Utilizing Non-Calligraphy Items

Innovative Uses for Everyday Objects

A little while ago there was an Instagram tagging game going on to show us your non-calligraphy items you use for your calligraphy work. I loved the idea behind it, it's insightful, informative and inspiring. It showcases creativity and thinking outside the box, it's also a tool for others to utilize some of their everyday items to up their calligraphy game and workflow!

This type of thing is totally what I'm all about - sharing, encouraging, teaching and inspiring! I wanted to go through everyone's posts to see all their unique ideas and write them down to try, and then I thought - 'I'll make a quick little blog post about it!' I'll curate all those ideas into one place for people to come and spark their imagination!

Loveletterer uses

  • A $1 foam sheet as a writing pad
  • Tiny Altoid tin for her nibs (which is great for travel also!) 
  • She keeps all of her pens in an old salsa jar
  • A photo stand to hold her tablet that she uses while addressing envelopes
  • A type setting ruler

ekpsays uses

  • Muji soap holders (they make excellent drying racks)
  • Muji mini screwdriver set (for adjusting holders)
  • Muji toothbrush holders (for storing pens not in use)
  • Target beauty pumps for water and windex

coopercalli uses

  • Make-up brushes for cleaning up after erasing
  • Razor blade for cleaning up mistakes
  • Fingerling potato for nib prep
  • Iridescent punch cup for water, which looks especially pretty when rinsing gold ink
  • Brighton mint tin for nibs
  • Cocktail twizzle sticks for ink mixing
  • Various tiny dishes for holding nibs, pen rest, etc.
  • And a crazy clown nose just to remind everyone to laugh :)

vianmartin uses

  • Book chair, for books, iPad, holding up client lists, and even as a stand for pens and holders
  • A small eyeglass screwdriver to adjust flanges or clean the gunky ink from it
  • A small dish that holds everything from nibs, washi tape, to erasers
  • A pill box that stores nibs
  • The cutter - 911 for disaster envelopes that need to be operated on
  • The old blush brush for sweeping the eraser residue away
  • Chopsticks for mixing ink
  • A Daiso wooden dish rack serves as her drying rack and then there's the tissue for wiping the nibs

Linda Yoshida uses

  • Salt dishes for ink-mixing
  • Colorful small pin dishes as pen rest, nib dish, ink bottle coaster, and much more.
  • Tincture dropper bottles for gum arabic, distilled water, Sumi ink, etc.
  • Toast rack as envelope/card holder
  • A Pipe rack to display her holders she bought on eBay a few years ago!

Bien Fait Calligraphy uses

  • This wooden pinch bowl to hold nibs
  • A large wood spoon from Crate and Barrel as a holder tray for nib holders and other assorted items
  • A piece of petrified wood to serve as a holder rest
  • And her favorite, a Starbucks stopper as an ink stirrer!

raayynuh uses

  • An antique cheese box
  • A glass bubble jar thing
  • A pipette for transferring ink or water
  • Some travel sized containers for PearlEx
  • An antique letter opener to stir things with
  • A bit of plastic tubing she cut a slit in and put over the nib and flange to keep safe from kitty paws
  • Bits of old t-shirts to clean off nibs
  • And last but not least, a little giraffe because every desk should have a mini giraffe

Suz Cunningham uses

  • A beautiful acrylic tray her mom gave her years ago that holds her supplies
  • A condiment cup holds her jar of windex for nib cleaning
  • Grippies that help open jar lids help keep inks from sliding on the tray
  • A skewer for stirring metallics
  • An ink-stained pillow that sits in her lap underneath the light box
  • And most importantly, Bigelow piping hot black tea :)

And here's what I use

  • Lots of vintage tins, one for holding all my pens, one for my nibs, one for my flanges and one for my vintage stamps
  • A shot glass for water (and sometimes ink)
  • An old cigar box for traveling and storage
  • A cheap-o frisbee as a paint palette
  • Laser leveler
  • A tie rack from the thrift store for drying envelopes
  • Teeny-tiny measuring spoons from the dollar bin at Michaels for measuring and mixing Pearl-ex
  • And a vintage wood crate that I'm absolutely in love with for my inks

What household items have you found useful for your lettering work?