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.
If you’d like more free PDFs sent to your inbox every month, sign up for Atiliay’s newsletter by clicking here.
* 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!
Happy 2018! I love the start of a new year and the clean slate and new beginnings it represents! I hope yours has been off to a great start so far. To be honest, the end of December and start of January was kinda rough for me–I got sick right before Christmas Eve and continued to be under the weather all throughout Christmas and into NYE and New Years. At first I thought I just had a cold but after a week, I still had no energy and could barely force myself to do anything! It took me longer than usual to recover and I am glad to finally be back on my feet. If you also caught the flu or whatever else is going around, I hope your new year is germ-free and that you are feeling much better!
Now that I can actually think clearly, I’ve gathered my thoughts on goals/resolutions/habits and set some intentions for the remaining 365 days. It inspired me to create this PDF so I’d have a place to write these things down, have something to serve as a reminder, and help keep me on track. This sheet is up on my bulletin board by my desk and I haven’t filled it out completely so that I have space to add things in throughout the year.
I actually create PDFs every month and send them as a freebie to my newsletter subscribers! As a subscriber you not only get new PDFs but you will also have access to the PDF library so you can download and use any of the PDFs I have sent out previously as well. If you’d like to join in on the fun, click here to sign up.
Here are some of the things I am adding to my “Hello 2018!” worksheet…
Words + Ideas to Focus On: DEVELOPMENT. This year, I really want to make development a priority–product development for Atiliay, developing my skills and interests, and self-development mentally, physically, and emotionally. These are some of the actions I have been taking to make the above happen:
For product development, I have made a commitment to dedicate at least 30 minutes 5 times a week to work on creating new products. This can mean taking an idea from start to finish or just having time to sketch and come up with new ideas.
For developing my skills and interests, I am keeping an eye out for different lettering challenges and prompts. I’ve found that I really respond to the structure and accountability of public group challenges like these. It seriously worked out perfectly that Lauren Hom just started her #homwork series where she provides a lettering assignment every week. I joined immediately and the first assignment was to letter your name surrounded by your favorite things. I had SO much fun making this and Lauren’s video of how she created hers was super helpful! It did take me awhile to figure out how to fill up the spaces but I so enjoyed making something just for the fun of it and feel like I learned several new things. Here’s what I ended up with:
For self-development physically, I have made a commitment to go to my trampoline workout class 10 times per month. (Having a paid membership also helps get me to go because I don’t want to waste that!) Mentally and emotionally, I am trying to meditate for 5 minutes every day.
I’ve found that putting these goals on a habit tracker (another free PDF I offer) has really helped to keep me accountable! I like being able to see how I am doing for an entire month and it’s really satisfying to color in each square when I have done something! It’s also a really good tool to see the things I am getting done and what has a bunch of white squares next to it (insert grimace emoji here). When nothing is filled out, it’s time to re-assess the situation to see how I can change that!
One thing I have really found to be true is that there is no better time than right now to start to build your new habit or reach your goal–meaning even if you fall off the band wagon, you don’t have to wait for a new month or a new year to pick things back up. Start right now! I will admit I am not so good about being consistent with things–like I filled in my tracker and was super gung-ho at first but mid-month I missed a day, then another…I thought to myself, maybe I’ll just leave the rest blank and pick it up again with a new sheet next month. But I decided against it, because I want to finally fill out an entire tracker for a month! I went back and filled it out as best as I could, and am continuing to use it again. So if you’re like me, don’t give up! We can do it! :)
3 Things I’d Like To Accomplish This Year:
1) Teach 4 workshops per month
2) Start blogging again, at least 2 entries per month
3) Streamline my processes
Places To Go: Animal Place, Harry Potter World at Universal Studios
Things To Learn: Different styles of hand lettering, how to better utilize MailChimp my newsletter needs
Books To Read: I have several books that I have either started and not finished or have been on my “to read” list for far too long! My goal is to read 1 book every quarter and these are the books I am focusing on (in no particular order):
1) Contagious – Why Thing Catch On by Jonah Berger
2) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
3) Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver
4) Tell Me About Yourself: 6 Steps For Accurate and Artful Self-Definition by Holley M. Murchison
I’ll let you know how they are as I finish them!
Recipes To Cook: I have so many I want to try! I really love a good cookbook, especially one with beautiful photos, so I am hoping to work my way through the ones I have this year. This coincides with another resolution of mine which is to cook more and eat out less! I actually love to cook and would like to do it 5 times a week and eat out only twice. The cookbook I am currently focusing on is The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. My mom gifted it to me many years ago and I use it fairly often although it’s been awhile since I’ve picked it up. So far I’ve tried a pasta recipe and I made risotto for the first time! After watching Hell’s Kitchen for many years, it was cool to finally make this particular dish, something that Chef Ramsey has yelled about starting from day 1 lol.
What about you? Do you have a word or phrase for 2018? What are some of your resolutions and goals? How do you make sure you keep those resolutions going all year round? Any tips / advice? I’d love to hear and/or see how you’ve used your “Hello 2018!” PDF!
Thank you for being here and reading my first post for 2018! :) (Another goal of mine is to keep up with the blog this year! I think it’s such a great way for us to connect even more–there’s only so much I can fit into an Instagram caption or newsletter lol)
May your year be filled with joy, creativity, adventure, and laughter!
Happiest new year to you!
Add a personalized touch to each person’s place at the table this Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving! All you have to do is print, cut, and fill in each diner’s name. There are two designs to choose from. I hope you like them and they help add something special to your holiday meal!
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 email@example.com. Thank you for your cooperation!
Atiliay is thrilled to be part of the second Conscious Corner, a social good block party in conjunction with the ever popular Bixby Knolls’ First Friday! Share and Do Good has gathered together a group of amazing do good businesses and organizations for this pop up–each making the world a better place through the work they’re doing around the world.
Come celebrate the week of “American Beauty” with:
✦ 5000PIES – The most delicious pizza company that transforms the lives of young adults in West Long Beach through culinary employment and life skills coaching.
✦ ALLKIIND – Ethically made lifestyle products that challenge, celebrate, and give back.
✦ ATILIAY – Hand lettering + giving back. Specializing in greeting cards for all occasions.
✦ THECHARITYWRAP – Fashion and accessories that support organizations empower those who have been battered, abused, and neglected.
✦ CHUUZYCONSUMER – an online platform that helps socially conscious consumers find places to shop.
✦ DUDEBENICELA – an apparel brand connecting people through style and stories.
✦ FORBETTERNOTWORSE – OUR SHIRTS COME WITH BAGGAGE. Every shirt sold = A bag of groceries to a child in need in the US.
✦ IMPERFECTPRODUCE – Imperfect’s mission is to find a home for these “ugly” fruits and veggies, starting with our producedelivery subscription in Los Angeles and the Bay.
✦ LIBERTYINNORTHKOREA – A non-profit organization that provides rescue and resettlement support to North Korean refugees – 100% of the proceeds support our work.
✦ LOVEINTHEMIRROR – provides disadvantaged youth and their families with basic necessities such as food, clothing and learning materials.
✦ PURPOSEJEWELRY – beautifully crafted by people escaping trafficking. By Purchasing with Purpose® you are providing freedom, dignity and hope for these amazing artisans.
✦ semillitas_preschool- Partnering with @loveinthemirror & @oceanmaximus to raise awareness on ocean pollution and its harmful effects to our marine life.
✦ SOLIDCITYCOFFEE – sells specialty coffee, roasted on demand. Solid City supports survivors of sex trafficking and youth from at risk environments.
✦ SSEKODESIGNS – An ethical fashion brand based in East Africa with a mission to empower and educate women. Wear Sseko, send a girl to college.
✦ YOUMECLOTHING – One of a kind clothing for the community. Rags into Resources!
To make this night even more awesome we will be having an epic drawing with incredible goods from some of the brands joining in along with a $75 gift card to the Share and Do Good Long Beach shop! To enter the drawing, you just need to stop by that evening to receive one entry ticket in the store and you can receive additional entries by shopping at participating booths. Hope you can make the world a better place with us!
In the latest update I received from Byron, I learned that there’s been some happy news for our friends in South Africa–the government has given Gladys land for the Educare Center!
Since Gladys first opened The EEC, she had been running it out of her very own home–she saw a need for a safe and nurturing environment for local children to stay while their parents go to neighboring cities to work and decided to fulfill that need. You can see from previous updates and photos that her entire house became the center: one room was filled with cribs and mats for naps, there was another room with tables and chairs for classes, special events took place in the living room, the kitchen was where they had their meals, and the outside of her home was painted with colorful and fun flowers, the alphabet, and numbers. Opening her home and her heart is such a tremendous act of generosity, compassion, and kindness by Gladys. For someone who does so much for others, it’s nice to hear that she is able to have her home back and space to herself again.
The new land was not too far and they have already built a new center on it–here are some photos!
Both the original and new center are located within Motherwell, a town located in the Eastern Cape in South Africa. Motherwell is a part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality. Here are some Google Earth shots so you can see where Motherwell is and where the old and new locations are for The EEC:
I hope you enjoyed learning more about The EEC and what has been going on over there! I also wanted to say a big thank you to all the customers and retailers who provided The EEC with meals through Atiliay’s Valentine’s Day Cards For A Cause! It is because of you that supporting Ebongalethu is possible.
I’m looking forward to sharing another update with you very soon!
How the donations work: Every other month Atiliay makes a credit card donation to Food4Africa.org that benefits The EEC. The donation covers 2 months worth of food for the center which amounts to 1 meal per day for up to 60 children–that’s 2,000 meals per month and 24,000 meals per year. 100% of all credit card donations goes directly to the program to purchase specially formulated packages of nutritious oatmeal. Byron from partnering organization, Miracle Meals Trust, delivers the packets to The EEC and checks in on how Gladys and the children are doing. Byron is also the one who sends me photos and keeps me up to date on what’s been happening there!
These Love PDFs are now available with 100% of profits supporting ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, and the very important work they do! I was planning on releasing this collection when all the pieces were complete but really felt the call to act now.
We are all human beings and I strongly believe we need to act from a place of compassion and understanding and not from a place of fear, greed, prejudice, or hate.
These designs were inspired by love and the belief that everyone should be free to love who they love.
Each design is available for $5 as a downloadable PDF and all profits will be donated to ACLU to support their work in LGBT rights, immigrants’ rights, women’s rights, human rights, and more. Once you purchase the item, you will automatically be emailed a link for the PDF which you can print and use immediately. They are formatted to fit on a regular piece of paper so you can easily print from your home or office.
In the next few weeks I hope to release more designs for this collection.
Thank you for your support!
Here is a list of other artists and makers who are supporting ACLU and other important organizations with their talents (if you know of anyone I should add to this list, please comment here or email me at hello(at)atiliay.com):
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!