Tangled letters combine elements of calligraphy with the Zentangle® method. One of the founders of the Zentangle method, Maria Thomas, is a very successful and influential calligrapher. So, it’s no wonder that she ended up creating and teaching the fusion between the two.

There is an inspiring Kitchen Table Tangles video that’s available on Zentangle’s YouTube channel. Additionally, during our Certified Zentangle Teacher seminar in 2018 I learned the embedded letter technique which I use a lot, not only to embed letters.

Tangled letters classes

I was always very interested in lettering, from graffiti art in my elementary school to calligraphy and modern lettering that’s been very popular in recent times. More than a few years ago I even attended calligraphy workshops by Loredana Zega in Zagreb. Calligraphy requires a lot of time, dedication, and precision, and by the time I started practicing it, I was already really hooked on the Zentangle method.

After starting teaching the Zentangle method in 2020, I began exploring different ways to embed letters and tangle around them. Gradually, I released two video classes (each including eBooks) and a standalone eBook with three different projects. All video lessons are available for instant and unlimited access, and the PDF eBooks are available for download. If you’re interested in more than one of these lessons, you can check out the discounted bundles here and here.


Decorated Illuminated Letters

This was my first video class featuring tangled letters, created in 2020. Inspired by Zentangle’s embedded letters concept, it delved into a slightly more complex realm in terms of the supplies and tangles utilized. What sets it apart is the specific supply I employ to achieve the 3D effect of the letters. 

This concept, introduced in 2021, adopts an ornamental approach to tangled letters. It incorporates a variety of tangles to embellish the space around the dominant letter in the design. As a result, the final appearance is richer and more floral.

Many students prefer eBooks with step-by-step photos rather than watching videos to complete projects. That’s why I decided to include a standalone eBook in the collection of lessons. This eBook teaches three projects:

  1. Embedded Letters – a black and white project on a square white tile,
  2. Ornamental Tangled Monograms – colorful design on a tan 5”x3.09” tile, and
  3. Geometric Tangled Monograms – simplistic colored design on a round black tile.

I am proud and happy to report that the Calligraphy Crush magazine has featured a project based on my lesson that features embedded letters. Their editor, Maureen Vickery, drew a tangled letter following my instructions. A gallery of my tangled letters has been published, too. If you’re interested in that edition of Calligraphy Crush, you can find it here.


Finally, I hope that you will find a design that inspires you and I wish you happy tangling!!!


The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. “Zentangle” is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

March, 2024

Written by Anica Gabrovec CZT

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