April 11, 2010

DIY Envelope Calligraphy

Posted in DIY Projects at 11:14 am by Elizabeth Nixon

I did the calligraphy myself and I just want to encourage other brides with very bad handwriting that it’s possible to do!

I actually have a form of dyslexia, and one of my unique disabilities is impaired handwriting. I mean like my hand cramps up after writing a few sentences, and my handwriting looks like that of a serial killers’. Plus, it changes all the time. Weird, I know. Probably because of all the attempts over the years to try to achieve better-looking handwriting. It’s really, really bad and I’m ashamed of it. I hold my pencil incorrectly, like a left-handed person but in my right hand. Really, it’s a miracle that I got through college writing all those essay test questions, because I write much, much slower than the average person.

I’m going to spare you pictures of my hideous handwriting and show you my calligraphy. For some reason, if I put my mind to it, I can do calligraphy, sort of. I have middling artistic talent, so when I want to write pretty, I try to look at it as drawing rather than writing. But I’m still slow at it. And I still usually can’t achieve straight lines.

Here’s a tutorial for bad-handwriting-ladies to achieve DIY calligraphy:

Step 1:
Get a ruler and trace light lines on your envelopes. Do this only if your envelopes are too thick (like mine were) to use an index card with heavy lines that would show through the paper. That would be much easier.

Step 2:
Get good pens. I used cartridge calligraphy pens in medium from an art store. The ink dries quickly so it won’t smear. This is helpful when you hold your pen improperly and tend to smear your ink.

Step 3:
Find a font you like on a free font website. Pull up the envelope setting in your word processor and type in each address as you go. This way, you can just follow the proper envelope layout for each address and know where to start each line so it all lines up properly.

Step 4:
Write each line according to the step above. Have an index card handy to put over each line as you write it to prevent smudging, if you like. Probably not necessary with the fast-drying ink.

Step 5:
Use a good art eraser to erase your lines.

Step 6:
Do a happy dance and revel in the fact your handwriting–for once–is a source of joy and not of shame!

It pains me to block some of the writing out, but you get the idea! It’s far from perfect and professional, but it’s pretty OK. I found copying calligraphy was sooo much easier than trying to transform my normal handwriting into something neat and pretty.

So, don’t think you can’t do it, girls-like-me-with-crappy-handwriting!


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