Emery & Anisten’s Calligraphy

I don’t know that anyone really let me know how much fun tween and teenage girls are.

Sure, I get their moodiness and attitude from time to time. But I also get to experience this really fun period of them growing, exploring, and finding out who they are as they mature.

In addition to being close in age (which is probably a contributing factor), these girls are such good friends.

They include each other, support one another, and get up to all sorts of crazy hijinks!


One thing my girls are OBSESSED with is creating. Bread, crafts, slime, journaling, calligraphy – all the things! They are constantly in a state of “GO!” and are always on to their next project.

A few weeks ago I shared the video below on Instagram:

What’s cool is that Emery and Anisten got a taste of hand-lettering and just ran with it! We started journaling as a fun family project and a lowkey Sunday activity.

Now that I’m grown, I’d love to have more journals to look back on. I kept pretty good journals when I started having kids but I’ve totally slacked off the last few years! But to have the ability to look back and relive special, heartbreaking, or even mundane moments is one of my favorite things.


• • •

The girls started out with this basic set of 4 markers but their collection soon grew! We took a look at a lot of the pens/markers that professional hand-letterers were suggesting and the feedback was the same. We needed to get brush-tip markers that are flexible to allow the user to make the thing and thick lines. All the user needs to do is adjust the pressure they apply to their writing!

We also started with basic books. Lisa Funk has put together some awesome books and guides for beginners. You can grab her the two books we have of hers (and it comes with a super cute bag that you saw in the video above to hold all of your pens and markers!) HERE!


• • •

I really love this type of visual note-taking the girls have adopted. They’re able to apply the hand-lettering skills they’ve learned and apply their love of doodling to it. These journals they’re creating and keeping now will be so fun to look at 5-10 years from now. And if you’re concerned that your kids are “doodling” and not taking notes, you should read this article that explains how doodling keeps the brain more involved and engaged over plain note-taking!

Here are a couple more of the items you’ll need to get started:

  • DOT GRID NOTEBOOK: Instead of opting for plain white paper or a lined-paper journal, my girls and I love this dotted grid paper. It provides a great practice base for lettering as you can use the dots to line up your heights, etc. You can also use it to create shapes and doodles! The best part? Your marks can cover the dots so no one is the wiser that you used a “cheat sheet” for your lettering!
  • 6″ STEEL RULER: This ruler is small enough to fit on your page and is easily managed. It is used to keep your lettering straight and to draw guidelines or frames for your letters! It’s a staple for any serious hand-letterer!
  • WASHI TAPE: We love Washi Tape in this house! Use it to dress up a card, journal (you saw Emery’s above), or use it as guidelines that you don’t have to erase! Washi tape is also a safe bet on paper because it won’t tear it if you have to remove it. There are a ton of different styles and colors like these awesome metallic ones or these fun pastels! You can also do different widths like these super skinny and create your own pattern on your paper!
  • SOFT-TIP DUAL END BRUSH MARKERS: These are what makes everything look like the pros! These are dual-ended markers: a fine tip on one end and a soft brush tip on the other. These markers allow you to do precise lettering and the fun curvy calligraphy you see everywhere. You can also go with a smaller set if you’re not ready for a full set. And take a look through our favorites above for different color options!
  • CARRYING CASE: They wouldn’t be my kids if they didn’t carry their pencils, markers, stickers, washi tape, and everything else in handy zipper pouches. They also love this pencil/marker case. It’s the one we haul to church and on road trips as well!

You can also add fun stickers or different add-ons to make your journals or note-taking even more fun! They’re also great for hand-lettered cards!


• • •




I love that these girls are taking something that I love so much and making it their own! Not only do they have super cute journals that say so much more about them than standard note taking would, but they are also expressing themselves in a way that allows their personalities to shine through!

I’m so lucky to call these two mine! Plus, I’m getting super cute cards and notes out of it! Come Christmas, they’ll be put on neighbor gift tag duty!

I can’t wait to see what you create!

Xx Tara

P.S. Make sure you tag me if you post to IG! The girls would love to see what you create!

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