Calligraphy Supplies

The Beginner Modern Calligraphy Supplies You Need for under $30 (And How to Get Started for Free!)

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Modern calligraphy is a great skill to learn to relieve stress, to tap into your creative side, and even to create a side hustle. And one of the best things about trying it out is that it doesn’t require a huge investment! You can buy all the high quality supplies you need to get started for under $30!

When I started learning brush lettering, I was a stay at home mom. For my own mental health, I needed something to do that was just mine so I decided to try hand lettering and modern calligraphy. I wanted to learn this new skill but as a stay at home mom with no side hustle, I definitely couldn’t afford to spend a lot of money on it at that time. Can you relate?

Can you learn a new skill without breaking the bank?

I am the kind of person who doesn’t like to spend a lot on myself. I think a lot of moms can be that way. We spend so much of both our finances and our time on our kids but we forget that we need to invest in ourselves too. If we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we care for our kids?

Being the kind of person who doesn’t spend a lot on myself, I am excited to tell you that you too can start lettering even on a tight budget! You don’t need a closet full of different colored pens or an expensive pad of paper or a special desk. You just need 2 brush pens and smooth paper. I’m going to share my favorite beginner pens and the paper I love below!

The Best Supplies to Learn Modern Calligraphy

  1. Tombow Fudenosuke Hard and Soft Nib Brush Pens– Under $6
    • The hard nib pen is definitely what I recommend for beginners! The tip of the brush pen is less flexible than the soft nib making it easier to control, especially for your upstrokes. I always recommend trying them both out so you can feel the difference. In my experience teaching brush lettering, a lot of people think they like the soft nib best at first but once they start to have trouble with their upstrokes they realize the hard nib allows them to really get those thin upstrokes.
  2. Rhodia Pad– Under $7
    • The Rhodia pad is the perfect practice pad! The paper is so smooth so it won’t cause your pens to fray and it is perforated so you can easily take pages out when you need to. You can get a Rhodia pad that is blank, a dot grid, or a graph.
  3. Strathmore Tracing Paper– Under $7
    • Tracing paper is just what you need for practicing your letters. You can place it over any practice sheets so that you can use them over and over again without reprinting. It is also smooth enough that it won’t damage your brush pens.
  4. HP Premium Laserjet 32 Paper– Under $10
    • This paper is SO soft and smooth! It’s great for your brush pens too. You can use it to print practice sheets on so you can practice directly on them or just to letter on paper a bit thicker than the paper in your Rhodia pad.

What to Do If You Have $0 to Put Towards Learning Modern Calligraphy

If you just can’t invest in lettering supplies right now, there are some supplies you can use that you probably already have! First, Crayola broad line markers can be used in the same way as brush pens by adding pressure to the marker to create thick downstrokes. Don’t have markers? You can create the same brush pen look with faux calligraphy. Faux calligraphy can be done with any pen at all because you simply go back and add the thickness to your downstrokes after writing the letters with no difference in the thickness of your strokes.

The Last Thing to You Need to Know about Modern Calligraphy Supplies

It won’t cost you a lot to get started learning modern calligraphy. You can get everything you need for under $30. But the most important thing is that if you want to learn, you get started! You can buy just the Tombow Fudenosuke Hard and Soft Nib Brush Pens and one of the types of paper I listed if that’s all that is in your budget or you can go the Crayola or faux calligraphy route. Either way, take the time to learn this skill! You are worth it!

Did you try any of these supplies? Comment and let me know!

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