How to learn calligraphy for wedding invitations

Written by natasha lawrence
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How to learn calligraphy for wedding invitations
Hand addressed envelopes (Calligraphy by Natasha Lawrence)

Learn to address wedding invitations in calligraphy using special tools that help create a beautiful writing style. It takes a little practice and understanding of the technique when using a calligraphy pen (very different from writing with a ballpoint pen). Guests receiving a lovely hand-addressed wedding invitation will appreciate the time and effort taken to make the event very special.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Calligraphy primer or guide book
  • Calligraphy pen (Sheaffer pen with ink cartridge)
  • Practice writing paper (wide ruled paper or calligraphy pads)

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  1. 1

    Use correct technique. Using a pen with a wide nib, hold the calligraphy pen so the nib is at a 45-degree angle. Rest your palm on the writing surface and move your hand so that letters are written with wide and narrow features. This requires a consistent writing angle. Keep the pen rigid between your fingers and do not turn the pen or you will lose the angle needed to write pretty letters.

  2. 2

    Practice writing individual letters like "X" and "O" before you write words. These lend themselves to wide and narrow thicknesses, the essence of calligraphy. Letters should be written at the same angle, stay equal distance apart and stay within the proper proportion. Study calligraphy books to understand the basic technique. It may help to photocopy a page or two in Italian italics, one of the easier calligraphy writing styles to learn, and trace the letters. The more practice, the better.

  3. 3

    Follow the Italian italics lettering style in a guide book and write the alphabet in lower case. Write slowly, carefully and large. Do the same with capitals. Writing with a large nib makes it easier to acquire a consistent calligraphy style.

  4. 4

    Switch to a medium nib pen and write the italic alphabet again (lower case and capitals). There is a distinct difference in letters now that you have a little experience writing with a wider nib and have learnt to hold your hand properly.

  5. 5

    Make an insert on white card stock with lines wide enough to be seen through an envelope. This is a guide to address envelopes evenly and on a straight line. The insert can be used for all envelopes addressed for the wedding invitations.

Tips and warnings

  • There are many calligraphy pens available at craft shops or stationery stores. Sheaffer pens have metal nibs with sharp edges to create crisp lettering in calligraphy. Ink cartridges eliminate the traditional "dip pen" technique for the novice calligrapher. If possible, take a calligraphy workshop. A professional instructor will explain the proper technique and give individual assistance. Purchase a light box and create an envelope insert with lines to help with writing the wedding invitations. Study calligraphy books available at libraries and bookstores to learn more about calligraphy and the writing style.

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