I've had a love for beautifully handwritten notes and calligraphy since I was a child.
You see, back in the days, we used to do calligraphy at school to learn how to write properly. My mom bought me these instructional books and I still remember marveling to find out that there was actually a "proper" way to write each letter!
Nowadays, I'm in love with modern calligraphy. Big time!
But like for many of us, I suspect, calligraphy does not come naturally.
And even though you see beautifully written calligraphy EVERYWHERE in the party world these days, I do not (yet) possess the skills to create it without a little cheating technique ;)
So, for my Thanksgiving poster / large sign (see this post for all the photos of my Thanksgiving tablescape), I turned to my 'calligraphy cheat' to help me.
It takes the hard work out of calligraphy for me, and allows me to create something pleasing and freehand, without being a calligraphy expert.
And until I actually master this beautiful art by the book, this is my go-to technique when I want to write fancy! ;)
Easy DIY Calligraphy Thanksgiving Poster Tutorial
What you'll need:
* Kraft paper
* Black sharpie
1) The point here is to write freehand. But because this is an easy writing technique, I usually write how I want the sign or poster to look on the computer first, and then copy the letters as best I can onto paper.
I created a printable sign on my computer to act as a template. Download it here.
You could totally blow up the printable to create a giant poster. But that defeats the point of creating something by hand, right?! If calligraphy is not your thing, then by all means go ahead and print away!
2) Cut off a piece of Kraft paper the size you want for your poster/sign. Then using your pencil, roughly mark on your Kraft paper where each letter begins and their rough layout on the page. It's just a rough guide.
3) Start writing the letters, copying the style of the template.
4) Once you have all your letter in place, then (this is where the 'calligraphy part' comes in!) draw a second line each time your pencil line goes down. See example below where arrows point downward.
We'll call this the 'shadow line'. It will be colored in to create the calligraphy effect, and make it look like you used a calligraphy pen to write with!
5) Once you're happy with what you wrote, then use the sharpie to go over your lines.
Important: protect your surface under the Kraft paper with a layer of newspaper in case the sharpie leaks underneath!
6) Finish off by filling in the shadow lines, and then rub out any pencil lines at the end.
TIP: Don't sweat the little imperfections - it's a handwritten sign and it adds to the charm ;)
The same technique could be used for any signage and any occasion, and don't be afraid to try other fonts as inspiration!