Sunday, August 9, 2009

Invitation Envelopes - Handwritten Calligraphy

While printed mailing labels provide a uniform appearance to your invitation envelopes, nothing is more personal than receiving a hand-addressed envelope. Many brides often hire someone to handwrite all those hundreds of names and addresses in fance calligraphy. Depending on who you hire and how many envelopes you have, this can be costly, ranging anywhere from $3.25 to $5.25 and on up for each envelope set (outer and inner envelope). Wow.

If you're anything like me, the Do-It-Yourselfer in you is shouting, "For that price, I'm doing it myself!" Now, not everyone knows how to write in calligraphy. Have no fear - there are many styles of fancy writing, some of which are simpler and easier to learn than others. Think you have poor handwriting skills? Irrelevant! Calligraphy is more art than writing. And even if you doubt your artistic skills, you can still learn to produce fancy letters. They are lines, shapes, images. Once you learn how to deconstruct and apply the various lines, you can create many types of calligraphy.

Now, with that said, I learned how to write in calligraphy in elementary school. Since then, I have tried different fonts and pens. I have become rather comfortable using a Sheaffer cartridge pen and writing in a modified version of Old English. Sheaffer pens are good for beginners and experts, comfortable to hold, and the cartridge style pen uses inexpensive refill cartridges.

Now that my envelopes have arrived (YAY!), I have begun the long process of handwriting each name and address. Thankfully, I have ditched the tradition of having an inner envelope in order to save money and reduce the amount of paper we are using. Since my envelopes are opaque and not white, I cannot simply slip a paper with dark lines inside the envelope to guide me. Instead, I have to draw very faint lines on the paper, which I will later erase using a plastic eraser after the ink has dried.

It takes about eight to ten minutes to measure the lines on the envelope using my template, draw the lines (again, lightly), and hand write the guest information. I am able to address ten to twelve envelopes in one sitting; after that, my hand and wrist cramp into a wicked witch position. Let's see... I will need to address 105 envelopes total... that's about ten sittings to get them all done! And if I don't have arthritis before I am done, I might be able to make some decorations (and type)!

Here is an example of one of my envelopes. I am sending a couple out to VIPs, such as the President (long address!), the CA Governor, Mickey and Minnie, and possibly Harry Potter.

If you are still interested in hiring someone to hand write your invitations and/or envelopes, here are some links: Calligraphy Lady, Craigslist, Lettering Elegance Calligraphy. You can find many more sources by typing, "handwritten calligraphy envelopes," into Google.

Cost for handwriting your own calligraphy:
1 Sheaffer Calligraphy Mini Kit (from $14
Online calligraphy font instructions and templates: free
Time to learn and practice: name your own rate
TOTAL: $14 + your time and energy

1 comment:

Rosemary said...

I want to sit next to Barack and Michelle !