• Boho Handmade Calligraphy Wedding Invitations Tutorial

    There’s no doubt that handmade calligraphy wedding invitations are a labor of love. This tutorial provides all the steps and tips you need to create gorgeous, Hollywood-worthy invitations for your special day!

    Bohemian handmade calligraphy wedding invitation suite

    Making handmade calligraphy wedding invitations is not for the faint of heart. It’s an endeavor that requires patience, precision, and a whole lot of time. With that in mind, handmade wedding invitation suites are best for small events. A guest list of 10 or fewer is ideal! If you’re not deterred, I’ll walk you through how to create a wedding invitation suite that recipients will want to keep forever.

    The Story of These Handmade Calligraphy Wedding Invitations

    A decade ago, I received an email from a TPK Blog reader asking me to hand-calligraph her daughter’s wedding invitation suite. She needed me to create twelve suites in one month, and she assured me her daughter had already picked out paper and had a concept in mind. Despite my hesitations about the tight timeline and the extensive work required, I agreed because the request email was so sweet.

    Bohemian handmade calligraphy wedding invitation suite

    Soon after, a Hollywood agent called me to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement, revealing that the reader’s daughter was a well-known actress. The actress wanted to keep her wedding details private, which was part of the appeal of choosing a completely hand-written invitation concept. (With just one artist in charge of the project and no printing companies involved, the chance of details leaking was minimal.) I worked with the actress and her mother to ensure that everything was exactly how they wanted it. Today, I’m sharing how to make a boho handmade calligraphy wedding invitation suite very similar to the original so you can create Hollywood-worthy invitations, too.

    Bohemian handmade calligraphy wedding invitation suite

    1. Gather Your Supplies

    To make these invitations, you’ll need to decide what you want to include in the suite. Here’s exactly what I used to make the wedding invitation suite showcased today:

    Note that Kaitlin Style calligraphy is a prominent part of this invitation suite design. If you haven’t worked with a bouncy slanted calligraphy style before, consider getting the Kaitlin Style Calligraphy Worksheet Set.

    Pointed pen calligraphy worksheet teaching how to create Kaitlin Style calligraphy
    A lot of this invitation design’s appeal comes from this bouncy and bohemian calligraphy style. Click here to get the worksheet.

    Make a Draft

    Every piece in this wedding invitation suite, save for the envelopes, follows the same creation process. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make the main invitation. Then, you can modify the technique to fit other parts of the suite. You’ll begin by using your pen and your parallel glider to make a 5″x7″ rectangle on a scrap piece of paper. Use the same tools to draw a grid of 1/2″ squares within that rectangle. Then, use your pencil to make a draft of the text.

    Pencil Draft of a Boho Handmade Wedding Invitation
    It’s important to use a pen to make the grid and a pencil to make the draft. That way, if you mess up on the draft, you can erase and start again.

    For the best balance, include a simple laurel wreath wedding logo at the top. Then, write the couple’s name in large Kaitlin Style calligraphy underneath. Continue to write details below the names, alternating between using sans serif lettering and smaller Kaitlin Style calligraphy.

    2. Transfer Your Draft to the Invitation

    Once you’re happy with your draft, use your white mechanical pencil and your parallel glider to draw a 1/2″ grid on your 5″x7″ Paper Bag cardstock. Then, draft out the calligraphy using the white mechanical pencil. Next, alternate using the Nikko G nib and the Brause EF66 nib with Bleed Proof White ink to trace over your draft.

    Writing calligraphy on a DIY wedding invitation

    If you’re stumped about which nib to use for what, remember that larger calligraphy is best created with the flexible Brause EF66 nib. For smaller calligraphy and any hand lettering or illustration, the Nikko G is a good bet.

    3. Erase Your Pencil Guidelines

    Once you’ve finished creating your calligraphy and you’re certain your ink has dried, use your black eraser to get rid of any pencil guidelines. Ideally, you should give your calligraphy at least 24 hours to dry. White ink can feel dry when it’s not, and you don’t want to ruin your work with smudges!

    Erasing pencil draft lines on a boho handmade calligraphy wedding invitation
    Black erasers are good for erasing guidelines on darker papers.

    4. Make Other Pieces as Necessary

    Once you finish your main invitation, go on to design the other pieces in the invitation suite. Those pieces will vary depending on your event. The couple that I originally created this invitation for also wanted their guests to know about a garden brunch and a shabbos supper.

    Boho Handmade Calligraphy Wedding Invitations
    Consider using slant lines to ensure consistent, visually pleasing calligraphy.

    For the Gravel and Paper Bag pieces, you’ll want to use white ink. To write on the Slate pieces, consider mixing black watercolor and a touch of brown with some of your white ink to create a slate-colored concoction. Finish up by making a 1.5″ x 11″ sash out of your text weight Slate paper. Then, draw the simple laurel wreath wedding logo in the center.

    5. Assemble

    Once you’ve calligraphed and erased all of the invitation components, pile everything up except for your A7 envelope. Experiment with the pile order to see what looks the nicest. Then, wrap your sash around the bundle.

    Securing a handmade calligraphy wedding invitation around a bundle
    For tips on making paper sashes, see this tutorial.

    Secure the sash in the back with either a wax seal, washi tape, or just a dab of glue. Once everything feels secure, center all of the materials.

    Using fingers to adjust a handmade calligraphy wedding invitation suite
    Don’t forget to include a postage stamp on your RSVP envelope!

    6. Send

    When you’re happy with how everything is arranged, consider the postage for your A7 envelope. Vintage stamps are great here! For the original suite, the bride’s mother was able to source some of the postage stamps she used to send her own wedding invitations back in the 70’s.

    Bohemian handmade calligraphy wedding invitation suite
    You can find information about making pretty and unique postage stamp collages here.

    Remember that if the suite weighs more than one ounce or if you’ve applied a wax seal to the back, it will likely need extra postage. Research your country’s postal policies to double-check!

    I won’t sugarcoat it: handmade calligraphy wedding invitations are a significant undertaking. You need plenty of time and motivation to create them. If it’s not possible for you to hand-calligraph several copies of these suites, you can always digitize a version of the designs shown here and have them professionally printed. (Learn how in this course.) Then, you can write calligraphy on the invitation and RSVP envelopes.

    Even if you don’t have the occasion or the time to make today’s tutorial, I hope that it inspires you to create something satisfying and cool! Thanks so much for reading, and have a lovely day.


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