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Making Art

A Slightly Handmade Holiday

Calligraphy for beginners

Stores everywhere have brought out Bing Crosby and Mariah Carey Christmas classics; tourists have descended on Chicago's twinkly light-adorned shopping districts; and all of the pumpkin products at Trader Joe's have been replaced by peppermint and eggnog.

The holiday season is upon us.

I always have lofty aspirations for my craftiness this time of year. I've finally passed the point of thinking I could do all handmade gifts (you're welcome, family and friends). But recently I came across these gorgeous printable thank you tags from Bells & Whistles Stationary Design that had me thinking of new ideas for making art.

Thank you tags

Photo by Shannon Bradfield

Perhaps working on my calligraphy skills could go a long way in making my presents and holiday cards a bit more personalized this year without the commitment of knitting 15 scarves or baking 10 dozen cookies.

Calligraphy can be tough at first. Those fountain pens test my patience big time. My oldest sister had a calligraphy set when we were kids, and to this day her handwriting is pretty and flowerly. She even addressed all of my wedding invitations; she's that good. I, on the other hand, couldn't sit still long enough absorb much. In my defense, she's seven years older than me. in reality's defense, I still struggle with prolonged concentration on such tasks. 

No matter! The season is in full swing. If I begin now and practice a LOT, I'm optimistic I can master a few of the simpler letters. I better start right away.

Check out these beginner tips for how to learn calligraphy and use your new skills to make your own handwritten gift tags this year.

learn calligraphy learn calligraphy sans serif

Excerpted from the Walter Foster Calligraphy Kita complete set for beginners.

Have you ever wanted to learn Calligraphy? Let us know your questions or hesitations, we'd love to help!

Heather Linder

Heather is a journalist and writer living in Chicago with her composer husband and art-loving puppy, Lancelot. She's on an endless quest for the city's best coffee and is endlessly inspired by Chicago's magnificent skyline. Heather is a bookworm, aspiring chef, and NPR fanatic. She's in the process of teaching her beagle to use a French press and overcoming her fear of DIY.

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In painting I want to say something comforting in the way that music is comforting.

Vincent Van Gogh

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