Heirloom Journal Tips

Are you a seasoned pro journaler? Or maybe you’re a novice just wanting to get started. Either way, our Promptly Journals are perfect for everyone, providing you with guidance and direction so you won’t be stumped on what to write. We’re talking with penmanship extraordinaire, Melissa Esplin, to teach us how to improve our penmanship perfect for a journal that will stand the test of time.

While we’re at it, wee will be showing you how to utilize the marbled paper journal cover packaging. The paper was just too pretty to throw out so we turned it into a bookmark! Simple cut the top and bottom folds off and glue the front and back together. We punched a hole on top and added a crepe paper tassel to make it a special. It’s the perfect way to mark your place in your journal!

Hello! Melissa Esplin here with some tips on how to actually fill those beautiful journals on your shelves instead of just staring at them blankly, intimidated by their pristine beauty. Writing in a nice journal in pen can be a little bit terrifying! Heaven forbid you mess up and ruin the whole thing! Just kidding. You can’t ruin it; it’s not likely unless you drop it in a bucket full of ink.

Heirloom Journal TipsHeirloom Journal Tips

6 Tips for writing in your Heirloom Journal

Tip 1: Embrace your mistakes.

You won’t ruin the journal even if you mess up. Write your best, but at the end of the day it’s a documentation of humanity. Your mistakes are endearing and loved. When I inherited my great-great grandfather’s sign painting resource book, I poured through each page. Each earmark, each scuffed page told me a story. I later found my family members’ names written out in scrawly imperfect handwriting on the backside of one page. That page spoke volumes to me. What turned out to be my great-great grandmother’s penmanship connected me with my family more than the heirloom itself. Each clumsy loop and crossed out letter is cherished.

Heirloom Journal Tips

Tip 2: Use a pencil.

If you want to make sure that your spacing is perfect (or close enough), use a pencil to lightly draft out your words beforehand. I wouldn’t recommend doing this for long stories, but for smaller spaces like names and dates it makes sense. Pen overtop the lightly drawn pencil. Allow 24 hours for the pen pigment to fully dry before erasing. Use a vinyl eraser to remove the pencil marks effortlessly.

Heirloom Journal Tips

Tip 3: Use a pen you LOVE.

I’d venture a guess that a BIC pen isn’t on many people’s lists for best pen ever. Use one you find joy in looking at and using. My go-to pens are: Kaweco Sport, Pilot Petit1, Kawaii Cactus Pen (it’s adorable AND writes beautifully) and Micron PN. When in doubt, go with a Japanese brand like Pentel, Pilot or Sakura. They know pens.

Heirloom Journal Tips

Tip 4: Write in ALL CAPS

when filling out small spaces like baby stats. You can write both small and legible that way.

Heirloom Journal Tips

Tip 5: Write on a stable surface.

While I love to journal in bed; it doesn’t make for neat penmanship. Sit up to a table. There are lots of rules for how best to sit while writing, the most important ones: don’t slouch and don’t cross your legs. Easier said than done, but boy it really does make a difference.

Heirloom Journal Tips

Tip 6: Don’t rush it!

When writing an heirloom to enjoy years down the line, take your time. And if time isn’t on your side, write short snippets. Think twitter for journaling. If you’re heavy-handed or tend to have a tight grip, be sure to take lots of little breaks to avoid hand strain.

Heirloom Journal Tips

Heirloom Journal Tips

Huge thanks to Melissa Esplin for lending her handwriting expertise! Head over to her site to learn more calligraphy and penmanship tips! And you can find our baby journals with Promptly Journals over at our shop.

Photography by Jane Merritt

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