Even the most beautiful wedding invitations can turn drab with a computer addressed label slapped on the front. Unfortunately, most couples consider hand-addressing invitations a very time-consuming and unnecessary task.
I admit that when I was sending out my wedding invitations I was tempted to join the dark side. But, once I realized how long it would take to computerize all of my family and friend’s contact information just to make the labels, I decided to bite the bullet and give calligraphy a try. And, do you know what? It was FUN! Think back to 3rd grade when you were practicing your cursive. Except now you can watch trashy reality TV and drink booze while you do it. Calligraphy WIN!
Use this simple calligraphy guide to make your invitations a hit!
(Warning: DON’T wear nice clothes while doing this, and DON’T try this after getting a manicure.)
• Pen holder
• Artisan Calligraphy Pen Point nibs (the finer the better)
• Waterproof calligraphy ink or colored India Ink
• First, insert the nib of your choice into the calligraphy pen.
• Next, dip your pen into the ink. The tip of your nib makes very thin lines. Apply more pressure for thicker lines. Practice different pressures on a test envelope first.
• Because everyone has a unique writing style, practicing is also a great way to learn how often you will need to re-dip your pen.
• Only apply pressure on downward strokes.
• Unless you wash your pen immediately, this waterproof ink may be difficult to clean off. Try rinsing your nib with soap and water. If that doesn’t work, good ol’ Windex will do the trick. Just make sure to wash off your nib afterwards and let it fully dry before using it again.
• Keep a paper towel nearby for accidental messes.
• Choose a heavy, smooth, non-textured envelope. The rougher your surface, the harder it will be for a beginner to get smooth, beautiful lines.
• White and metallic inks look best on dark envelopes. Otherwise, stick to black unless you can find a thick, colored ink. Most colored ink is a little thinner in consistency so it takes a more skilled hand to get even color.
• To save time, write only your recipient’s name in script and print the address.
• Keep your lines straight by using a ruler to draw light pencil lines where the address will go.
• Be mindful of your kerning, the space between each letter. Keep each space even for
a more professional look.
If you are getting ink blobs it is most likely because you are loading your nib with too much ink. Try loading your tip with the squeeze dropper (attached to the lid of your ink) instead of dipping your pen directly into the ink. Drop a small amount of ink onto the ridge of your nib to reload. Tap the nib on the rim of the ink bottle before writing to shake off any big ink drops waiting to ruin your beautiful envelopes.
FREE font cheat sheets:
Don’t like your handwriting? No fear! I’ve made 3 FREE font sheets for you to reference and mimic. Print out your favorite font and keep it nearby while you’re addressing envelopes. Eventually you will be able to write without the font sheet. If you’re still nervous, trace the lettering onto your first few envelopes with light pencil. Once you are satisfied, ink over with your calligraphy pen and erase your pencil marks once the ink is dry.
Use these tips and you will be a pro in no time. Not to mention, you could save up to $500! Professional addressing can cost up to $2 per invitation (I know, CRAZY!). Believe me, at the end of the day, you would much rather have spent that money on your honeymoon instead.
Happy addressing, friends!