Supply Recommendations

This is all about the calligraphy supplies!!!!  You just need  some basic stuff to keep going with your calligraphy journey: Paper, ink, pen holder, ink.  So where can you get them?  What do I use?  This should answer these two questions!  Here we go!


To practice with, I use a smooth, white paper like this HP Premium32 paper.  You can buy this in bulk and I highly recommend you do!  It’s pretty affordable and your ink won’t bleed!   It’s a great paper to practice on a daily basis with.

Here are a couple of other choices:

  • Rhodia notepads –  you can get these in a lined, blank or dotted versions.  I use these to practice on sometimes or when I just want to use something a little more higher quality than the HP paper.  They come in different sizes too.
  • Tracing paper –  I have tried different brands, but the Strathmore brand (not pictured here) and Master’s Touch from Hobby Lobby are good choices when you want to trace letters and create a sketch of your favorite quote. You can also find tracing paper at Blick (not to mention other supplies too!).


There are so many kinds of penholders of different shapes, materials and they feel different in your hand.  Some are cheap/affordable and some you will have to splurge on.  Some fit pretty much any nib and some fit only certain ones, so make sure you read the product description or contact the retailer for more info.

Straight penholders – my fave are from E+M and Manuscript.  My ultimate fave is the one with a cork grip (middle one in top photo)

Oblique Pen holders – have a flange that holds your nib at an angle.  It helps with getting your angle right on as you write.  If you do decide to get an oblique, make sure you get one with a brass flange/universal/adjustable flange.  They last longer and can be adjusted (depending on the brand). I would recommend using this after you are more comfortable with a straight penholder.

Pencils & erasers – you can pretty much use any pencil and eraser you want. I use pencils whenever I have a special project for a client or even when practicing new letter forms before using any ink. If you are working on a special project, just remember to trace lightly, that way after the ink is dry, you can easily erase any pencil marks.


Remember when I said there are are so many nibs?  These you see here are just a few of them!  so  try as many as you can!  you are bound to find your fave!  Start with a sample set like from John Neals Booksellers or Paper & Ink Arts.  ( You can find penholders and paper at these websites too!).


We use sumi ink in class, so my advice is to keep using this as you practice and as you get more comfortable with your letter forms and are ready to branch out, try other types of inks. 

You can get sumi ink here and here.

You’ll also need an ink pot or dinky pots for your ink.  Sumi ink usually comes in big bottles, so having a small amount poured into a pot makes it easier to dip your nib into. You can find them on Amazon, John Neal Books and again at Paper & Ink Arts, just type in the Search field “ink pot” or “dinky pots.”

Summary of Links:

Here’s my Amazon list:  Calligraphy Supplies Recommendations
My JetPens list:  JetPen Calligraphy Pen holders & Nibs
John Neal Bookksellers:  Calligraphy toolsStraight Pen HoldersOblique Pen Holders & Nibs
Paper Ink Arts:  Calligraphy Pens & Holders & Pointed Pen Nibs (make sure to check out their inks and paper categories as well)

Blick: Calligraphy Supplies

And don’t forget to check:  Sip & Script Shop (unfortunately they do not sell ink).

Make sure to shop around as these suppliers always have deals going on!!!!

I hope this helps with all your calligraphy supplies questions.  If you ever have any questions or comments, please shoot me an email: or message me either on my IG @designsbyjhenn or on my FB page at Designs by Jhenn and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.  Have an amazing day!