Best Calligraphy Starter Kits – Buyer’s Guide

If you’re just starting out in calligraphy or wish to buy a kit for a friend, this article is for you!

Here I will discuss starting out in calligraphy, what’s included in a set, what to look for and my picks for the best calligraphy starter kits you can buy.

Just Starting Out?

Calligraphy might seem a bit scary if you’ve never done it before. Rest assured, it’s a fun hobby which is easy and inexpensive to pick up. Check out the video below to see how you can practise using just a felt tip pen.​

As we are on the topic of drawing why not check out some of these other wicked articles, our favourites include ​the best art markers for coloring and the best drawing tablets for beginners!

At a Glance: Our Choice of the Best Calligraphy Starter Kits On the Market

Note: The links above take you to more information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon. If you do purchase something we get a small commission, which has absolutely no effect on the eventual price that you pay.

Buyer’s Tips: What you need to know when buying the best calligraphy starter kits

What’s in a set?

This all depends on how much you spend! Cheaper sets will have basic items and only a few at that. More expensive kits will give better quality items.

What can be included:

  • A pen; the traditional being a fountain pen
  • Nibs; different stroke sizes
  • Ink cartridge colors
  • Dips
  • Instruction booklets

What to look for?

  • Types of pen: The pen can either be cartridge based or dipped in ink. You have more freedom with the ink for choosing nibs but they can be messy and harder to get used to.
  • Nibs: There are a variety which can be used for different font styles. The two main kinds are italic and flex. Italics are more for gothic writing and flex for more modern calligraphy.
  • Paper: Normal printer paper isn’t the best as it soaks up too much of the ink causing bleeding. If you can, buy quality calligraphy paper.

Finally, here are my picks for the 5 best calligraphy starter kits!

Best Calligraphy Starter Kit​s

1. Sheaffer Calligraphy Maxi Kit

Sheaffer Calligraphy Maxi Kit, 3 Viewpoint Fountain Pens with 3 Nib Grades, Assortment of Ink Cartridges, Tracing Pad (73404)

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

Sheaffer are a well known brand in pens. They deliver here in this relatively cheap calligraphy set. There are 3 pens, 3 nibs and 20 cartridges with an instruction book included. This is plenty enough to get any beginner started in calligraphy.


  • Well known brand
  • Good price
  • Not too many items to get overwhelmed


  • Anybody more than a beginner will want more

2. Daveliou Calligraphy Pen Set

Daveliou Calligraphy Pen Set - 19 Piece Kit & Case - Wood and Free Glass Dipping Pens - 12 Nibs & 5 Ink - for Kids Adults Beginners or Professional

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

The Daveliou is an artist grade set which is durable and resilient. This is the option for anyone wanting to start out calligraphy with proper ink dipping. The 12 piece set includes 5 nibs and 5 inks of extraordinary quality. It looks and feels unique. This would make an amazing present for anyone starting out as it comes in a gorgeous case. The ink is delivered smoothly by either the glass or wooden pen included.


  • Simply stunning set
  • Quality grade
  • Built to last


  • Expensive
  • Only comes with a few choices

3. Staedtler Calligraphy Pen Set

STAEDTLER calligraphy pen set, Complete 33 piece tin, ideal for all skill levels, 899 SM5

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

Staedtler are another known brand that makes it onto the list. The metal case houses 4 deluxe pens with 5 nibs of varying sizes including fine and extra broad. There are 20 cartridges of various colors and this set even includes a handy practise pad. Useful for beginners to scribble on before buying proper paper.


  • Well known brand
  • Lots of choices
  • Good price


  • Anybody more than a beginner will want more

4. Faber Castell Calligraphy Set

Faber-Castell Modern Calligraphy Kit - Watercolor Calligraphy For Beginners

Click to learn more / buy from Amazon

It is a great set for beginners as there aren’t too many items to get confused over.  Faber Castell provide good cartridges that can probably beat Sheaffer and Staedtler in quality. The 3 ruled guideline sheets included are especially useful for any starters in learning how to hold the pen correctly.


  • Good quality ink
  • Nice amount of kit
  • Guideline sheets are very useful


  • Not as many options as the cheaper sets


So what are the best calligraphy starter kits?

Calligraphy is a wonderful hobby to get started in. Letter writing is a bit of a lost art with the advancement of mobile phones and technology. I love picking up and pen and getting lost in writing. Calligraphy is a great way to get back into the past; actually write words instead of just typing them.

When looking for the best calligraphy starter kits, it really does depend on how much you want to spend. The Sheaffer and Staedtler brands are great as they are fairly priced for a good quality set. If you’re looking for a geeky friend, the GC set is ideal for a birthday present. The Daveliou is more expensive but the quality of ink is absolutely phenomenal. Plus it’s the old dipping ink style which is great!

Overall, my winner for the best calligraphy starter kit goes to Staedtler. It’s the cheapest option on the list, it has a great selection of nibs and a good amount of cartridges that will last anybody just starting out.​

Image Credits:

Featured Image Source: iKobe!​ / CC BY-SA 2.0​​​​