How To Create Faux Calligraphy + A Giveaway!

Learn how to easily create beautiful hand lettered calligraphy – using just a pen!

This post comes from our blog intern, Natalie!

Ever wondered how the beautiful script found all over Pinterest and our blog is created? Modern calligraphy is becoming wildly popular, making even the simplest words special when written with artistic penmanship. I’m going to let you all in on a secret – and it may come as a surprise to some – but a lot of the time this calligraphy isn’t actually made with a calligraphy pen and ink. Instead, it is created with a regular pen, and a few simple techniques. With a little practice and supplies that should already be lying around your house, you will be able to start writing out Monday inspiration quotes of your own.

Check out the steps below and leave your favorite quote in the comments to be entered into a giveaway! We will pick one winner to have their favorite quote hand-written, framed, and mailed to them by us at the home office!


What you need:



Black pen


When you know what you want to write out, begin by gathering inspiration online. Having in mind what your lettering will look like makes things easier when you start writing. I often look up quotes on Pinterest to get ideas for new ways to shape letters and format the words.


Once you’re inspired, the next step is to lightly write out your words in pencil on your paper. Essentially you are just writing in cursive, but don’t be afraid stylize the lettering and exaggerate certain parts of the script. The more unique, the better. This takes practice, so continue to try different ways of writing letters until you find something you like.


The next step is to go over what you wrote in pencil with a fine point black pen. Trace the words carefully, but don’t worry if it looks a little different than it did in pencil. Once the pen has dried for a few seconds, erase the pencil lines that are still visible.


Now the magic happens. The basics of real calligraphy is to apply pressure on any down strokes while writing, creating a mix of thick and thin lines. This same concept applies to faux calligraphy. You want to draw in the outline of a thicker line on any part of the letter that was a down stroke when you wrote it initially. At first you will have to think about what section of the letter this would be before making the line, but as you practice more, knowing where to make it thicker will come naturally! This is the most important part to making it look like real calligraphy, so make sure to take your time.


The last step is to carefully fill in the spaces where you created the thick lines with your pen!

fauxcalligraphy-5 fauxcalligraphy-8 fauxcalligraphy-6

+ Don’t forget to leave a comment below with your favorite quote to be entered into the giveaway!

Follow Natalie on Instagram and FP Me!


  1. My favorite quote right now is “I did my best”. I always have to remind myself that even when I don’t do exactly what I thought I was going to, I always put my all in!

  2. I have a lot of favorite quotes, but one that applies to me right now is “Everything you want is on the other side of fear”. It just reminds me that anything that scares me is probably worth doing and will make me a better person.

  3. My favourite quote is a Stephen Hawking one: “The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.” Because everything will change with our personal choices.

  4. One of my favorite lines these days is “Lost at last.” I’d love to just take off on a road trip tomorrow and just sketch across the desert.

  5. My favorite quote is “Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry” by J.Kerouac. It seems like the best life advice

  6. My favorite quote is “You’re a Genius all the time.” by Jack Kerouac from his “List of 30 Beliefs and Techniques for Prose & Life”

  7. “Forever wild” – It’s the motto of the Adirondack Mountains which I hold so dear. And it means so many lovely things to me.

  8. Did this! Turned out so awesome! And i’m not even crafty. Super Simple! Thanks for sharing, now I can make cute Chalkboard art! :)~

  9. Saint Augustine qoutes; “Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.” it reminds us of the importance of one’s internal beauty and to always show forth love and kindness.

  10. In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on. :) :) :)

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this!! I learned how to write in calligraphy when I was younger, my mom was obsessed with the way it looked with simple words. I have since then forgotten a few of the techniques and lost the calligraphy pens that I once treasured. My favorite quote comes from a song by John Lennon called Imagine….”you may say I’m a dreamer, but i’m not the only one”…I embroidered this quote on a tea towel for my mom. and it reminds me that no matter how old I get I can still follow my dreams and I shouldn’t feel ashamed for still wanting to follow them even after i’m out of my twenties…my mom and I have a dream of owning a shop together, but we are both realists and wonder if it’s just too late..

  12. My favorite one is this one and I’m planning to get a tattoo of this: “If you are going through hell, keep going.”

  13. Love a bit of caligraphy. Thank you for the lovely inspiration. I’ve been incorporating some brush stroke text into my book cover designs recently. So theraputic! My quote comes from the wonderful Coco Chanel and is a great lift for all in wonderful creative jobs for the love of it rather than the money!: “There are people who have money and people who are rich”. I’m definitely rich! :-)

  14. When you were born – you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die – the world cries and you rejoice.

  15. Every instance of heartbreak can teach us powerful lessons about creating the kind of love we really want.

  16. My favourite quote is not as poetic or as flowery as your others, but for me it is perfect! ‘Only dead fish go with the flow’….. beautiful work – will certainly give it a try (• ◡•)

  17. “Do not look at yourself with disgust, you are a gift to this earth. You are beautiful, you are light, an energy, an essence. You are nature herself.” -heidi pickett
    reminds me of all the neglected beauty that we all have ((:

  18. One of my new favorite quotes is “There was no where to go but everywhere, so just keep rolling under the stars”- Jack Kerouac. This is the technique I use for my handlettering. Beautiful work!

  19. “If you have good thought they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will alway look lovely” Roald Dahl

  20. My favorite quote, of which I have a tattoo, is by Albert Camus: “In the Depth of winter, I learned there was in my an invincible summer.” So inspiring, and so freeing. x

  21. My favorite quote currently is “divines lumière” which is French for “make of yourself a light”

  22. My favorite quote currently is “deviens lumière” which is French for “make of yourself a light”

  23. “Not all those who wander are lost” – J.R.R Tolkien. It’s one of my favorites. I have it tattooed on my shoulder :)

  24. A favorite quote of mine that I found on a nature walk…..

    “Bloom where you are planted”

  25. One of my favorite quotes is by Jane Goodall: “How lucky that I can carry the peace of the forest in my heart.”

  26. “And I am out with lanterns, looking for myself” is a line from the letters of Emily Dickinson and they resonate with me deeply. It is my desire to live fully with passion, and I am constantly fighting to discover and become the woman I was born to be.

  27. “..fall in and out of love until your hands and heart are libraries of all the people they have touched. before long we all learn, right down to our bones, that some people are hostels, and others are homes.” -Beau Taplin (hostels & homes). A friend sent this to me and it represents everything that I believe about life and exploration. As a brand new college student this fall I can’t wait to explore new people and to seize this opportunity to find a new home within the people I meet.

  28. What an awesome idea!

    To Come Home To Yourself

    May all that is unforgiven in you
    Be released.
    May your fears yield
    their deepest tranquilities.
    May all that is unlived in you
    Blossom into a future
    Graced with love.

    ~ John O’Donohue

  29. Sometimes you have to steal an animatronic badger just to stay in this crazy game called life
    -Stan Pines

  30. Love this tutorial!

    One of my all time favorite quotes is by Thich Nhat Hahn: “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

    He continues to tell of the damage we have caused her, and how we should be mindful of each step in order to fully share love, peace, and beauty. He ends the section with, ” every step makes a flower bloom under our feet. We can do it only if we do not think of the future or of the past, if we know that life can only be found in the present moment.” His words have very much inspired my current words of empowerment for myself: live by the sun, love by the moon, spread compassion, be positive, be free, be happy. Sending love to all you BLDG25 babes.

  31. thank you One of my all time favorite quotes is by Thich Nhat Hahn: “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

  32. One of my favorite quotes is from the book, The Alchemist, “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person achieve her dream.”

  33. That’s so Amazingly Awesome!! I love the DIY projects that take something that seems really complicated and explains it in a way that most everyone can try it. I’ll have to try that!!!! Thank you for sharing!

    The Weaver Of Words…..give me 15 words and I’ll tell you a tale

    Here’s one of my favorite quotes:
    “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
    ― Aesop

  34. My favorite quote is “No matter what your past has been, your future is spotless.”

  35. “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” Roald Dahl
    Beautiful quote and so true!

  36. One of my favorite quotes might sound silly as it comes from the Kanye West song ‘The Good Life’ but it’s “Let’s go on a living spree, they say the best things in life are free.” Which I love as a reminder to just live your life, material things come and go, memories last forever. :)

  37. “I wish I had done everything on earth with you” F. Scott Fitzgerald its how i feel about my wonderful husband! I would LOVE this hanging in our abode.

  38. “You are braver that you believe, stronger that you seem, and smarter than you think.”
    quoted from Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh


  39. Love this tutorial! A cute lemony snicket quote: “I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been broken, and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled.” :)

  40. Favorite quote of all time…”The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

    Second favorite, but got me through the times when I felt like giving up the most… I just had to look at my bracelet to read the words – “Impossible is nothing.” I lost the bracelet, but a framed quote of this might just be what I need.

  41. Thanks for the tutorial!! One of my favorite quotes is “don’t grow a wishbone daughter where your backbone ought to be.”

  42. “Feed the babies,who don’t have enough to eat. …..shoe the children, with no shoes on their feet… the people, living in the streets…..oh,there’s a solution” …….

  43. My personal favorite quote is “Don’t let numbers tell you what to do. You are blood and earth, not theory and chalk.”

  44. T”here’s a thousand lives we might live but when it comes down to it, we each must make the most of the tools at hand to live the life we have and to make it shine.” … John Steinbeck, “The Grapes of Wrath”

  45. Great tutorial! My favourite quote at the moment is ‘Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place’ – short and sweet! :)

  46. My favorite quote is, “The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood.” -Carl Sagan

  47. “There’s a thousand lives we might live but when it comes down to it, we each must make the most of the tools at hand to live the life we have and to make it shine.” … John Steinbeck, “The Grapes of Wrath”

  48. Call me a nerd… but my favorite quote is from Lord of the Rings: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

  49. One of my favorites lately is ‘Nothing is Permanent’ , which reminds me that even during tough times, eventually things will get better.

  50. “I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”

    -Audrey Hepburn

  51. My favorite quote is “You can go your own way” a lyric from one of my favorite bands Fleetwood Mac

  52. Great tutorial!!

    “Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature.”
    ~Michael Faraday

  53. My favorite quote from the moment is “She behave as if she was beautiful… It is the secret of her charm”

    I used to fear change, it really is a scary thing…but now i embrace change. I never truly know what’s around the corner and that excites me!

  55. “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you I could walk through my garden forever.” Alfred Tennyson

  56. I have a few faves, but if I can only pick one I choose what hubby said to me at our wedding ceremony – – “Semper Fidelis” Thnx! E

  57. watch with glittering eyes the world around you (roald dahl)


    respond to every call that excites your spirit (rumi)

  58. My favorite quote is by my from my role model and favorite singer/songwriter, Trevor Hall: “Whatever path you follow, push on till tomorrow. Love all, serve all, and create no sorrow.” This lyric is my mantra and I don’t know who I would be without Trevor Hall’s music to guide me through this beautiful life.

  59. All time favorite quote:

    “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
    -T.S. Eliot

  60. Traveling really inspires me, and one of my favorite quotes is, “This heart of mine was made to travel this world.”

  61. “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet”
    Rachel Wolchin

  62. “The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you”. From Bob Harris in Lost in Translation.

  63. when asked for his definition of paradise

    “This morning, with her, having coffee.”

    – Johnny Cash

  64. This is exactly the technique I use for a college project!
    Obsessed with typography creations :)

    ” Only after we’ve lost everything, are we free to do anything.”
    from Fight Club

  65. My favourite quote now is “feel dem spirit” by Bob Marley. I love this quote because I’ve always been a person that works on intuition and it takes a lot of passion otherwise feelings to truly give your all in anything and everything you do. So be free and feel dem’ spirit ….

  66. “Do more of what makes you happy”. I try to keep this in mind as much as possible..! <3

  67. I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less travelled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

  68. Oh my gosh, this post was so incredibly necessary. I’ve been trying to learn how to do it and I guess I developed my own technique as well. But, I’m super excited to try this out on a wood burning.

    Ah, I’ve fallen in love with far too many quotes. But one that I don’t tend to forget is, “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” These lovely words were spoken by Max Ehrmann.

  69. I retract my previous quote. This one is much closer to my heart:

    “Blossom and birth whenever you feel like it.” -Clarissa Pinkola Estes in her book Women Who Run With The Wolves.

  70. My mom’s favorite quote that she told me at least once a month growing up!

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

  71. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
    Samuel Beckett

  72. One of my favourite quotes is from Blaise Pascal…“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of”

  73. Love this tutorial! I’ll need to work on my penmanship to make mine as gorgeous as your “create wildly,” though. As for quotes, I think I have too many faves, but a mantra I’ve been repeating to myself lately is “You can effing do it!” My summer goals are to finish a book and write some new songs. The self-doubt is strong.

    Also, everyone’s quotes are so great! I spent way too long reading a bunch of them. I especially like hawthorn’s, “Only dead fish go with the flow.” Too great! Thanks for the fun giveaway!

  74. “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make the change.”

  75. “Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right” – Grateful Dead

  76. LOVED THIS POST!! Thank you! My favorite quote is “Make time to do what you love”. I used it as my quote in my high school yearbook too!

  77. I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.

  78. My ultimate favorite quote comes from Elizabeth Taylor
    “Pour Yourself a Drink, Put on Some Lipstick, and Pull Yourself Together”

  79. My favorite quote right now is, “I am responsible for all of my success and all of my failure. I am responsible for all of my happiness and all of my misery.” It’s important to remember that our thoughts are powerful and should be filled with positivity if we want to live positive lives.

  80. “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it wont be boring.”
    – David Bowie

  81. My favorite quote is:
    “The best way to know life is to love many things.”
    -van Gogh

    I just think it’s the best way to approach life!

  82. I just looked through the list and realized someone’s already said mine! That’s alright, I’ve got a back up!

    “The day will be what you make it, so rise like the sun and burn.”


  83. I believe this to be a beautiful quote:

    “Moon dust in your lungs, stars in your eyes, you are the leader of the cosmos and the ruler of the skies”


  84. I love simple quotes (usually one or two words) that have to do with the night and nature. I would love to write out “Wild Child” or “the Harvest Moon”. I just think that they would look lovely written and have so much meaning in such simple phrases.

  85. I have a huge list of favorite quotes so it’s extremely hard to just pick one. I mainly love simple quotes, and agree with a previous commenter about things such as, the moon, night, nature, and magic If I had to pick between two it would either be, “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” – Henry David Thoreau. I would choose this one because I was at a point in my life where I was kind of stuck and lost, and unsure of myself and where I was going. But then I realized that during that period of time I learned more about myself and gained a better understanding of who I really am than I had when I thought I was very certain of who I was and where I was headed. So only when I was lost, did I truly find myself. Or my second choice would be “I was raised to run with the wolves and I will not stop just because you told me you can’t stand that I am wild.” – L.G. I would chose this one because now that I have a better understanding of who I am I chose to empower myself and I will not let anyone tame the wildness that is inside me, and I embrace and love me for who I am.
    Thanks for this chance Free People, it would be absolutely lovely to win such a wonderful gift from you guys! xxx

  86. “as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.”
    monet makes my heart so happy this quote is so wonderful

  87. My favorite quote is “pray, hope and don’t worry” ~st padre pio. I repeat this to myself in times of need and it’s gotten me through the hardest of times.

  88. “i’ll love you forever,
    i’ll like you for always,
    as long as I’m living
    my baby you’ll be.”

    From the heartbreakingly beautiful book, Love You Forever.

  89. i’ll sure try to learn ths caligraphy, I love it!!! Muy favorite quite is
    “Expect nothing, appreciate everything”

  90. “Life begins outside (my) comfort zone.” I think of this every day. I will not grow if I am not willing to step outside myself and take a chance, no matter how small, it will always make a difference.

  91. Quote of the moment: “Exist on your own terms”. It really exemplifies everything I stand for. I recently did a piece of artwork with this quote and I actually fake-calligraphied it without knowing that’s what I was doing! If you’d like to see it click through to my blog and search “quotes” or “my art”. Natalie you make such amazing and interesting posts! xxx

  92. My favorite quote is “Making mistakes is better than faking perfection.” I think of it whenever I’m afraid of doing something I might not be good at (always).

  93. “Have courage and be kind” from the Disney film, Cinderella. This quote is definately my favorite because Disney’s Cinderella was one of the first movies that I saw and their movie has taught me a lot in the past.

  94. ‘I am a Child
    of the Moon
    being raised by the Sun
    in a world walked by stars
    and a sky drawn with flowers.’
    -Zara Ventris

  95. The trouble with the world is that the stupid are always cocksure and the intelligent are always filled with doubt. – Bertrand Russell

  96. “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit”- Nelson Henderson

  97. My favourite quote these days has been “What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly”. An extract from this beauty by Eric Hanson.

    “There is freedom waiting for you,
    On the breezes of the sky,
    And you ask “What if I fall?”
    Oh but my darling,
    What if you fly?”
    ― Erin Hanson

  98. There is a repeated phrase that artists Frances Stark uses in one of her exhibits that goes “Paying attention is free.” I’m not sure why I like it so much but I think it has a very powerful meaning.

  99. My favorite quote is “beauty lies within”. There’s so much more than just looks to people. Each one is different. I believe there is good in everyone.

  100. “Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.” Helen Keller

    have courage.

  101. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

    Always persevere.

  102. “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice

  103. My favorite quote is from C.S Lewis, ” there are far better things ahead then anywe could ever leave behind”.

  104. “I’m not this hair,
    I’m not this skin,
    I am the soul,
    that lives within.”


    I have to remind myself of that sometimes and it’s always a freeing and soul grounding experience. So, if I ever decide to get a tattoo….

    By the way, the comments are gold! :)

  105. “There is no wi-fi in the wild,
    But i promise you will find a better connection,”
    So true to me. Whenever things seem impossible the wild is the way i turn.

  106. My favorite :: “Be brave with your life.”

    It’s a constant reminder for me that it’s okay to jump — even though it’s scary every time. But (for me) I learn so much about myself when I conquer any fear and jump into situations that are outside of my comfort zone.

  107. “But sometimes your light attracts moths and your warmth attracts parasites. Protect your space and energy” ― Warsan Shire

  108. “Oh I wanna dance with somebody!” Whitney (Houston–duh!)

    This is one of the sweetest giveaways EVER!! So fun to read through the comments and receive new inspiriration! Dance on!

  109. “There are moments that I know I will long for even as i live them”

    -This is from the free people blog and i already have this on my wall in my own style of calligraphy that I have created based on looking at all the inspirational quotes that are always posted and would love to have one that is actually done by the artists at Free people that i admire.. I love Free People’s vibes.

  110. -Not all who wander are lost- Remindes me that just because im alone, im am not forever lost.

  111. My favorite quote is definitely “Curiosity killed the cat” with the witty add-on “But satisfaction brought him back.” I will never be ashamed of my curiosity because it’s what keeps me motivated and interested. Without curiosity there is no desire to learn or explore.

  112. “Men and women, they were beautiful and wild, all a little violent under their pleasant ways and only a little tamed.” -Gone with the Wind

  113. “There must be quite a few things a hot bath can’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.”

    – Sylvia Plath

  114. Or this one:
    “Wear your scars proudly; those who have given them to you have nothing to show.”
    – Nav K

  115. “The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.”

    – Ben Orki

  116. If this is still going my favourite quote is ” Work untill you no longer have to introduce yourself ” And I love it! Currently trying out the tips above :D

  117. “All good things are wild and free” -Thoreau

    When I was like 14 years old (I’m 25 now), my older sister gave me a poster from a surf magazine that had this in huge, rad font, with a pink/orange watercolor-esque background. I absolutely loved it, and only don’t have it on my wall now because I live in New Zealand, and the poster is in storage back home in California!

    I originally loved the visual poster itself, and would constantly doodle the phrase in the margins of my school notebooks (no wonder I didn’t understand biology). Eventually I looked into it and started reading some of Thoreau’s writing and loved what he believed in and what he wrote about. This quote is next on my tattoo list!

  118. Let yourself be a waterfall not a dam. Do not limit your souls impact.

    Its something I tell myself whenever I feel like holding back.

  119. Love the tutorial! My favorite quote is “change your thoughts and you change your world.” Norman Vincent Peale

  120. ”Triumph without peril brings no glory”
    (”À vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire”) -Corneille

    ”And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”

  121. “A smile is nature’s face lift”
    —-Anna Quinlen from Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake

  122. “I have found a desire within myself that no experience in this world can satisfy; the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis

  123. oooh, I also like this one-

    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter won’t mind and those who mind don’t matter”

  124. I’m so sorry. I hate to be “that” person, but there is a typo in your posting and I feel that you should know so it can be corrected before anyone else sees it.

    In the first paragraph, ” …popular, making evening the simplest words…” I believe “evening” should be replaced with “even”.

    You may delete my comment if you wish after the correction is made. :)

  125. Honestly, I’m grateful for so many things in my life, but if I had to choose it would be that truly grateful for my loved ones health. Being able to see them everyday and share moments with them.

    I’m also truly grateful financially. Sure I can’t afford everything I want, but I have what I need and I’m truly grateful for that.

    Finally, I’m grateful that I’m right here, typing, being able to enjoy my life, happy, and having all this love and support from the ones I love.

    Thank you ✨

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