Introduction: DIY Calligraphy

Picture of DIY Calligraphy

Let's be honest here folks, my hand writing, it is TERRIBLE.
However, for wedding invitations, I wanted to add a touch of formal (ie, no printing on the envelope and no labels), but I didn't want to go crazy trying to draw lines on the envelope and then erase, and then cry myself to sleep because the whole thing looked a wreck.

Sooo... behold!  An easy way to get that gorgeous special calligraphy, and still stay sane.

Tools you'll need:
- Printer
- Envelopes
- Scotch Removable Tape
- Calligraphy ink
- Calligraphy Dipping Pen
- Patience

Step 1: Tack the Envelope Down and Print.

Picture of Tack the Envelope Down and Print.

When you feed your envelopes through your printer, you may discover a terrible thing, the dang envelope keeps jamming!

For this, I highly recommend Scotch Removable Tape.  Just take two little pieces, tack the flap of the envelope down, and it runs through the printer like a charm.  No more jamming.  Then, when you're done, you can take the tape off without damaging the paper.

Pick a font you like, and then using a program such as Word, Pages or InDesign, print your addresses on your envelope.  I personally prefer the return address on the back flap, and the main address on the front.

Another note about choosing what color to print, I suggest picking a color close to the shade of the envelope... this way if you don't trace EXACTLY over you letters, no one will notice.

Step 2: Tracing and Patience.

Picture of Tracing and Patience.

Now, take your trusty calligraphy dipping pen and ink well.  These can be purchased at a store like Michael's, Blick, or an art store.  If you don't like the shade of calligraphy ink available, liquid acrylic works just as well.

Carefully dip and trace over the letters.  It takes some time and patience, but the effect is worth it.

Step 3: Finished Effect!

Picture of Finished Effect!

After you're done, let it dry a bit.  Then remove your tape.

The end effect is what looks like a hand made calligraphy job, and the ink is slightly raised like thermography.


mayofbees (author)2015-12-07


maltesergr8 (author)2012-07-06

These are simply beautiful! The raised lettering makes it look extra-special!


Genises (author)2012-02-28

stolen from

MamaSmurf (author)2010-10-22

Keep the computer list for addressing the thank you cards. My daughter is blind and could not write her thank cards for graduation. I had her write them up and then typed and printed them off on my computer. That way she wrote them and people could actually read them.

sumguysr (author)MamaSmurf2010-12-12

She could use a computer herself.

MamaSmurf (author)sumguysr2010-12-12

That was years ago when she graduated from High School and before she got her talking computer. She graduated from college Suma Cum Laude and now has a three year old son.

tim13211 (author)2010-10-17

This is a neat idea, but you should take off your address!

Kryptonite (author)tim132112010-10-18

There's no real problem, if some one wanted to send letters they could send it to any address, they don't need to find one on the internet.

Dorilae (author)Kryptonite2010-10-22

Still, name and address all over the internet is a little creepy. I wouldn't want mine out there. You should fuzz at least the last name and the street. Also it looks really nice. I'm getting married in June. I love the idea but I highly doubt I would go through the trouble. I'll probably just print the envelopes and call it good. :P

Kryptonite (author)Dorilae2010-10-22

My parentals are getting married some time next year, so I'm going throuh the guides and Instructables to see what I can find...

nu1fillyfan (author)2010-10-21

Beautiful job! My son married in August. Wish we had thought of this.

jamwaffles (author)2010-10-21

Nice tutorial! Not something I'd do by hand - patience and perseverance aren't two qualities I have much of, but... I'm making a CNC machine, so why not do calligraphy in that? Thanks for the inspiration and I'm only sorry

I can't do it by hand! Also, another tip for people out there: I'd strongly recommend for making the texts, with a font package called ttf-aenigma. I know for a fact it's in the Ubuntu repositories, but Windoze users should be able to copy it into their fonts directory - it's standard FreeType 2 format.

SeaLion (author)2010-10-21

This is very snazzy! I love it!
Thanks for sharing this great instructable! :D

Pompom (author)2010-10-21

What are the fonts you used?

tcertain (author)2010-10-21

It sounds like it would be worth it just to hire a calligrapher to write them for you. The going rate in most places is $3.50 for an inside and outside envelope. Some calligraphers will write them for less if you allow them to use a ball point pen. Or rather than using your computer to print on the envelopes print the list out on regular paper and use a light table (easy to make) and copy them that way. Good idea though.

knzio (author)2010-10-17

You said: "I personally prefer the return address on the back flap, and the main address on the front."

If you do it the other way, the letters will never reach it's destination, they will go to your address ;)

mhudnall (author)knzio2010-10-17

As opposed to putting the return address in the upper left corner, it gives one more room to work with.

knzio (author)mhudnall2010-10-17

Oh! That's right, in some countries is usual to put the return address in the upper left corner, sorry, my spanish mind made my mistake

Nemesis201077 (author)knzio2010-10-18

If you're posting a letter locally you could always put your address on the from and the destination as the return address.

But I think that only works within the local postal area and is probably illegal/naughty/cheeky

phoenixblack (author)2010-10-18

this is one instructable that i def will be using!!!

SomeshRao (author)2010-10-17

I hope those are not real addresses.!!

D00M99 (author)2010-10-16

Wonderful! A great idea for those whose handwriting is VERY difficult to read. :)

happyluckyidiot (author)2010-09-29

Wish I'd thought of that for our wedding! Excellent! You get my vote. Luckily for me my wife has good handwriting.

scoochmaroo (author)2010-09-20

Genius, and genius.

Dream Dragon (author)2010-09-20

That's a very neat trick.

About This Instructable




Bio: 2nd Assistant Director slowly becoming a floral designer by trade. Living life with the darling hubby in SoCal
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