christmas. We love the idea of partnering that with a water colour painting of your own (which we’re still new at but eager to practice more of).
5. Calligraphy bullet journal details
When we very first started practicing creating calligraphic texts by hand, we incorporated small elements of it into just about everything we did. We actually loved it so much that we even included our calligraphy skills in our daily journalling and scheduling process, just as a little frequent practice. Younique Products had the same idea here and we can’t get over how cute their idea for layering their neat, careful calligraphy over chunkier, brightly coloured lettering for some stylistic balance.
6. Hand written calligraphy wedding invites
One of the things we love most about calligraphy is the fact that there are just so many classic lettering styles that you can learn on top of designing ones of your own. This hollowed lettering featured on Miss Bizibee, for examples, reminds us of something gothic and old fashioned, like you’d have seen in books in a Victorian vampire movie. We’d absolutely put this on some invites for our family and friends!
7. Hand drawn graphic calligraphy envelopes
Are you still enthusiastic but learning all kinds of new lettering styles as you practice your calligraphy, but you’re also totally taken with the idea that different strokes can create different aesthetics? Well, we can’t blame you; that’s actually part of what got us into calligraphy in the first place! Perhaps that’s why we adored this little tutorial from Oh So Beautiful Paper so much. Besides just customizing their envelopes for letters and invites with beautiful lettering, they’ve also sketched little drawings and doodles all over the front that suit the style of whatever type of calligraphy they’ve chosen for each one.
8. DIY calligraphy Thanksgiving poster
Have the hand lettering projects you’ve worked on so far primarily been smaller ones? We started out like that too because we primarily sketched and practiced in small notebooks or on pieces of computer paper; whatever we could find, really. Eventually, however, we decided that we wanted to try our hand at a project that was a little bit bigger! We came across this lovely holiday hanging idea featured on Bird’s Party and followed their lead to make a calligraphic Thanksgiving poster for our own family too.
9. Decorative quote calligraphy scroll
Were you quite intrigued by the design we showed you above because you liked the rustic, old fashioned looking aesthetic of the brown paper they used to make their holiday hanger? Well, why not do a project that embraces that even more? We love the way Lion & Lantern created a lovely quote scroll featuring coils of paper at either end to really drive the “old fashioned” aspect of the project home. Perhaps even more than that, we love the way they took all the space they had to work with as an opportunity to practice a wider, curlier, and more scrawled style of lettering!
10. Tips on hand lettering for beginners
Have you been scrolling through our list so far and thinking about how it’s all well and good to have some ideas for future projects on the back burner but that you’re still actually in need of some resources that will help you out with the basics? In that case, we admire your commitment to practicing and we encourage you to stay motivated by thinking about how much that practice will benefit your style and neatness when you finally do get around to lettering those bigger projects! Until then, here’s an extremely helpful collection of calligraphy tips and tricks from Wee Share.
11. Unique water colour calligraphy art
Is the thing we caught your attention the most with so far our earlier mention of calligraphy paired with water colour painting techniques? Well, as cute as the Christmas tree idea from earlier on the list was, we understand that it’s not exactly the most versatile project idea ever for the rest of the year, which is why we were so pleased to come across this rainbow water colour art project from Trims & Tassels! They show you all kinds of ways to make artistic cards and inspirational quote pieces using careful black calligraphy and hand painted water colour backgrounds.
12. Fragrant calligraphy name cards
One of our favourite things about having well practiced calligraphy skills is making things for other people, even if those things are extremely simple. That’s why we love making little party details like like place markers by hand! We’ve made plenty of lovely calligraphy name tags for family weddings and events of all kinds, but this idea from Brides Magazine for putting a lovely piece of fragrant rosemary through the card once you’re finished the lettering is one of our absolute favourites.
13. Harry Potter inspired feather quill project
Have you actually been looking for an awesome, super fun way to get your kids interested in calligraphy and hand lettering skills as well? Then we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Red Ted Art made a Harry Potter themed craft that got their kids practicing calligraphy with an actual feather quill, just like their favourite characters in the books! of course, the tip of a feather might not make for the neatest stylistic writing, but that’s something they can work on in years to come. Right now you just need to show them how fun the art can really be!
14. DIY calligraphy wedding mirror decor
Are you still thinking about how much you loved the idea of trying out your calligraphy skills on all different types or surfaces and using all different tools for creating the letters? Then here’s another awesomely unique alternative for your consideration! We love the way Daveyard created a beautifully classy looking mirror sign using frosting techniques, simultaneously giving people at the event direction while also giving the newlyweds a stunning keepsake to hang in their home after the big day. Of course, the frosted letters were stencilled onto the glass, but the benefit of being great at hand calligraphy is that you can design your own lettering and model a stencil after your own work, rather than just downloading one.
15. Calligraphed eggs for special occasions
The season for decorating cute eggs might have technically passed already but honestly, in our house, nothing is truly exclusively seasonal if it’s going to keep our kids busy and happy, so we actually dye and decorate eggs all the time! Of course, doing calligraphy (especially on a small surface like an egg) might be a bit too advanced for your little ones, but that does’t mean that you can’t try your hand at this pretty lettering project the next time your kids decide they want to get out the wax and dyes and make rainbow eggs to put on display. Check out how this insanely beautiful lettering was done on Oh Happy Day!
Do you know a fellow DIY enthusiast and crafter who has been looking for new ways to practice their and lettering and calligraphy skills in a creative, productive way? Share this post with them to give them all kinds of new ideas for fantastic calligraphy projects they’ll love!