Calligraphy quote art makes for a perfect DIY gift. It’s personal, artistic, and thoughtful, and it doesn’t have to take forever to make! Today, I’ll show you my shortcut method for making frame-worthy calligraphy pieces.
1. Choose a Premium Paper
If you plan on giving your calligraphy quote art as a gift, you’ll want to choose a hardy, high-quality paper. Make sure it’s acid-free! Otherwise, the years will take a toll on your work as the acid in the paper reacts with the ink.
Once you have your paper, use scissors or a cutting board to cut the paper down to your desired size. I cut mine to 8″ x 10″, which I will mat to put in a 11″ x 14″ frame.
2. Choose the Quote and Format
Before you create your calligraphy quote art, write out the quote in your regular handwriting. Experiment with different ways to break it up, and choose the one that seems to flow the best. Once you’ve decided on that, you’ve got a format!
As a rule of thumb, try to keep your quotes short. The longer the quote, obviously, the longer it will take to write out. More words also result in more potential for mistakes, and lengthy texts can be difficult to format.
3. Make a Draft
Next, cut a piece of white scrap paper to the same size that you want your finished piece to be. (In my case, that size is 8″ x 10″.) Use a pencil and a ruler to draw the appropriate quantity of calligraphy guidelines on your scrap paper. Don’t worry about the positioning of the guidelines on the page; we’ll center the calligraphy vertically in a later step. You can see below that I drew five sets of guidelines to accommodate my quote.
Now, if you want to, you can draw diagonal lines to regulate the slant of your letters. This step is completely optional, and one I only take if I’m using a formal calligraphy style like Janet or Flourish Formal.
Next, use pencil calligraphy to write out your quote. Try to center your calligraphy the best you can; if it’s noticeably off-center, erase the calligraphy, then re-write it.
For words that are only slightly off-center, you can make vertical guidelines for yourself so you’ll know to move the words over a bit in the final version.
If you want to, you can play around with adding some flourishes.
Take advantage of the fact that you’re using a pencil! If you don’t like some of the flourishes, you can easily erase them.
4. Trace Over the Draft
If you have a light box, get it out. Turn the light box on, then transpose your “nice paper” over the pencil draft. Move the nice paper up and down until you can see that the calligraphy is centered vertically.
Carefully use your calligraphy pen to trace over the draft.
Once you finish tracing, the piece is finished.
I like using this technique because it’s quick and easy, plus you can trace duplicates if you want to! For example, I can easily trace this phrase a couple more times and give the results to my two brothers as a holiday gift. The drawback is you can’t use the light box technique for dark paper. The light can’t shine through any paper that has a dark tone!
5. Frame (Optional)
Framing your calligraphy quote art will elevate its presentation to another level! I strongly recommend framing your calligraphy, especially if you’re going to give it as a gift. You can learn how to frame your own artwork and calligraphy in this blog post.
I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial, and that it helps you to checkmark a few names on your gift list! If you have any questions — or suggestions — about the process, please feel free to contribute to the comments! Otherwise, thanks very much for reading TPK, and hang in there … the “holidaze” will be over before you know it. 🙂