Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DIY Addressing Invitation Envelopes

So in my wedding fantasy, a stylish calligrapher addresses the front of each of our invitation envelopes in a modern font a la...
Laura Hooper's amazing lettering. Oh, Laura. The hours I've wasted on your website drooling.

Alas, calligraphy was not in our budget, especially considering I know that 98.5% of our guests will not in any way, shape, or form either notice or care what the front of their envelope looks like.

However, that still leaves 1.5% of our guests (including my mother, TWP, and Historygirlie) who will look at the envelope and appreciate the handwritten address. Knowing that, I spent a few random hours while subbing practicing my "fancy" writin'... Thus I give you, my DIY calligraphy tutorial.

Step 1: Gather supplies.A hard writing surface. Your pen of choice (I used an American Crafts Slick Writer pen in brown from Archivers). Envelopes (mine came from here). And a template so that your words are straight and don't slant. If you enlarge the photo above, you can see my template on the left. I used a ruler to create the lines; the second line from the top is the first line of the address (for ex. Mr. and Mrs. John Adams goes on that line). Then narrowly spaced lines are to make sure that the address doesn't get too squished vertically. The vertical lines are exactly in the middle of the envelope, which helped me space out the address (I went for the even more irritating form of centering each line of the address... Hello, my name is Mugs, and I'm anal-retentive.)

Step 2: Insert the template into the envelope. I used a dark sharpie marker to make the template, so I could see the lines through the envelope.

Step 3: Slide a paperclip on the whole packet so the template doesn't move; I put my paperclip where the postage stamp will go in case it marred the envelope at all. (Yes, again, hello my name is Mugs and I'm anal-retentive.)
Step 4: Trial and error. Order extra envelopes so you can do a trial run. It will take some practice to get the lettering spaced out nicely and centered if you're going that route.

Step 5: Hunker down for a long night of writing! My guest list involved 112 envelopes. After some mistakes, I probably addressed 125 in the course of three days. By the end my hand had cramped, my pinkie wouldn't bend in one direction, my elbow had taken to twitching randomly, and I was pretty certain I didn't even want to invite half of the people on the list! But, it was worth it. I'm really happy with how my pseudo calligraphy turned out:The invitations are set to go out next week, and I'm dying to show them to you all, but I must summon all of my patience and wait. I don't want to ruin the surprise for guests who do read this little blog, so I won't expose the whole shebang for a little while longer... :)

The photo quality isn't great on most of these pics, so if you want a better look, I'd suggest clicking on the photos.


keby March 17, 2009 at 5:31 AM  

I'm so impressed with your attention to detail. I just asked my dad and my mother-in-law to address the envelopes since they had the neatest handwriting. Can't wait to see the invites!

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