Calligra-freebie: Calligraphy Guidelines

Free Calligraphy Guidelines via Happy Hands Project

A few weeks ago I made the ultimate calligraphy checklist available for download. Now it’s time to practice, so whip out your beginners’ tools because it’s time to start writing! Here’s another calligra-freebie—guidelines you can download for free and print so you can practice on your letter forms.

True story: I was teaching a workshop where the participant did not care about the guidelines on her practice sheets. I told her that for starters, making the base of the letters touch the baseline would make her writing legible and the sizes consistent. She replied nonchalantly, “I’m trying to bounce my lettering”. I insisted that she MUST follow the guidelines provided (nicely, of course). Let’s start by following the basic rules, people.

These free guidelines come in 2 sizes—A4 and letter. The x’s on the sides mark the x-height of the letter (which is the size of the lower case x) and the slants are based on Copperplate‘s 55° angle. It’s a challenge to keep your slants consistent, hence the slant guides. The best way to use these guidelines is to print them on your practice paper, or print one sheet and place tracing paper over it. Use paper clips to secure the sheets in place.

Is learning calligraphy one of your goals for 2018? No time to waste then, my friends. Download these guide sheets for free.

Send me the calligraphy guidelines, please!

Oh, and if you’re looking for a modern calligraphy exemplar, you can download one here.







Modern Calligraphy Starter Kit Giveaway

Calligraphy Kit Giveaway via Happy Hands Project

How does a  modern calligraphy starter kit giveaway sound? It’s time for me to give one away for free!

It’s that time of the year again. January is a very important month for Happy Hands Project and myself because I will be celebrating three things—my birthday, the HHP blog anniversary, and my wedding anniversary!

This modern calligraphy starter kit was launched last December 2017 and has been available for sale in my Etsy shop. It took me months to finish designing everything—from the instructional booklet to the note cards to practice on. This kit has everything you need to get started in modern calligraphy. This is an absolute labour of love and I cannot wait to share a kit to ONE LUCKY WINNER.

Curious about what’s in the box? Each modern calligraphy starter kit includes the following awesome tools:

  • 1 beginners’ booklet with premium practice paper and stroke-by-stroke instructions and a full alphabet examplar
  • instructional tips & techniques
  • 1 A5 guidelines card
  • 1 A5 drills card
  • 1 wooden straight pen holder
  • 1 Palomino Blackwing pencil (my favourite!)
  • 2 pointed flexible nibs
  • 1 pot of black ink
  • 8 sheets of A5 tracing paper
  • 1 screen printed tote from the in-person workshops
  • an assortment of decorative cards
  • blank kraft gift tags
  • personalized name tag

Good luck everyone! Let’s keep on spreading the love for calligraphy and all things handmade!

Absolutely no purchase necessary. This giveaway is open internationally. The giveaway starts on 23 January at 12am, and ends on 31 January at 12 am (Singapore time, UTC+8). One winner will be generated randomly through Rafflecopter. Should a winner fail to reply to the notification email within 48 hours, the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be generated. Happy Hands Project will be paying for the shipping costs, but will not be responsible for any customs fees in the recipient’s country.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Font Fancy: Paduka Script and a Free Printable

Paduka Script Printable via Happy Hands Project

Calligraphy and brush lettering fonts are everywhere these days. No complaints here, but because of the sheer volume of fonts, it’s been really difficult to find a high quality free font. Yep, there are lots of high quality fonts out there — those with good kerning, clean shapes and nice letter forms. But free? That one’s rare.

Have you guys seen this beauty? This is Paduka Script by Siwox CoreLine Type.

It’s a fluid, pointed pen style script that dances up and down the base line. It looks like it has been scribbled nonchalantly, without a care in the world. The letters are delicately crafted, I could almost hear the nib very lightly touching the paper on the upstrokes.

Paduka Script is free for personal use and is available for download here.

Oh, and look! I made a shimmery printable. Add some sparkle on your wall today. Have an amazing day, everyone!

Freebie: Printable Valentine Card

Printable Valentine Card via Happy Hands Project

So. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and let’s face it — not everyone is in the mood for cheesy love cards. I wanted to paint something using my black Higgins Eternal ink, but I was painting with my 5-year old (and she was happily blending reds and greens to make cherries) so I thought pink would be nice.

Here’s my interpretation of the unromantic Valentine card. A prickly cactus in a blend of pink and purple, giving free hugs to those who dare. I threw in a tiny heart just for kicks. Perfect for those you have utterly no romantic feelings for, but you love ’em anyway. Hope you love this free printable as much as I did!


The Calligraphy Oblique Holder Year-end Giveaway

Oblique Holder Set Giveaway | Happy Hands Project

Woot woot! Time for a year-end giveaway! 2016 is coming to a close, and I have to say that this year is indeed a very special one. I have so much to be thankful for, despite the ups and downs that almost made me feel like I was riding a year-long roller coaster. So who wants to win for herself (or himself!) a custom-made wooden oblique holder set?

This year our little family had another addition. The Happy Hour Workshops continued to be extremely in-demand, and I have grown so much just by teaching the craft I loved most. I had my first online workshop (or more appropriately, speaking engagement) over at Modern Thrive. I continued having classes at my favourite studio, The Untitled Space, and said goodbye to it last November. I’ve had lots of amazing memories in that place, but now I am on the lookout for new workshop venues. That in itself, is another adventure. I adore the wedding invitation suites that I designed this year — thanks to brides who were never short of creative ideas!

Most importantly, my dream of having a Happy Hands Project calligraphy oblique holder came true!

So guys, to give thanks to everyone of you who stuck around Happy Hands Project and continued following this humble blog of mine, I’m giving away a set of the Happy Hands Project oblique holder set, crafted in collaboration with woodworker Mr Keiichi Sato in Japan.

Join in! The set consists of an oblique holder for right-handed writers, an ink jar holder with 2 ink bottles included, and a pen rest. I will ship the set to anywhere in the world via Singpost registered mail. One winner will be randomly chosen on 1 January 2017 and will be announced thereafter. The giveaway opens 14 December 2016, and closes on 31 December 2016.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Modern Calligraphy Exemplar via Happy Hands Project

I was messing around with my guidelines and tracing paper, thinking of writing in another freehand style of modern calligraphy. Since I’ve become comfortable with my own style, it’s become difficult for me to try to come up with an entirely different way of writing the alphabet.

After a few tries, I came up with an entrance stroke that was pretty simple but all new to me. I wrote the uppercase letters in a similar style, but did not use my usual slant. Instead, I wrote this in a slightly upright manner, and that is how I came up with The Eloise Exemplar.

Modern Calligraphy Exemplar via Happy Hands Project

So why did I explore this other style? Well, I’m not planning on using this type of freehand in any of my calligraphy pieces, but it was a good exercise. I am very comfortable with my own calligraphy handwriting so coming up with a different way of writing letters (and eventually an entire alphabet!) was a challenge. But I’m telling ya, it was super fun.

So how about if I share this exemplar to my lovely readers? Yes? Modern calligraphy beginners, this will serve as a good alphabet guide that you can print out and copy. Having an alphabet guide in front of you while practicing will help you familiarise yourselves with the letter forms. This will also show you which stroke should be an upstroke (thin) and which should be a downstroke (thick). Once you are comfortable with writing each letter, then you can explore different styles and eventually come up with your own. How cool is that?

So get your dotted pad, ink, holder and Nikko G nib ready and print this exemplar on an A4 sized card stock. Happy writing! And remember — practice makes pretty!


Freebie: Printable To-Do List

Free Printable To-Do List via Happy Hands Project

I was inspired to design this printable to-do list because I feel that writing down our goals for the day (or week) is better than typing it on our smart phone calendars. You can post it on your wall, and it’s easier to see. It makes the list more ‘real’, and it personally helped me manage my time better.

Free Printable To-Do List via Happy Hands Project

The past few months were filled with wedding invitation designs and calligraphy addressing, plus a few commission works here and there. I had to list my deadlines, and make sure I stick to them.

So here’s something to help us stop the procrastination and actually do something! Coz you know what? I love the feeling of ticking one task and proceeding to the next one. The feeling of satisfaction is priceless. I hope you like the freebie for the day!

Download the to-do list printable here.


Girl Power Print via Happy Hands Project

This font right here is a gem. It’s quite rare to find a well-made font that’s actually free (for personal use, that is. But still), so I really have to share this one. If you want to design a quote or greeting card that needs a hand-lettered feel, Master of Break might be the font you’re looking for.

Contrary to the usual hand-lettered fonts out there, this is not very feminine. But add some girly colours and you’ll get a feminine feel instantly. Use it against a textured black background and you can have a masculine-looking piece. StereoType is the font foundry offering this awesome font, along with other great ones, so it’s worth dropping by their website.

Oh, and you can print the Girl Power artwork above and be reminded to unleash some yourself everyday!



Calligraphy Valentine Card via Happy Hands Project

Are you guys feelin’ the love? Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so I thought it’s not too late to post a printable just in case you’d like to give your special someone a card that’s as special as them! I’ve always liked this line from this classic ‘More Today Than Yesterday’ because for people in love, it’s always true, right?

You can print the PDF file on a 250 or 300gsm card and just cut along the border. Fold where it is indicated, or cut the card in half and you got yourself an A6 sized print that’s perfect in a C6 envelope.

Spread the love, and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Font Fancy: Besom + Free Watercolour Printable

So I’m sure you all know that brush lettering is like a craze right now, and a lot of brush lettering fonts are popping up for sale. I’ve been looking for a high-quality free font to share here on the blog, and I’ve been looking for a long time! Finally (drum roll please)… I finally found Besom!

Take Chances Printable via Happy Hands Project

I love how the brush strokes look so natural, yet still readable. Look at the tips of those letters! It looks like it was written with a dry brush. The problem with some fonts out there is that some of them are quite difficult to read — and that’s one of the most important characteristic that I’m looking for.

This is definitely a steal, as we’re all paying zilch for personal use. You can find it in use on these posters if my description doesn’t convince you enough. Go get your font here, and that A4 printable up there that I’ve designed here. Print it on a 300gsm textured card and you’ll have a pretty realistic-looking watercolour artwork ready to be frames.

Much love, you guys!