D.I.Y. It: Momma’s Day Cards With Hawai'i Calligraphy

Favorite child right here, guys.


Having siblings has its perks: There’s someone to hang with during boring family parties. As kids, you always had someone to be the Yellow Ranger to your Pink Ranger. And can you say “closet times two”?


The downside: competing for mom’s affections, of course. Set yourself apart this Mother’s Day by foregoing the cliché flower-and-chocolate shenanigans and making something from the heart, literally! We teamed up with cute-things expert Kelsey Nishi from Hawai‘i Calligraphy to craft this D.I.Y. Mother’s Day card. Nishi chose a minimal, rustic to let the heart-shaped, hand-lettered quote shine on her version of this ultra-Pinteresty. We love that it’s so customizable, plus, unlike flowers or candy, mom can hang it on her wall all year as a reminder of how much better you are than your bro and sis.


Check and mate.



  1. Do your research. Pick a sweet quote that fits for Mom, using Pinterest and Google for inspiration. We chose “As You Wish,” since we grew up watching The Princess Bride with mom.
  2. Pick your materials. Nishi used ribbon, twine, paper cardstock (or anything thicker than computer paper) and a felt tipped pen (you could even go glitzy with a metallic brush pen). Options for all of these can be found at any local craft store for less than $20.
  3. Draft it. With a pencil, lightly sketch a heart shape on your paper as a guideline. Then, sketch a draft of your quote within it, keeping the edges of the letters flush against the outline so that the quote forms the shape of a heart. This first step is to see how your words will work within the shape—does one word need to be bigger? Do you need to push another word to the next line? Use your spatial judgement!
  4. Tweak it. Are there unattractive pukas? Uneven letters? Spots to fill in or adjust? Erase sections and make adjustments, perhaps adding in little flourishes where there are spaces within the heart that need to be filled. This is also a good time to add any other flourishes you want (try simple curls on a separate paper first, or pop on little droplet edges to your lines to add some flavor).
  5. Trace it. This isn’t an exact science—you don’t need to trace your draft perfectly—but the draft gives you a good idea of to where you need your letters and words to extend out. You could even outline the heart shape, or partially outline the heart shape, if you think it needs more defining. Remember that the trick to the calligraphy look is keeping your downstrokes thick and your upstrokes thin. (And don’t be discouraged if your pieces doesn’t look as polished as Nishi’s. She’s an expert, after all—embrace your rustic beginner aesthetic!)
  6. Add some bling. To finish it all off, Nishi tied a soft, pretty ribbon and a piece twine around the spine of the card. You could also decorate the border of the card with pressed or tissue paper flowers, rhinestones or beads.