Every time you pick up your dip pen and write, you’re getting in some calligraphy practice. For your first few calligraphy sessions, that practice should be structured — ideally with a worksheet or a video course so you can learn the basics. But once you understand how to hold your pen and (mostly) regulate ink flow, it’s time to take on projects! Today, I’ve got several suggestions for real life projects that you can use your calligraphy skills to make.
1. This Calligraphy Birthday Card
This card is an all-time favorite tutorial on Instagram. People make it all the time, yet no two cards look alike!
2. This Calligraphy Medallion
Medallions help you to practice calligraphy because they’re basically one big, gorgeous calligraphy drill.
3. This Shortcut Calligraphy Passage Concept
If you’ve got a light box and 45 minutes or so, you can write out practically any passage.
4. This Silhouette Artwork
Choose a favorite poem, play, or book, and use its words to make this lovely artwork. Mine hangs in an 11″x14″ frame with a mat in our guest bathroom.
5. This Flourished Tree Holiday Card
Take advantage of free time this summer to make this tasteful flourished card. You’ll be all set for the holiday season! (There’s also a heart version for Valentine’s Day.)
6. This Perfect Envelope
… Because you won’t find better calligraphy practice than writing out (and centering!) an address.
7. These Place Cards
If you’re too intimidated to make these cards for a formal celebration, try using a family dinner as an excuse for doing a “dry run”.
8. This Goal List
In my experience, goals are easiest to achieve when you see them every day. And goals are easiest to display when they’re beautifully written out!
9. This Comforting Card
I made this card for a friend who was feeling a little down about the COVID quarantine. However, you could modify the concept to fit any occasion.
10. This Calligraphy Ampersand Art
This ampersand gives you a great opportunity for calligraphy practice, and it makes a stellar gift!
11. This Flourished Bunny Envelope Art
My nieces (ages 6 and 4) were so happy to receive this envelope. Who doesn’t love a cute bunny?!
12. This Balloon-Themed Birthday Card
This card does require just a bit of illustration, but I promise it’s simple! Use the balloon strings to convey your warm wishes with calligraphy.
13. These Gift Tags
A midcentury design motif meets Amy Style calligraphy to result in holiday gift tag perfection!
14. This Flourished Phrase
With just a few sweeping strokes, you can transform an ordinary phrase into an eye-catching work of art.
15. This Personalized Feather Banner
I love to make these bohemian banners for guests.
16. This Traceable Calligraphy Flourishes Card
Don’t be intimidated: these flourishes are all traceable from a free template (you can find it in the tutorial).
17. These Paper Sashes
Nothing ties your paper goods together better than paper sashes, both visually and literally! Make calligraphy on your sashes, and you’ve got a beautiful presentation.
18. This Christmas Tree Calligraphy Envelope
This envelope is so magical that I made it for my friend in 2017, and I never could bring myself to let it go! Now that she’s moved, I have an excuse to keep it forever.
19. This Calligraphy Exemplar
If you’re up for developing your own calligraphy style, try making an exemplar so you can remember all of the letter formations!
20. This Breezy Envelope Art
The fun, coastal look of this envelope art is the perfect complement to a summer day!
21. This Flourished Swan Envelope Art
Feeling up for a calligraphy practice challenge? Try tackling Schin Loong‘s swan envelope art!
22. This Flourished Calligraphy Country or State Artwork
You can use calligraphy and flourishes to fill in any country or state silhouette, which makes for a fabulous gift!
I also used this concept to make this artwork, which I gave to my (Kansas-dwelling) brother as a Christmas gift:
23. This Fabulous Family Tree
I made this family tree for my mom’s birthday. She’s absolutely in love! A simple calligraphy family tree like this one can help to make any space feel a little more homey.
24. This “Little Black Dress” of Calligraphy Birthday Cards
I call this the “little black dress” of calligraphy birthday cards because it’s perfect for everyone! Man, woman, close friend, vague acquaintance … you can confidently give this card to anyone.
25. This Quick Calligraphy City Map
This simple project incorporates a hand-drawn roadmap, calligraphy, and lettering. If you’re looking for a quick and meaningful gift, give this map a try!
Remember that calligraphy practice should always be fun, so work on whatever you feel like. There will be some days where you’d prefer to practice with a worksheet or do some drills, and there will be other days where you want to freestyle a bit! I hope that this article gets you excited about project ideas and helps to show you that dip pen calligraphy can be versatile in its applications. Enjoy!