One of my favorite ways to utilize and practice my calligraphy is to create wrapping paper with it! This DIY calligraphy wrapping paper is easy to make, affordable, and so much fun to give to your friends and family! I love that you can personalize the text by adding the recipient’s name to the lettering (“Happy Birthday, Jessica!”), use the paper as a card and write your message directly on it (they can read it once it’s unwrapped–you might have to tell them not to rip it off though :)), or match the text with the gift (if you are giving concert tickets, write the lyrics from a song by the artist). There are so many things you can do with this so get creative with it! It’s also nice because this project is very forgiving–don’t worry about little mess ups or inconsistencies since you’ll be cutting the paper up, folding it, and also topping it with ribbon or other decor. I think what makes gifts special is the thought that goes into and this adds a lovely to touch to any present and occasion you are celebrating!
In this tutorial, I will be using brush lettering with brush pens to create the wrapping paper. If you do not know how to brush letter, it’s OK! Try faux calligraphy or using your own cursive or print on it–you will get the same effect. I also decided to go with a neater look with the lettering and having it go diagonally across the paper. I am using Marvy Uchida’s Le Plume II Brush Penwhich I really like for medium to larger sized lettering.
For the kraft paper, I am using Goodscery‘s kraft paper roll.Their paper is 100% recyclable, biodegradable, and is available on Amazon Prime. I also like that the paper is not coated so it has a very nice and natural hand feel to it. The roll comes with a free ball of jute twine as well! Goodscery is offering 20% off to Atiliay readers– just enter the code 20OFFATILIAY when checking out! Click here to check out Goodscery kraft paper on Amazon.
I hope you and the recipient of your gift enjoy this tutorial and I’d love to see pictures of the DIY calligraphy wrapping paper you create– tag me on social media if you’re sharing it there or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)! If you’d like to see more versions of this gift wrap as well as other brush lettering ideas and projects, be sure to follow me on Instagram, @atiliay.
Brush pen of your choice (the larger you’d like your writing to be, the larger the brush tip should be)
Items to decorate your gift with: twine, ribbon, washi tape, sprigs of flowers or greenery, etc.
Step 1: Cut your kraft paper to size. Always add a little extra so you don’t end up with too little and don’t have enough to go around your box/gift! You can also save the larger scraps to wrap smaller gifts with.
Step 2: Decide on your lettering for this gift wrap:
1) What do you want to write?
2) How large/small do you want your lettering (which will help determine which brush pen to use)? Do you want it to be neat or a messy scrawl?
3) What is the layout of your lettering? Straight, diagonal, random, etc.?
For this tutorial I decided to letter “happy birthday!”, medium sized, and wanted to text to be written diagonally across the paper.
Step 3 (optional): Draw a light pencil outline of the lettering. If it’s a more complicated design, you want to have an outline to follow, or you are a perfectionist like me, draw a light pencil outline of the lettering first for placement, size, and to make sure your letter shapes and forms are how you like it. I made diagonal lines across the paper that are 1 3/4″ apart and lettered within them to help keep things looking neat and consistent.
Step 4: Start lettering! Go over your pencil lines or freehand it. If you used pencil, let the ink dry COMPLETELY, then erase any lines that weren’t traced over in the ink. (If you are impatient, set a timer and give your ink time to dry–it is the saddest thing to erase too early and smear your beautiful work!) The nice thing about the Marvy Le Plume II pens is that the ink dries quickly! I still will only erase a corner to make sure it’s smudge proof before starting to erase a bigger area.
Step 5: Wrap your gift up! I love this part and seeing the paper you just created come to life.
Step 6: Add the trimmings–I love this part as well and you can get really creative with this! One of my favorite things to do is add some fresh greenery to the gift (try to do this the day of so it stays fresh). You can use different twine/ribbon/lace, add a gift tag, top it with homemade pom poms, stick a bow on it–just to name a few ideas.
Step 7: Enjoy your new creation and have fun giving it away! :)
I was at a stoplight last week and I kept hearing this car honking continuously. After about 10 seconds of this I started to get annoyed and began looking around to see who this jerk who kept honking was! I finally saw the car, a few lanes away from me. In the drivers seat was an older gentleman, maybe in his late 60s, and he had stopped honking and was holding up a sign at the car in front of him that read, “left break light out”. The man in the car in front read it and waved thank you. How awesome is this guy to have signs in his car letting other drivers know that their break lights are out?! It really made my morning to see that. It’s such a great idea–a simple yet very kind gesture to those we are sharing the road with. It’s also smart because sometimes if people are yelling at you from their car or just honking, you don’t always know what they want and might ignore them. I was super inspired by this man to make signs of my own! I thought I’d share them so everyone can help out a fellow driver on the road the next time they need it. Please do keep in mind to use these signs when you are at a full stop (!) or you can have your passengers hold up the signs for you.
There are 5 signs total:
Left break light out
Right break light out
Both break lights out
Gas cap open
You have a flat tire
Turn on your headlights :)
In the recent months, I have left my gas cap off one too many times (!) and Justin actually didn’t know he had a flat tire until someone told him! So I added signs for those as well. I hope you like this idea and will join me in keeping these signs in your car and using them to help out other drivers!
If you’d like to share with me how you’ve used these PDFs, I’d love to see/hear! Send me an email (email@example.com) or tag me on social media (IG: @atiliay / #atiliaypdfs) so I can check it out.
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* I recommend printing on heavy cardstock so it’s easy to hold up and stay flat. You can also try laminating them as well!
* If your PDF is getting cut off, make sure to change your printer settings to “fit to page”.
This is a gentle reminder that this PDF is designed for PERSONAL USE ONLY. Please ask for permission first if you would like to share this. Contact Olivia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your cooperation!
February had me driving around Southern California for 4 awesome calligraphy workshops in San Gabriel, Long Beach, Vista, and Downtown LA. I had a ton of fun and was very excited to meet fellow lettering enthusiasts and continue to raise meals through creativity and community. Every workshop is a totally new and different experience thanks to each attendee and the energy they bring to class–I am very grateful for everyone who has trusted me to be their teacher and made each workshop so amazing!
Letter For Good: Each workshop seat helps to provide 10 meals for The Ebongalethu Educare Center Preschool & Nursery in Motherwell, South Africa. February workshops helped to provide 400 meals!
See below for all the fun details on this month’s workshops!
Are you interested in learning the art of brush lettering? I’d love to letter with you!
To view the current schedule, please head over to the Workshop Calendar. To view more photos from previous workshops, please click here #atiliayworkshops. Private workshops are also available! If you have any questions, please send me an email at email@example.com.
2.4.18 | OH SHINY PAPER CO | SAN GABRIEL
It was great to be back at Oh Shiny Paper Co! I enjoyed getting to know this great group of ladies–and one gentlemen who actually surprised his girlfriend with this class and joined us as an observer :) We had been emailing back and forth to coordinate and I was so excited to have her join us–I couldn’t wait to ask her about the surprise. She told us he drove her here and she literally had no idea what she would be doing until she sat down. He totally deserves major boyfriend brownie points for pulling this off!
2.17.18 | METAPHOR BOUTIQUE | VISTA
Although I’ve lived in Southern California my whole life and been to San Diego many times, I’d never stopped by the lovely city of Vista until my workshop at Metaphor Boutique! It’s a goal of mine to teach in different cities (and maybe states in the near future) so I am very thankful for the opportunity to teach here and make my workshop available to those living in SD and surrounding areas. And because I taught at Metaphor, I actually had the amazing opportunity to meet and letter with two new friends from Germany, Minelle and Kathryn! Minelle found my work through Instagram and realized I was teaching a workshop close to where her friend Kathryn (who is also from Germany) was living, ON Kathryn’s birthday, WHILE Minelle was in town visiting! Super serendipitous and I love how lettering brought us all together! We emailed to coordinate and this was part of Minelle’s birthday gift to Kathryn. This is seriously one of the coolest things that has happened on my lettering journey and I was so glad to be able to help them celebrate while doing something they both loved!
2.18.18 | SHARE & DO GOOD | LONG BEACH
It was great to be back at Share & Do Good–not only is it a lovely space but they also give back a portion of proceeds from workshops to Rice Bowls! So it’s double the giving which I really love. We had a birthday surprise here as well, this time from a husband to a wife! The week of the workshop he forwarded my reminder email to her to let her know she was attending. High five to all these sneaky/thoughtful significant others :) Thank you everyone for coming–I loved learning about everyone’s interest in and appreciation for lettering!
2.25.18 | COCO FRESH | DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES
Boba and brush lettering? Sounds like a good combo to me! :) Thank you CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice for hosting and providing every attendee with a boba drink of their choice! It was pretty cool to be in the heart of Downtown LA, across from Pershing Square, for this workshop. I also loved that we had 2 sets of mother daughter duos attending the class together–workshops are perfect go experience alone or with a friend/family member. Everyone did such an awesome job and I know their skills will just continue to grow and flourish as they continue to practice their lettering!
I was super happy to kick off 2018 with 4 amazing modern calligraphy workshops in January! I had so much fun getting to know each student and helping them get started on their lettering journey–I truly feel honored and humbled that each attendee has trusted me to share this art form with them! It was also awesome to get to teach at some new venues and offer the workshop in different cities in Southern California.
Letter For Good: Each workshop seat helps to provide 10 meals for The Ebongalethu Educare Center Preschool & Nursery in Motherwell, South Africa. January workshops helped to provide 350 meals to The EEC!
It was awesome helping Shea celebrate her 32nd birthday (on her actual birthday!) with this private brush lettering workshop! Shea is a fellow crafter and maker herself (see the cute banner she made?) and added the cutest touches to her party. You can read more about the lovely details and the workshop over on her blog, Not So Cli-Shea. I absolutely loved this group of ladies, their friendship, Shea’s pups, and the fact that they started a group text to send each other pics of their lettering as they practice! :) (Such a great idea!)
1.20.18 | SWEET PEA | CERRITOS
Sweet Pea is where my workshop journey began! Lauree, owner of Sweet Pea, was actually the first person to suggest I teach–I can’t thank her enough for her endless support and encouragement! I feel like it came full circle to have my first public workshop here where everything started. I loved the energy every attendee brought to this class and learning more about everyone. I also had my youngest student so far in this class–Maddie is almost 12 and it was really inspiring to have her there. Besides showing that this art form is great for all ages, she reminded me a lot of my younger self! Maddie is already creating lovely work and I can’t even imagine how amazing it will be as she grows and develops her talents and style!
1.27.18 | OH SHINY PAPER CO | SAN GABRIEL
I’ve been so excited to teach at Oh Shiny Paper Co because I have been a fan/stalker of them on Instagram for awhile now! Lol. Their balloons and party products are SO happy and cute and their space is as well! This was such a fun group and I have to give a shout out to Vicki–she took my workshop last year and told her friends about it which is how most of us here ended up lettering together. PS: Becca’s bunny was there and is the cutest thing ever!
1.28.18 | SHARE & DO GOOD | BIXBY KNOLLS, LONG BEACH
Share & Do Good is one of my most favorite stores and this is one of my most favorite workshop group photos! It was great to be able to teach here because Lilly, owner of Share, and I both believe in giving back and doing what we can to help others. Not only did this workshop provide meals for The EEC but S&DG also donates to Rice Bowls–so lots of giving that day :) There were some familiar faces at this workshop along with new friends and it was a lovely way to spend my Sunday and wrap up January classes!
Want to learn modern calligraphy using brush pens? I’d love to letter with you!
To view the current schedule, please head over to the Workshop Calendar.
To view more photos from previous workshops, please click here #atiliayworkshops.
Private workshops are also available!
If you have any questions, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m honored to have the opportunity to share Atiliay’s story on Connect To Confidence, a division of She’s Fit To Lead. They are dedicated to inspiring and empowering college aged and early career women to help them connect to their confidence. They achieve their mission by sharing stories of women (and men) who start their own companies, give back, and/or are a positive driving change in their community.
I think it’s such a wonderful resource whether you are an aspiring entreprenuer/do gooder/mover and shaker or you’ve already been doing this for awhile. I personally love learning about other people’s stories and journeys and since everyone’s experiences are so different, there’s a lot of value in the lessons and advice they share!
If you’d like to know a little bit more about Atiliay, how it all started, things I’ve learned along the way, my favorite quote, and more, head over here to read the entire interview.
Thank you Zara and Connect To Confidence for having me!
All work featured on Atiliay is copyright Olivia Lin and created by me unless otherwise noted. Feel free to use any of the photos or excerpts from this blog but please give proper credit and link back accordingly. It'd also be great if you'd email me and let me know what you've shared, I'd love to meet you, say thanks, and check out your space!