I love a beautifully addressed envelope, but sadly, I no longer have the handwriting skills to do them myself. My wedding is about 4 months away, and we just finalized a date a few weeks ago. I’m trying desperately to finalize everything, and start all of my DIY projects. One of my projects is properly addressing my invitation envelopes. I wanted to learn to do calligraphy, but I don’t have enough time to perfect my skill to reliably address more than 50 envelopes. Several companies offer free addressing, but the price of save the date cards and invitations can be significantly more than their competitors. I own a very nice printer, courtesy of the HP Moms Panel. It’s the HP Envy 5660, which comes in very handy for lots of projects. Today I’m sharing a DIY wedding calligraphy idea to help you save time and money on addressing your invitations or save the date cards.
I’ve been married previously, but it’s my fiance Jeremy’s first trip down the aisle. I don’t want to spend any of my son’s college fund trying to pay for an elaborate wedding. My goal is to spend roughly $5000 on the wedding, which includes photography and catering budgets. I know that may sound crazy, but I consider myself to be fairly thrifty. I’ll break down my complete budget later and link back here.
Hand calligraphy costs anywhere between $1.50 to $5.00 per envelope. You could easily disrupt a tight budget by using a calligrapher. It’s a wonderful expense if you can afford it, and it adds a beautiful touch, but not everyone has the resources for this expense. It’s also a beneficial skill to learn, but you have to have time and I’m definitely on a strict budget there. Several stationery companies offer lovely printing, but the fees quickly add up.
I also considered using my Cricut Explore and the draw feature to address them with gel pens, but I decided printing would be easier. I’ve also seen several posts suggest printing addresses in an opaque color and tracing them by hand with calligraphy pens or markers, but I decided my method looked just as pretty and takes less time.
I regularly use Photoshop and I have several calligraphy fonts on my computer. I decided I would pull out a few spare envelopes and give it a try. I was very impressed by how professional they looked. I played around with several fonts trying to match the style to our Save the Date cards.
To complete this DIY Wedding Calligraphy Project you’ll need a few things:
- Good quality printer
- Calligraphy font
- Word processing software or Photoshop
- Address List
Here are a few fonts that I tried with screenshots:
The last two are variations of the same font, but uses different aspects of the character map.
You’ll want to browse the net and look for fonts that you like. I’m going to try to compile a larger list of free calligraphy style fonts. I suggest that you be careful when downloading any font labeled as “free” from the internet. You’ll want to make sure that you only download from a reliable source, because you don’t want to get a virus. I purchased all of the fonts pictured above in an inexpensive bundle. I purchase and download from The Hungry JPEG frequently; they offer great font bundles and occasional freebies.
You’ll need to load any purchased or free fonts into your font library. If you don’t know how, just google it. I have a Mac and the process is different from Windows.
You’ll also you need to know the exact size of your envelopes so that you can establish margins. I created a 5×7 landscape canvas in Photoshop, because that is the size of my envelopes. You could also use your favorite word processing program.
I established how much room I wanted to leave for stamps. Jeremy wanted a little more void space, but I prefer large script.
*Tip* If you keep a spreadsheet with addresses on it, you can just copy and paste them over.
I selected the entire canvas area to help ensure that my writing was centered top to bottom, and left to right.
You can play around with your text size until it fills your canvas.
Some fonts have varying swirls and swashes that can be added to the font. You’ll want to check the character map. The second row from the bottom (in the menu below) will adjust those options, but not all fonts have them. You can also use the same box to adjust the spacing between rows. The line that read 65.7 on my example below controls lines spacing. Both of these features will greatly affect the look of your final envelope. You can also adjust the font color. I tried both black and dark gray, but I considered using navy to match my save the date cards.
You’ll want to insert your envelope according to printer instructions.
You’ll need to adjust the actual printer paper settings when you go to print. You’ll want to set it to highest print quality, and select the correct size and envelope orientation.
I printed several fonts to give you an idea of what they look like. You can even print your return address on the back of your envelope instead of using a stamp or address labels.
I absolutely love how they turned out. I allocated the cash that I would have spent on paying a calligrapher or the stationery company elsewhere in my wedding budget.
Do you want to see my save the date cards? I ordered them from Shutterfly, and they turned out beautiful. I won’t hesitate suggesting them to anyone else. I ordered them during a sale and paired it with a discount code, so they only cost me roughly $75 for 55 cards with envelopes shipped to my house. They would have charged .39 cents per envelope to address them for me in plain font.
This could be used to address more than wedding invitation envelopes or save the date cards. They would add a lovely touch to graduation invitations, baby shower invitations, holiday cards, or birthday cards.
What do you think of my DIY wedding calligraphy hack? Are you getting married any time soon or do you know someone who is? Feel free to share this post with anyone who might find it helpful, and check back for more frugal wedding planning tips and DIY projects.