So we’re kicking off another month of the #RockYourHandwriting challenge and people usually ask a few questions – “what do I need?” “What are some good beginning supplies?”
First of all, you don’t really NEED anything. You can practice to your heart’s content with whatever you want to! The true focus is the process, rather than the tools you’re using. I highlight this often in my beginning handlettering post, but you can have the most expensive tools and it won’t mean much if you don’t actually hone your skills. So, know that.
Secondly, if you’re looking for where to start on all this stuff, I compiled a list of the things I’m using right now – I recently compiled a “March Supply Graveyard” post that highlights the supplies I’ve used the most often, and this one is geared specifically for handwriting. I’ve used all these things for the #RockYourHandwriting challenges and one of the most common questions I’ve gotten is, “What pen are you using?” So here’s one of two posts I’ll create to highlight this question.
Note: I’ll feature some affiliate links in this post, meaning that if you happen to buy anything, I’ll get a small commission to support my work on the blog at NO additional cost to you. If you have more questions, check out my disclosures here.
- Rhodia Grid Pad: I regularly use this paper pad to practice handwriting and lettering, because the grids help me line my spacing and there’s no ghosting or bleeding. The paper is super smooth which is not only a nice writing experience but a plus for the longevity of your brush pen tips too.
- Rhodia Webnotebook: This is my trusty home collections notebook, and I’ve used it for my handwriting practice. Rhodia uses the Clairefontaine paper (below) which means there is very little ghosting and almost no bleed-through that I’ve ever experienced even when writing with calligraphy inks.
- Clairefontaine Paper Pad: This blank paper pad is the same paper that is in the Rhodia pads, but white. I use this paper for my letter-writing to my pen pals (which I get from the Bullet Journal Pen Pal group!), mainly because I can use fountain pens on it and be able to write on the back as well – which reduces my paper weight AND still looks nice.
I am a pen fanatic. Through years of experimentation I have a few favorites – you’ll notice that these suggestions are mostly very colorful and NOT ball point. I’m not a ball-point person, and you’ll see that reflected on this sheet.
- Pilot Juice Pens: These are a super fine 0.38mm, but also comes in a 0.5mm – the colors are vibrant and I haven’t seen them skip. The fine tips make my handwriting look really neat (even when it’s not…!)
- Staedtler Fineliners: A fan favorite, they come in a ridiculous array of colors and don’t really bleed through much. Plus, it’s a felt tip which means it doesn’t skip. HOWEVER, I have experienced that the tips wear down into a little square, which makes it harder to write with later on – it’ll last me a few weeks before this point because apparently, I write hard.
- Stabilo N. 88: Similar to the Staedtlers, they are felt tip and come in some vibrant colors. These are a 0.4mm compared to the Staedtler 0.3mm. I see them as very similar, so it may depend on availability for you. These pens usually come in some different packaging than the tray the Staedtlers usually come in, which may be easier to carry around.
- Gelly Rolls: God these take me back to my childhood – but they are just so fun to use, especially if you get some of the fun variations like Lightning, Moonlight, Glaze, Souffle. These can be finicky; I’ve had a few explode on me, and sometimes they skip, but the effects are really fun.
- InkJoy (not pictured): These pens are a thick 0.5mm which are smooth and really great for faux-calligraphy
FOUNTAIN PENS & INK:
I have only just started delving into the world of fountain pens, so these are just the really basic beginner pens I’d suggest if you’re also starting! I would check out my friends Kim and Kara for their fountain pen reviews and how they use them – a new rabbit hole for all of us!
- Diamine Ink: this is the ink that Kim recommended to me, as a more affordable beginner option that has a BUNCH of different options – it is really amazing how many shades of color they can create. These get refilled into your pen using a squeeze converter for the ink cartridge.
- Pilot Metropolitan, Fine Nib: this is my preferred of the nibs, because it’s not so thick in my planner or letters. The weight makes writing feel so … fancy!
CALLIGRAPHY PENS & INK:
For writing, I straight up just do dip-pen calligraphy. To think, way back when, this is how they wrote everything – so this WAS their handwriting. Unreal.
- Glass jars to make it easier to dip my nib into ink
- Dr. Ph Martin’s India Ink: these gorgeous inks look BEAUTIFUL on pages when the ink starts to dry out or run low in the nib – and they don’t bleed through the Clairefontaine paper
- General’s Straight Holder + Nikko G Nib – It used to be on Amazon but I cannot find it!
- Dr. Ph Martin’s Watercolor: Mixing these with water, I get a similar effect as using India ink with watercolor – the difference is, you can easily mix different ink colors and get the sweet ombre effect
- Walnut ink: you just have to see it. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. So classy and you can use it more every-day than the black sumi ink.
These things are fun to play around with, great to add to a wishlist, or gift to someone who shares your love for stationery and letters – there are SO many things I want to try in the future, but for now these are some tried and true things I’ve used for working on my handwriting. What should I try next? Let me know down below! Pin and share with friends who may find this useful