A lot of people ask me how much it will cost to start learning calligraphy. The truth is, you can do it with a very minimal budget. I think Calligraphy kits and bundles are overpriced and unnecessary. The tools you need for pointed pen calligraphy, in particular, can be acquired on the super cheap, and I've assembled my favorites below and will continue to update this section. Important note: I'm not selling anything on this page. These are just links to items on websites. If I include it below, it's because I use it.
Where i buy MY STUFF
If you have a local store that sells calligraphy materials, you're lucky! It's great to be able to pick up and hold what you are going to purchase. Aside from that, these are the sites i trust for my calligraphy needs:
John Neal Booksellers
Great selection of materials here. I always check JNB first for this one reason: the reviews. They operate like a mom 'n pop shop and I get the sense they put a lot of care into what they do. Their product reviews are thoughtful and really keep the user in mind.
Paper Ink Arts
I haven't ordered a lot from this site, but they appear to have a better selection, overall, compared to JNB. Many calligraphers with whom I've spoken use this as their primary source for materials.
As a prime member, I may be a little biased. I love that two-day shipping. I generally buy all of my Rhodia Pads and Zebra G nibs here. Occasionally I'll find brush pens or ink that catches my eye. As with everything, I usually use amazon as a good price checker.
Hey, remember ebay? This might be a great time to click that "Forgot Password" button and breathe life back into that old account. I've found ebay to be fantastic for finding vintage nibs and the occasional oblique pen holder. I usually use ebay when I have a specific vintage nib I'm looking for, and they're usually pretty cheap!
broad edge ITALIC or gothic
Featured 6/11/16 in my Snapchat story. The one I used was the No. 6 (3/4")
Pointed Pen copperplate, engrossers, spencerian
Pointed Pen calligraphy like Engrossers Script or Spencerian takes a lot of consistent practice. Whether you pick it up naturally or have more challenging of a start, your patience and diligence will pay off if you put in the work. One of the great things about pointed pen Calligraphy is, you can get started on the cheap! I've included prices below for you to get an idea.
If you travel the cost-effective route below, you can get everything for under $20 (US).
NIBS (Just the Tips)
Zebra G: $8.03 for 6 qty
An excellent choice for beginners in pointed pen calligraphy. They are flexible enough to produce thick shades and generally won't catch on your paper. The Zebra G is more flexible and the tines have a bit more bounce than the Nikko G. They also scratch the paper less.
Nikko G: $1.80 per nib
Great for beginners in Pointed Pen Calligraphy, especially because they won't catch on your paper and they're very easy to clean. They are a little less flexible than the Zebra G nibs and I use this for a lot of my work.
Leonardt Principal EF
The EF stands for "Extra Fine" ;) This very flexible nib is a favorite among experienced calligraphers for its ability to created thick shades and very fine hairlines. Without proper technique and paper, this nib will likely stick and splatter ink everywhere. But once you get your technique down, they are a dream to use.
Brause 66 EF
Nib used in my Snapchat story 6/12 and 6/13. It's a tiny little nib that is one of my new favorites for Copperplate script. It produces excellent hairlines and thick shades (quite flexible). After some use, it can get frustrating to get the nib to start writing (cleaning usually helps that). I don't recommend it for first timers.
OBLIQUE PEN HOLDERS (To hold your nibs)
Hunt Oblique Plastic: $2.09
It's not great, but it's enough to get started
Turned Wood Oblique Holder: $14.95
Slightly fancier route
Adjustable Oblique Pen Holder: $30.95
This pen holder is actually made by Paper Ink Arts. The wood resin handle feels great in my hand and I love that it has a universal flange — meaning it fits all different types of nibs. They come in a variety of colors, but are frequently out of stock.
Higgins Eternal Black Ink: $4.95
Sumi Ink: $15.85
My personal favorite
Rhodia Lined Pad: (My Fave) ~$9.00
Rhodia Dot Pad: ~$10.00
Rhodia Wirebound Notebook - Ruled (8.25" x 12.5"): ~$10.00