How to Create Envelope Calligraphy

How to Create Envelope Calligraphy | The Postman's Knock

A Google search for “how to create envelope calligraphy” turns up surprisingly empty (there even seem to be tumbleweeds blowing in the “DIY envelope calligraphy” search). Sure, there are results — but all of them seem to focus on who to hire to create calligraphy for you.

If you’re planning a wedding, you know that it’s good to cut corners financially where you can. At the same time, the first impression guests get of your upcoming celebration is that address written on the envelope. Creating your own, professional-looking calligraphy is perfectly do-able provided you’ve got the time and the patience.

The truth is, right now, you’ve probably got the materials. I like using Pilot G-2 05 gel point pens to create calligraphy for personal projects, and chances are you’ve got a pen like that lying around somewhere. Aside from that, all you need are envelopes, a ruler, and a pencil.

How to Create Envelope Calligraphy | The Postman's Knock

For truly fool-proof calligraphy, you should draw light guidelines using a ruler and pencil. Measure a certain distance from each end of the envelope (my distance was 1-1/4″), and draw a very light vertical line. Then draw 4-5 address lines that are spaced equally apart.

How to Create Envelope Calligraphy | The Postman's Knock

Here’s a good calligraphy trick: pull up a font on the computer that you like (or browse dafont.com), and mimic that font. My font of choice will be “Porcelain”. Write out the person’s address using that font so you have a guide.

How to Create Envelope Calligraphy | The Postman's Knock

Remember, this font is just a guide/reference. What you end up with doesn’t need to look like the font at all. It’s just nice to have a model.

Use your pencil to freehand your calligraphy onto the envelope. Make sure the calligraphy is centered by utilizing the vertical guidelines. In this example, both the beginning and ends of my address calligraphy lines are touching the vertical guidelines.

How to Create Envelope Calligraphy | The Postman's Knock

Once you have freehanded your calligraphy with the pencil, use your pen to trace once over what you wrote.

How to Create Envelope Calligraphy | The Postman's Knock

Then, trace over the letters again to make “faux calligraphy”. If you want clarification on the process, check out my post on creating “cheating calligraphy”.

How to Create Envelope Calligraphy | The Postman's Knock

Now, just fill in the lines.

How to Create Envelope Calligraphy | The Postman's Knock

Wait for a couple of hours for the ink to dry completely, then erase the pencil guidelines. Remember, if your ink is dry to the touch, that doesn’t mean it’s completely dry; and an eraser may smudge it.

How to Create Envelope Calligraphy | The Postman's Knock

To create envelope calligraphy, you will need ample time and a pinch of fortitude. Lack of time and patience is why many people hire a calligrapher (a service I offer because I looove writing on envelopes). If you’re going to try your hand at this to save money, I would recommend the following:

  • Start as soon as you find out the size of your invitations and are dually able to buy envelopes. If the invitations and envelopes are a package deal, request to receive the envelopes first. Then, in the time you are waiting for your invitations to be printed, work on creating your calligraphy a few envelopes at a time.
  • If you are absolutely certain you cannot produce something like the calligraphy above, you can always consider tracing printed characters onto your envelopes.
  • Add a cheap but elegant touch and melt wax crayon onto the back of your envelope as a seal.
  • Make your own envelopes!
  • To save time, you can skip the step of writing out the address in pencil first. This leaves more room for error, but also gets your envelopes out the door faster.

Remember that this isn’t just for weddings! I send pretty calligraphy envelopes to all of my penpals. It’s exciting to get a letter in the mail … but even more exciting if it’s wrapped up in a pretty package!

Questions or comments to this post will be very much welcomed — I love hearing your thoughts and suggestions! If you’re not a subscriber to TPK, we’d be ecstatic to have you join the family! If you subscribe, you will only receive emails when I publish blog posts — and (here’s the big bonus), you’re eligible for a chance to win the print of your choice in this month’s giveaway. The giveaway ends on April 15th!

I hope everyone has a great weekend — whip out those pens and do some magic!

Comments

  1. says

    So awesome! You’re right, there really isn’t a lot of calligraphy DIYs out there. Yours is fantastic tho, dafont is one of my favorite resources. At some point I’ll probably be making my own envelopes, I’ll definitely be using your tips :)

  2. says

    Isn’t it strange that there aren’t many calligraphy tutorials? I suppose it does require a bit of precision and time … but people knowing you put that in to what you made makes it worth it, if that makes sense. And yes — LOVE dafont! I’d really like to figure out how to create fonts within the next couple of years (looks like the software is expensive).

    I checked out your blog. I recognize the mandala from craftgawker! And I cannot believe you recognized your design on someone’s back … let alone that the woman was from Brazil! That is so crazy and cool for both of you!

  3. says

    This was a great tutorial! I have tried calligraphy many times, your hint about the vertical marks was a good one!!

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