How to Make Calligraphy Pens

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Writing with a calligraphy pen
Writing with a calligraphy pen (Image: Image by Natasha Lawrence)

Create your own "beautiful writing" with a calligraphy pen you make yourself. As the instruments of an art form that goes back to the Middle Ages, calligraphy pens have flat "nibs" and hold ink with which to write in a particular style. Long ago, hand-cut, feathered quill pens were dipped into ink wells. Today, a good and useful calligraphy pen can be made with a felt-tip permanent marker and a razor blade.

Things You'll Need

  • Permanent marker (any color)
  • Razor blade (with protected edge)
  • Paper towel
  • Copy paper sheet

Lay the paper towel on a work table. Remove the protective cover from a permanent marker and hold it over the paper towel.

Hold a razor blade at an angle against the tip of the permanent marker and begin, carefully, to slice off the side of the tip. The aim is to create a flat, thin nib with which to write. A proper calligraphy pen has both a wide and a thin side to create a beautiful wide and thin lettering style.

Flip the pen over and slice the other side carefully with the razor blade. Lay a flat side on the paper towel and slice off the bottom of the pen to create the wide part of the nib. Wipe the blade clean periodically on the paper towel.

Practice writing with the pen in calligraphy on the copy paper to determine whether or not more slicing with the razor is necessary to achieve the desired thickness and thinness of the pen. The permanent marker holds a considerable amount of ink so there is no need to dip it into an inkwell.

Like calligraphy pens of the past, sharpening may be necessary with a razor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Books and guides on how to make calligraphy pens are available at libraries and bookstores. Calligraphy pens can be made from permanent markers in a variety of colors.
  • Only adults should use a razor blade to make calligraphy pens.

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