Getting the right gift for someone is tough, but it is especially tough if it is in a field or topic you are unfamiliar with. Therefore, since calligraphy is something I know about, I wanted to list some of the best calligraphy gifts that can be bought easily on Amazon and work very well. I want to make the list that I wished existed when I started calligraphy. This list is mostly targeted to beginners but with a few items to diversify a budding calligrapher’s toolkit. This is so that you can jump start someone’s calligraphy journey but also has some cool tools to give that a more experienced calligrapher. Without further ado let’s get into it.
Here are the Top 10 Best Gifts for Calligraphy Beginners:
1.Pilot Parallel + Refills
If the person you are giving the gift to wants to learn Blackletter/Gothic calligraphy and currently doesn’t have one of these pens then your search for a gift is over. Pilot Parallels are unique pens that were designed to mimic old reed pens. They are cartridge fed so they do not need to be dipped which means less mess. My recommendation for the size would be the green or blue pen to start with because they give you the most contrast between thick and thin lines. That being said, the pen only comes with 2 cartridges which if your new calligrapher gets into it they will run out relatively soon. So that’s why I recommend getting at least one pack of refills to keep them learning their new hobby. These pens are remarkably resilient (had one for over 5 years), and give professional results; definitely a good buy.
- Best value if you want to own all the Pilot Parallels: Pilot Parallel 4-Pack
- One pen to get you started: Pilot Parallel Individual (Blue or 6mm)
- Extra ink to keep the learning going: Pilot Parallel Refills
2. Oblique Pointed Pen Holder + Zebra Nib + Ink
Maybe the person you are giving the gift to has always wanted to learn modern calligraphy or copperplate? No worries, this is the perfect tool to start the classic style of calligraphy that is sure to give you that personal touch on your crafts, letters or art pieces. Oblique holders add a slight angle to your letters so that you don’t have to angle your hand as much for certain alphabet. The Nikko G nib is the most beginner friendly that I am aware of as it is less flexible and requires a less delicate touch and is the exact one I started learning with. Speedball India ink is a good quality ink that is relatively inexpensive.
- This Oblique Pen Holder Set comes with 6 different nibs which may be harder to start with than the Nikko G nib: Speedball Oblique Pen Set
- If you are like me and want more of a decorative oblique pen I have purchased a few from this site here: Decorative Oblique Pen Holder
- I recommend getting the Nikko G Nib if you are learning for the first time but not required: Nikko G Nibs
- Solid Ink at a decent price: Speedball India Ink
3. Tombow Brush Pens
Modern Brush Calligraphy is another popular variant of calligraphy. If your calligrapher is younger, or just doesn’t want to deal with ink or nibs (which I totally understand), brush pens are a better bet for your gift. Brush is less messy, cheaper and a little easier to learn so it’s a solid choice for sparking an what could be a lifelong interest in calligraphy. The markers come in a TON of colours and are very beginner friendly. These markers, paired with these Master Class Practice Sheets will give anyone all the tools they need to learn this versatile art form.
- 10 Pens with one clear “blender” pen: Tombow Dual Brush Pens
4. Bulk Ink
Perhaps your calligrapher has all the tools and is an avid writer. Well, do they have all sort of colours to write with? Or do they often run out of ink? What they may need is a refill on their tool of choice or some of the coolest colours they don’t have! There is a VERY IMPORTANT distinction to be made when selecting an ink for different kinds of calligraphy: India Ink can NOT be put into a Pilot Parallel without ruining it. It will dry up and clog the flow. India ink is perfect for all dip pens as they are cleaned after each use.
5. Practice Sheets
Looking for a new alphabet to learn? Or maybe want to give an alphabet another try with deeper learning? In depth practice sheets are the gift to give. They can bring any beginner calligrapher to a better understanding on how to write calligraphy. Download the PDF and print them out on some good paper you have yourself a powerful tool. I have other sets of practice sheets called “Master Class” which were hand crafted to be a “one stop shop” for learning a given style of calligraphy. One time through the material will give you enough to make your own compositions.
If your calligrapher is more of a reader the next two gift ideas will work quite well. First comes the best book of that I am aware, on learning copperplate calligraphy. This is a classic script that takes a long time to learn but is among the most beautiful. I do not have any practice sheets available teaching this (yet) so the best I can do is point you towards a very valuable resource. Be warned, this is not for the the casual learner. You will also need all the tools from gift idea number 2 on this list.
7. The Calligrapher’s Bible
One of my all-time favourite calligraphy books since it comes with over 100 unique alphabets in order of when they originated historically. Most alphabets are for a broad edge pen (Pilot Parallel) or blackletter scripts, although brush scripts and pointed pen scripts are covered briefly near the end. It is a great book to copy and mimic to learn alphabets. I think this could inspire a beginner to learn various alphabets.
8. Rhodia Dotpad
Are you looking for the best quality and most versatile practice paper you can find? Let me introduce you to the Rhodia Dotpad. I use these for doing calligraphy on the go or lettering design and have never been disappointed. It can be used with any calligraphy ink and has subtle guides (dots) for any direction. If I were you, I would only get this for your calligrapher if they already have some tools available to them.
Is your calligrapher a crafty person? This tool allows more permanent artworks on a larger variety of mediums from paper to mugs to plastics. If you know cursive or monoline calligraphy you can utilize the clear embossing marker to write your calligraphy or draw your design. After writing your masterpiece, sprinkle embossing powder onto the marker trail and then melt it on by a heater. This leaves a dishwasher safe design that can add that personal touch to a project. Note: Instead of the craft heater mentioned, you could use a hair dryer if the heat is focused enough on a small spot.
The 3 things you’ll need to start embossing:
10. Fountain Pen with Flex
A little on the pricier side (especially for just a pen), but a flexible fountain pen not only looks great but can create letters like a pointed pen. If you want to learn Modern Calligraphy, Copperplate Calligraphy or Spencarian script, this pen could be the tool you use. Not to mention fountain pens come in all sorts of colours and designs so you can get a beautiful custom pen for your calligrapher.
Whether they are too specific, expensive or strange I thought they were too cool not to include in some aspect.
- Crystal or Glass Pen – Looks beautiful but writes like a ball point but is a dip pen. Very fragile.
- Music Bars Pen (5 Line Scroll) – Automatic pen which needs to be dipped in ink. It makes uniquely cool lettering.
- Molotow CoversAll 60 mm – For BIG calligraphy, preferably walls or murals.
If you have an idea for a good gift leave a comment below with your suggestion.
Thanks for reading til the end. 🙂