Yesterday, I found myself with two free hours — which is a rarity in my world. When I have free time, I love to send mail, which is the activity that made me fall in love with calligraphy in the first place! Today, I’m going to share the six artistic calligraphy envelopes that I made yesterday. I’ll also explain some shortcuts that I took to make their creation a bit faster.
1. Red and White Envelope
Lisa won the December TPK giveaway for a $100 gift certificate, and I wanted to send her certificate in a pretty envelope. I chose to write in a bouncy calligraphy style to save time (that way, there’s no need to draw pencil guidelines), and I added in extra flourishes because there are several pretty letters like “L” and “O” in this address!
My friend Morgan is one of those cool artistic people who sees the beauty in everything. Considering her quirky style and appreciation for design and upcycling, I made an envelope for her out of a CB2 catalog page. To make things easier for the post office’s machines, I wrote her address on a separate rectangle of paper and glued it to the envelope. Two stamps are necessary here because the envelope has an unusual shape.
Ever since 2015, I’ve been sending Nettie a card to help her celebrate her December birthday. This year, I dropped the ball with my timing, but a belated card is better than no card at all! I wanted to make her envelope extra special, so I did draw (white) pencil guidelines, and I used super flourished bouncy calligraphy.
While I love writing gold calligraphy, it’s difficult to do it justice in a photo. Its color and shine changes depending on your observation angle! Here’s a picture of what this envelope looks like in the light:
I created this envelope to send a thank you card. Though I used pencil guidelines, I didn’t take the time to center my letters, so the calligraphy is concentrated in the left half of the envelope. Oops! To balance that out, I decided to make a postage stamp collage on the right. All the stamps here are vintage, and they total 56¢ … which is enough to send the envelope plus 1¢ to spare.
Rashaun is an old friend who sent me a holiday card, so I decided to send her a quick and tangible greeting in return. I started to run out of time by the time I got to this envelope, so I opted to write her family’s names in calligraphy, then I wrote the rest of the address in print. I could have sent the envelope with just the Nella Larsen stamp, but things seemed unbalanced with just the one stamp, so I added two vintage stamps for effect.
By the time I got to this envelope, I had a dental appointment in a matter of minutes, so I needed to use shortcuts! First, I opted to write with iron gall ink, which has a quick flow and dries rapidly. I chose to use super fast Cocktail Casual calligraphy, which is probably the fastest calligraphy style I make. Instead of deliberating over stamp choices, I put six 10¢ pear stamps at the top. You can see that their positioning alternates to make things more interesting!
While I love spending a couple of hours on one embellished envelope (like this one or this one), the reality is that sometimes it’s better to make several simple calligraphy envelopes than one “masterpiece”. I hope this article shows you that you can use shortcuts like postal stamp collages and handmade envelopes to add a quick burst of personality to your snail mail! Thanks so much for reading, and if you have a few extra minutes this weekend, try making your own quick calligraphy envelopes. It’s a good feeling to send out lovely envelopes into the world!