What do you need?
Print out some lined paper to practice on. Initially, write on the paper whilst practising. Later, either use the lined guide underneath your final piece of paper, so that it shows through, or copy it using a ruler and pencil which can be rubbed out when you have finished.
This short video explains clearly how to use guidelines for your calligraphy.
A calligraphy pen
There are a number of options:
- Calligraphy marker pens come in a variety of sizes (depending on how large you want to write) and are probably the easiest for beginners to use.
- Calligraphy dip ink pens give a much clearer thick/thin variation to your lettering, but can be harder to use.
- A scroll pen produces two lines, which gives a beautiful and stylish look to your calligraphy.
- Left handed writers can buy pens with the nib at the correct angle.
- For the purists among you, there is also the option of locating a suitable duck or turkey, and extracting a nice fat feather. Leave it in the sun to dry, then cut the tip at an angle with a pen knife.
Learning to hold a calligraphy pen
The trick with a calligraphy pen is to practice holding the nib at an angle where you can make a thick line with one stroke, and a thin line with a stroke in the opposite direction. Never write using the corner of the pen, and try to always write so that the pen strokes are towards you, not pushing away.
This short video shows you clearly what you should be aiming for.
Before you embark on your place cards or seating plan, you will need to practise a simple calligraphy font in order to gain confidence and accuracy. Here is a very good web page outlining the pen strokes needed for the basic calligraphy alphabet. As you gain confidence, you may wish to choose a different font.
Continuing your learning
If you get hooked, and want to develop more skills, a fantastic series of short tutorial videos can be found here.
Quick and easy short cut!
OK, so you just have not got the time, patience or skill to learn calligraphy from scratch? Don’t worry, there is a quick and easy cheat (I mean short cut!).
As an example, lets say you want to create a set of place cards for your table layout. Using a word processing program, design your cards and names on the screen using a pretty copperplate or calligraphy style font.
The clever trick is to set the printing colour to be just one or two shades darker than your paper colour when printing. All you need to do is to go over the printed text in your chosen calligraphy pen and you will have your very own, hand made, personalised and beautifully written place cards.
There is an example of this trick in action here.
- Choose paper and ink that matches your colour scheme. White or silver on a deep colour background looks particularly stunning.
- Consider adding gold leaf to give an authentic gilding to your calligraphy.
- Use the pen nib to design decorative borders.
We have chosen a selection of wedding calligraphy ideas to inspire you on our very own Pinterest board.
Of course, if you think you’re not quite ready to do your own wedding stationery, there are plenty of professionals who can do it for you. Ask on wedding forums for recommendations or take a look at www.wedding-calligrapher.com. We can highly recommend both Claire and her work.
All product links are purely for information only. There are a wide variety of stockists available for materials, and it is advisable to shop around to find the products that are the best price and style for you.