Plan B: Faux Calligraphy

Much like many other elements of our wedding these pretty envelopes were my plan B. B meaning better. I originally had silver metallic envelopes that I handwrote everyone’s addresses on in uniform capitals. They looked okay, but were a long way from the impression I wanted to leave when people received the invitation in the mail. What to do, what to do. I thought about that for a long time. And I was lucky enough to have a long time to do so, since I finished assembling my invites in June and was so very patient while waiting to finally mail them out in late August.

My heart wanted calligraphy, but knew I was not about to hire a calligrapher for $2 – $5 an envelope. Respectfully, no thank you, not on this DIY budget. I also considered printing them out on my printer, but unfortunately CMYK doesn’t have some magical combination to make white ink that will show up on red envelopes. Then I came across a simple, yet brilliant idea that I call faux calligraphy.

The idea is to set-up your envelopes (5.25 x 7.25 for an A7 envelope) in a editing program like Microsoft Word or in my case, Adobe Illustrator, then print the addresses on the envelopes in a color that is slightly different than your envelopes. Once you have them printed, trace over the letters with a pen of your choice. The Uni-Ball white gel roller pen worked very well for me. Setting up the file and getting it to print correctly took some practice and I can definitely say that I untangled many envelopes from the death grips of my printer. Word to the wise, order extra envelopes – I’m not joking. Tracing was actually the easiest part, even with needing to double trace to make the ink more solid on the paper. White ink tends to be semi-translucent.

This is a time consuming endeavor, but completely worth it. I want to reinforce the “completely worth it” part of that statement. I have received more compliments and oohhs & aahhs on these babies than I can even count. Plus, with the cost it would take to outsource to a professional calligrapher your savings could really be substantial by rolling up your sleeves and putting in some diy hours. We invited 95 guests and had only 40 envelopes to address. By busting out my faux calligraphy super skills I saved about $200. Imagine if you were having a 200+ guest wedding. $$$ Cue the Apprentice theme song.

I found these two posts about faux calligraphy helpful. These ladies did a nice job going through the details.
DIY Calligraphy – Addressing Envelopes by Ugly Kitty
Calligraphy 101 on Weddingbee

More pictures available on Flickr.



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