From Faux to Brush Calligraphy

Some one year ago, I started addressing my envelopes using faux calligraphy, to give my customers that little extra surprise in the mail. The ones at the start were awkward things drawn in with a pen, often when I was on the train. (Yes that’s me with the bag of yellow envelopes!)

Hand Lettered Envelope with ZIG Millenium drawing pen

Hand Lettered Envelope with ZIG Millenium drawing pen

For sure more than a few were trashed as they came out terrible, with hesitant (and regretful) strokes, but I kept at it as I began receiving positive reviews from customers who appreciated the extra touch.

As my business grew, so did my orders – and soon my 45min-long train ride was insufficient to address a bag of envelopes in fancy faux calligraphy using a 0.1mm drawing pen.

In came the glorious trend of brush calligraphy! I am too timid (and frugal) to switch directly to using an actual paint brush and ink on my envelopes, for fear of them looking like I wrote with my foot. Those went onto sheets and sheets of scrap paper – still trying to get the hang of that right now. 

Brush lettering with Zebra Extra Fine brush pen

Brush lettering with Zebra Extra Fine brush pen

I decided to look for a brush pen instead to ease my transition into brush calligraphy. There aren’t many options immediately accessible to me so it was a bet on the Zebra extra fine brush pen, which I got from Daiso for $2.

It was a win for me as the Zebra pen was stiff enough for good control, yet provided pretty line variations for the size of text that I write with. That said, the pen needed much getting used to for a first timer and I watched videos on Instagram (loving @lissletters for this) to observe how a brush pen should be tilted for different letters. Two months and many Instagram videos later, I think it looks not too bad for now? (Though I will probably cringe at it in another year’s time!) The journey continues!


Mail art with Zebra brush pen, Uni Ball gel ink pen and hand carved Plum Blossom stamp

P.S. All ready for Lunar New Year! Plum blossom stamps available at our Etsy shop over at


2 thoughts on “From Faux to Brush Calligraphy

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