Saturday, May 12, 2012

Faux Calligraphy

One year when I was younger, my grandmother got me a calligraphy set for Christmas. Unfortunately, I was never able to master the art. I've been loving calligraphy addressed envelopes for wedding invites recently. Something about the hand lettering makes them feel so personal. Also quite unfortunate, is that I can't quite afford $2-3 an envelope for the addressing alone.

I stumbled across a tutorial on Project Wedding that showed how to get the handwritten feel, but ensure that your lettering us up to par for such an important event!

As I mentioned, our colors are a light pink and a dark gray. We're using a dark gray envelope, and while black shows on the envelopes, I really wanted white lettering. After MANY failed attempts, we have our first completed invitation here:


Alright, so now that you've seen that it was eventually successful, let's start at the beginning, and I'll tell you everything that went wrong! 

First, I tried just printing on regular gray paper so that I could find a pen that worked. After 8 different pen choices from Michaels, none of them was "white enough", and the printing beneath it showed through. Not good. 

Then, I saw this tutorial from Oh So Beautiful Paper, and thought to myself, well, by golly, I'm going to give embossing a shot. I bought three different embossing pens, and some white powder. I don't have any pictures, as at this point, I was so depressed by what they looked like. 

That's when a friend of mine informed me that I was officially crazy, and about to drive myself into an utter meltdown, and oh, did I search for best opaque white pens online? Why no. No I didn't. But when I did, almost every site rated the Uni-ball Signo in White as the best. I snatched mine up, and waited for it to arrive. 

Once I braved a battle with feeding my printer envelopes, and picked out the calligraphy font I liked, I FINALLY was able to begin. About halfway through, I was having my doubts over whether this whole thing was really worth it: 


But when I finished, I really thought the effect was worth it in the end. It stands out quite a bit, and looks really adorable. I found that I was able to trace exactly 3 envelopes before my hand started cramping, but perhaps you write frequently and will have a better time of it.

Since all of our guests are from out of town, I'm sending invites mid-August, which gives me 5 months to complete these and the letterpress for all of our invites, as I'm letterpressing them myself. If I get them done ahead of time, that's great, but I wanted to start them early enough to not push myself to work on them when I didn't feel like it.

Have you started any of your projects super early just because you were worried about a time crunch?