DIY Calligraphy – the Easy Way!

diy calligraphy

Do you swoon over stationery hand-written in gorgeous calligraphy? Do you drool over the elegant loops and lines only to plummet back into reality knowing that you just can’t afford it for your wedding stationery?

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to give up on that fancy lettering! You can do your own calligraphy even if you are a complete novice! And you don’t have to enroll of months of courses either. The trick?

A tracing table.

I bought a Porta-trace several years ago for photography purposes. Since then I’ve used it for oodles of craft projects and just recently I realized its magic in creating calligraphy.

Now, I do realize that calligraphy is an art form that takes many moons to perfect, and good calligraphers are worth every penny; their talent will not be matched by an amateur at a tracing table.

That said, you can create some pretty exceptional results using this method. It really is the next best thing to hiring a pro – and perfect for couples on a budget.

*Note: This will not work on heavy card stock. The paper has to be thin enough so that the light can shine through it.

DIY Calligraphy for Cheaters Tutorial

You will need:

Porta-Trace 10″ x 12″ Calligraphy Set



Find a font that you like;  I chose Harrington for this tutorial. Type your guest’s name and address and also your return address. Size the addresses. (I used 24pt for the return address and 32pt for the guest’s address). Print out the addresses.

diy calligraphy

 Cut out the addresses and fit them inside your envelope. Place on tracing table.

diy calligraphy

 Grab your calligraphy pen and start tracing the guest’s name and addy. The more you practice, the easier it will get. (Buy some extra envelopes for goof-ups.)

porta trace

  diy invites

Do the same with the return address.

diy calligraphy

Now slip your invite or card inside the envelope and indulge in some pretty vintage stamps. Fini! Pretty fancy, don’t you think?

diy calligraphy


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8 Comments  |  Filed Under: DIY Stationery, DIY Wedding

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  1. Posted by Sondra on May 2nd, 2012 at 3:49pm

    Genius! Sheer genius!!!
  2. Posted by Susan on May 2nd, 2012 at 11:10pm

    This is a great idea...thanks for sharing!
  3. Posted by Christina on May 3rd, 2012 at 8:21am

    Thanks for your comments Sondra and Susan. If you try it, I'd love to see the result.
  4. Posted by Jusa on May 3rd, 2012 at 11:18pm

    I don't have any weddings to deal with, but this is a great idea for handmade cards for any occasion. Thanks.
  5. Posted by Corinna Taylor on May 4th, 2012 at 11:21am

    It really isn't all that hard to learn an italic adequate for envelope addressing, and with a little practice it woulds be far more graceful than this tracing. Also, the pen you use in your sample is far too broad for the font you selected.
    Nothing in wedding etiquette demands calligraphy, only handwriting. If you can't afford a calligrapher, your own handwriting would be preferable to that pretentious tracing.
  6. Posted by Rick on May 7th, 2012 at 3:23pm

    That's a great idea to put a classic touch on your wedding invitations and still having not broke the bank.
  7. Posted by agatha z on September 26th, 2012 at 3:52pm

    Thank you for this terrific idea!!
  8. Posted by Radi on February 9th, 2013 at 11:08am

    Good job!
    I've been practicing and learning calligraphy for many years and I know that the learning involves a lot of mistakes and wasted paper.
    Sometimes it looks hard, but if you keep working gets easy.
    But it feels really good, when you create something by hand, right?

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