Monday, 4 December 2017

Artline Monday - Christmas card calligraphy

It's December!  It's time to get your Christmas cards written and in the post!  Since I have been practising my lettering and calligraphy this year I thought I would try and use my new skills on my cards and share some hints and tips with you today.

Christmas calligraphy 

It's okay if you are a complete beginner, you don't need to have had months of practice to make your cards look fancy.  All you need is a good calligraphy pen and some paper to practice the words you want to write.

I suggest you sit at a table or desk and angle your paper, notebook or card slightly to the left if you are right handed and to the right if you are left handed.  This will give you room to rest your arm on the table while you write and gives you better control over your pen.

On the down strokes you need to apply a little pressure to the pen to make your lines look nice and thick and then a light touch on the up strokes for much thinner lines.  Try doing these strokes a few times until you get used to writing this way with a calligraphy pen.

Practising in my notebook

The next stage is to practice the words you need to write on your cards and envelopes.  If you don't have an idea of what kind of font you want to use take a look on Google or Pinterest for some inspiration, just search for Christmas calligraphy and see what takes your fancy.  

Once you have found a style you like try and copy it on your paper or notebook and repeat until you are happy with how it looks.  When you are confident move on to writing it on your Christmas card or envelope.  Go slowly and take your time with each letter, rushing through the word makes you more likely to make a mistake.  

Depending on how many cards you need to send you might want to write them in batches instead of doing them all at once.  My hand seems to cramp up if I spend too long writing so I like to do five or six cards at a time and then take a break.  This also keeps my handwriting nice and neat as it gets messier the longer I write!

When I was practising I used a 3mm calligraphy nib but this was a bit big for inside my cards so I changed down to a 1mm nib instead.  The smaller nib was the perfect size for the cards and envelopes, leaving me plenty of room to write what I wanted to on both.

Slow and steady

I am only writing the recipients names in calligraphy on my envelopes, I will be adding their address in a clear, print font so it will be easy for the postmen and women to read when they are delivering my cards.  I used an Artline calligraphy marker for the names as it is permanent ink and water resistant and I will be writing the addresses with an Artline Supreme permanent marker for the same reasons.  These inks should withstand any rain or snow the cards might encounter along the way and not run or become illegible.

So, are you feeling inspired?  Will you being giving this a go with your Christmas cards?  I think I am going to go and finish mine off now so I can pop them in the post before the rush later in the month!


  1. I am glad I'm not the only one with random notebook pages of words I'm practicing! I usually have chicken scratch, but when I take my time, I can produce beautiful writing with a little practice.

    Love this post as always!

    1. Aww thank you so much Mary!

      Yeah, I have books full of my practicing! I think it helps with muscle memory when you write the same things over and over again, I find it really helpful :)