I have been wanting to dedicate a blog post to seasonal calligraphy, but with the mix of work and grad school, life has been insanely crazy! I am so excited that I have finally whipped up this post, though. Christmas is coming up quickly. It seems like everyone is eager, counting down, and has been excited as soon as Thanksgiving was over! The anticipation is contagious and I am L O V I N G it. To get into the spirit, I am sharing some of my creations that I have dreamed up for Christmas. With my to-do list far too long, I wanted to keep my ideas short and sweet, including methods as well as materials I have used. Think about tying it in to your holiday parties, gifts, and tablescapes. Modern calligraphy can jazz up pretty much any Christmas decor. The options are endless and there is so much inspiration out there! If you're a DIY-er, hopefully you can use some of these ideas and maybe make your own Christmas crafts with calligraphy.
1. Christmas ornaments
I think the ornament is my favorite way to apply calligraphy in a more seasonal way - it is so easy and packs such a punch, especially with metallic ink or crisp white ink. Using traditional round ornaments, I took my white ink paint pen and gently hand lettered some festive Christmas phrases like "be merry" and "joy." It is a little tricky to keep it from smudging, but the ornaments look so good on the tree and actually serve a function! They're so pretty with all of the twinkling lights. They also make great gifts, and look great in large quantities. I also hand-lettered a wooden ornament using metallic gold ink which really added character and special meaning.
Materials: Pentouch paint marker in Copper, white deco pen (one of my all-time faves!)
2. christmas cards & envelopes
Envelopes are another way to creatively incorporate calligraphy! When you're mailing your Christmas cards, grab a ruler and format your envelopes (there are so many ideas I use from the Postman's Knock). Add flourishes, stamps, wax seals, or embossing to make your envelope stand out in the mail! I think postal workers must appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into each envelope...right?
My color scheme for my cards this year was mint green and red ink (although the envelopes look white). It was time-consuming to hand letter each envelope, but I am sure these will make my friends smile a little more. To go the next step, you can use metallic gold or silver ink pads and use pretty stamps to dress up the corners of the envelopes. I would have loved to have done this, but I was crunched for time. To go for the gold standard, you can whip out your embosser (I love using this thing!) and make your stamps appear like they're done with gold foil. It makes my envelopes look like they were professionally printed!
Materials: Brause EF66 nib, Windsor & Newton Ink in Scarlet
3. Table placecards & holiday tags
Here's the beauty with table place cards and holiday tags - you can have the same project have dual purposes! If you're tagging your gifts or setting places at a table, calligraphy adds a sweet touch to make your guest or recipient feel extra-special. I love the ideas of tags and placecards, but it can be tedious. This is why I thought using the tags and placecards may save you some time and still look really good! I usually opt for simpler and inexpensive materials. To make these rounded paper placecards, I used a sheet of maroon card stock from and my gold fine-tip metallic paint pen. I also used sprigs of pine and fresh greens from outside to add a more natural, rustic touch.
I simply cut the tags in circular shapes (about 2" diameter) and wrote the names of my guests on the paper.
If you're looking for something a bit more involved, you can find small slabs of slate or pre-cut chalkboard pieces. I actually got this awesome idea from my mom. For a friend's gift tag, she decided to write song lyrics in leui of her friend's name on the gift tag. I loved this idea because it added some character and it became sort of a gift itself.
Materials: Maroon cardstock, Pentouch gold metallic paint pen, sprigs of fresh greens (from outside!)
Happy crafting and Christmas-ing!
See more of my creative workflow posts here.