I am not a professional…but I play one on TV!

Howdy folks. I have to admit that I have the worst handwriting of anyone I know BUT if you put a calligraphy pen in my hand I turn into the Queen of England. Why is it that I can legably…ney, I daresay even beautifully..with a calligraphy pen and not a regular one? I think it has to do with the fact that when I use a fancy pen I “draw” my letters and when I write with a regular old pen I am trying to communicate words…it’s a theory.


Do you wanna try? Here is a 15 minute video that shows you some lettering with a calligraphy pen as well as tips and tricks to make you lettering look professional with minimum experience and effort. I call it faux calligraphy!

Calligraphy tips: Remember these tips and your writing will be beautiful!

  1. Keep your pen nib at a 45 degree angle.
  2. Move your entire arm (from the shoulder) when writing.
  3. Keep the same slant to all of your letters (the  straight lines in your letters should be parallel to each other) for a uniform look. Also try to keep your spacing between letters the same.
  4. Press on the downstroke (more pressure=thicker lines) and lift on the upstroke (less pressure=thinner lines)
  5. Always start your letters at the top!

Always start your letters at the top song. Sing this as you write, it goes to the tune of “If your happy and you know it”:

Always start your letters at the top!

Always start your letters at the top!

When you start a letter,

It get’s better, better, better,

If you always start your letters at the top!


At the end of the video I showed you some resist techniques, I am assuming most of you tuned out when I started singing so here is a recap:)

Step 1. After writing your words color and doodle on them with crayon.


Step 2. Paint them with watercolors.


Step 3: Embossing them with an embossing folder while wet. Paint more color over if desired.


Alternately you can emboss the tag when it is dry and rub a chunk of wax on it then watercolor it for a patterned resist. Oh the fun things you can try when you mix calligraphy with mixed media! Have fun and til next time happy crafting!

14 Responses

  1. Great tips on calligraphy! When I was a professional art teacher, I taught these skills in the Catholic Schools, but using a calligraphy marker. My students copied poems. When I took a calligraphy class, in order to teach it, we started off learning to hold a carpenters pencil correctly! I still have the workbook with the lines and I have made copies of some of the pages for my scrapbookers to practice on.


    • what a great idea, carpenter’s pencils! I’ll give it a try!


    • It’s rather sad they don’t pay much attention to handwriting in school anymore. I went to Catholic School and penmanship was part of daily lessons and graded.

      Love the carpenter pencils, my father would write with nothing else. He was a carpenter but used it in everyday writing as well. I love them and always have a stash. I love writing with the calligraphy markers as well.

      Love this technique…much put my calligraphy set to use.


      • my childrens school still does penmenship, they use the “handwriting without tears” method and their handwriting is better than mine and my husbands at ages 7 and 9. All schools should do it, it is art if nothing else.


  2. Great tips but I still can’t do it. What can I say. Thanks for the help to learn.


  3. Love your tips for calligraphy! I’m going to try them soon. I also love all of your videos and comments that you add. Hilarious!!


  4. Cool look Lindsay! You really dressed it up…thanks for the tips!
    Paper Hugs,


  5. I loved your professional & scripted video, lol. You know how much I love all your videos. Your calligraphy is so beautiful. My Mom is a professional calligraphy artist and used to teach it. I am left handed so I drove her nuts when she taught me. All hope was not lost. I have beautiful handwriting. 🙂

    I absolutely love the idea of painting with the nibs. I was about ready to knock the cats off my table and grab my paints. I decided to be kind. 🙂 I will push them off later with promise of Pounce.

    I love the idea of bookmarks. I read to kids. I am always trying to think of different projects to do with them to ignite a passion for reading. I have been reading to kids since I was a teenager. I am 4+0 now and never thought of bookmarks! I made my kids bookmarks but I never thought about making bookmarks with them. They will love it. I work with young teen girls who have been raped and abused. They would really love this project too. It would mean the world to them to have something so beautiful and will give them a lot of confidence. Thanks for the great video. It really helped me a lot because I have been running out of ideas lately.


  6. You make it look so easy. What is the brand of watercolors and did the brush come with it. Loved the colors.


    • Thanks! The watercolors are by Windsor & Newton, it is the cotman line, great quality and less expensive than their “Artist” line. I reful the pans of color with tube color when it runbs out. The brush is a #16 round by Lowell Coreell I think. Any #16 nylon brush will be similar, I really like the Aqualon sets by Royal Lagnickel because the handles are acrylic and they won’t swell if you forget them in the water. I can’t remember if a brush came with this set or not…it probably did:)


  7. you make it look so easy to do and also exciting to try…….I’m a lefty and have to turn my paper at a angle facing towards my right..would the 45 deree still apply???…thanks


    • Yes. Use lined paper and the nib should be at a 45 degree angle to the line on the paper. Good luck:)

      Sent from my Kindle Fire


  8. Thank you for the lesson, Lindsay! Under your work I native that you are using a Silpat mat, normally used for baking. Can you explain what the benefits are of using this, as opposed to the mats normally used for crafting? Can you cut on it! Or do you use it only for specific tasks? Just curious! 😀


    • Well, I had visions of baking lots of homemade cookies when I asked for one for Christmas but then I realized that I do not enjoy baking so rather than let it go to waste I use it as a craft mat. You can NOT cut on it but it is sillicone and great for hot glue and messy projects and it is thisk and does not roll up on me like he thinner ones might. That’s my story:)


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