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How To Do Calligraphy for Your Wedding

Do you want to astonish your wedding guests with beautiful calligraphy on wedding invitation envelopes? You can create this elegant look yourself and save money with DIY wedding calligraphy.

If you don’t have calligraphy experience, don’t fret! This step-by-step guide on how to do calligraphy will provide tips on how to practice and perfect the three most common calligraphy styles. You can even print out calligraphy worksheets to practice and use before personalizing each envelope.

If you’d like to try your hand at calligraphy and put a special, personal touch on your wedding invitations, here’s everything you need to know to get started. If you want the elegant look of calligraphy, but think DIY wedding calligraphy would be too time consuming, you can save time with customized wedding address labels.

Preparing to Do Calligraphy

To get started, you’ll need the right tools for the job. Creating your own toolkit allows you to practice at home with the materials that will make your DIY envelopes look like they were done by a professional. Once you’ve collected the calligraphy tools that work best for you, find a medium-sized box for easy storage.

Beginner Tips for Writing Calligraphy

To create smooth, beautiful lettering, you’ll need to feel comfortable holding your pen. Use your thumb, index and middle finger to grip the tool. Angle your hand at a 45 degree angle from the paper as shown in the image below. Most importantly, keep your arm and hand relaxed. Write gracefully by lightly controlling the pressure with your index finger.

Dip approximately ¼” of your nib into the ink. Reduce extra ink or bleeding by dabbing your nib with a non-fibrous cloth. If you begin seeing gaps in your lines and flourishes, it’s time for more ink.


Design delightful lettering as you move your hand across your penciled guidelines. The nib creates a thick or thin effect depending on its direction and the amount of pressure applied. The variation in thickness offers an appealing, professional calligraphic look.

Common Calligraphy Styles

Modern Calligraphy: Spice up traditional calligraphy with modern flair. In the photo below, note the thick and thin variation along with the small flourishes and shorter gaps between letters.

Formal Calligraphy: As shown in the below image, this simple style has an upright angle. Use it for formal occasions and to create crystal clear lettering.

Flourishing Calligraphy: Flourishing style gives you extra room for creativity with its embellishments. Begin or end a word with a flourish or add it to the tail of a ‘p,’ ‘y’ or ‘j.’

Printable Calligraphy Practice Sheets

Don’t be discouraged if your calligraphy isn’t perfect on the first few tries—it’s that way for everyone. Even a bit of practice will dramatically improve your calligraphy.

We suggest practicing with our calligraphy printable worksheets based on the style you want to achieve. Enjoy dabbling with your new hobby by practicing as often as you can. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to address your wedding invitations. Your guests will be stunned with your new skills and extra excited for your big day.

Download Practice Sheets

Caring For Your Calligraphy Pen

To create various styles of calligraphy, you’ll use different types of nibs and writing techniques. Knowing the parts of a nib will help you in finding and using the right tool for your project. Each part of the nib, as described in the graphic below, plays an important role in the beauty of your final product.

While you may be unsure how to assemble your pen the first time, you’ll have it memorized with a little practice. Our step-by-step photos will help you through the process.

Take out your flange: If you’re using an oblique pen, take out the flange before inserting your nib as shown in this picture. The flange is the appendage that attaches to the pen. If you’re using a straight pen, skip this and move to the next step.

Prep the nib by sticking it in a potato or glass cleaner: Nibs are manufactured with a protective coat to prevent rust and damage while on the store shelf. Remove this sealant before using the nib by sticking it in a potato overnight—the starch breaks down the coating—or soak in glass cleaner for 15 minutes. After either method, rinse and dry completely.

Insert nib: Be gentle as you insert your nib, taking note not to handle it at the point. The heel (base) of your nib should slide between the edge of the universal insert and the metal petals like in the picture below. Push it in until it feels secure and it doesn’t move around. The four petals should be under the nib’s arc.

Align the nib: It’s important for the nib to be aligned and the flange to be angled correctly in order to apply pressure to both tines of your nib. You’ll need to readjust if you notice that one tine nib takes on more pressure than the other, resulting in jagged lines or ink splatter.

Care for your pens and nibs at the end of each session, ensuring you can use them multiple times. Thoroughly wash your pen holder and nib in lukewarm water and mild soap. All of the ink should be removed and carefully patted with a non-fibrous cloth until completely dry, avoiding rust and damage.

The most important thing of all is to enjoy the artistic process of creating beautiful calligraphy. Whether it’s for your wedding invitation envelopes or thank you cards, know that your time and effort will be appreciated when your guests find your invitation in their mailbox.