Happy New Year!! 2014 brought me and Hayley some great memories – I ran a half marathon, Hayley moved into a new home, and of course, we started WTDWL and haven’t looked back! It’s been a crazy adventure, and we are SO excited to see what this year has to bring! And what better way to kick off our 2015 posts with one of our favorite things…Snail Mail!!!! You already know we love all things handwritten and homemade, and we spend a lot of time writing letters, cards, and notes to friends. You may also know that we really like to keep things simple and affordable. There are already so many excuses out there that keep us from writing notes to friends – email, texting, social media, inconvenience – and those pricey Hallmark cards can just put us over the edge.
Thankfully, calligraphy is so in this year, and we’re taking full advantage of it with these DIY “calligraphy” cards. They are the perfect rainy day, music binge, or just couch sitting activity – who doesn’t love a good doodle session?
-blank cards, or heavy paper (like card stock, oaktag, or even manilla folders)
-sharpies, or other heavy inky markers (like staedtler fineliners)
-pencil with eraser
When hand-drawing your own cards, I think there are a few key things to focus on:
It’s a short list, but it’s an important list. Design, colors, mediums used…none of those things really matter! No one expects handwritten items to be perfect, and quite frankly, I think they look better when they are less perfect. Though I do think my handwriting is pretty “neat,” my hand isn’t always steady and I’m definitely not a good “drawer.” Calligraphy was so…intimidating to me. I guess that’s sort of embarrassing to admit, but whatever its 2015 anything goes! I’ve found with a few tricks, anyone can impress themselves and their friends with a fancy card.
Let’s start with themes/fonts. FUN fonts, to be specific. Stray away from the thin, delicate looking fonts. The theme part of the card is incorporated here into the words you choose – if you’d rather not put words, the same idea applies to images! I start by writing out my word/phrase (image) in the shape of the font, but using one stroke. Next, shape those letters into the font you chose. You can do this by making the outlines thicker or adding dimensions. I like using bold letter outlines. Fill in any blank spaces, and move on to the next font.
Fun fonts have made my life one zillion times easier – there are no special pens involved, and by shaping each letter you have multiple chances to make it look cohesive. And I’m not the only one who thinks so! Check out what Hayley found on Cupcakes and Cashmere’s blog from last June – I didn’t know there were real calligraphy classes!!
Don’t be bummed if you’re card looks too blank – that’s where the doodle comes into play. Dots, circles, arrows, stripes, flowers, swirls – anything goes. These are space fillers, and really make the card unique. This is where theme can also be enhanced – choose images that represent the idea of the card.
When I first started drawing my own cards, I just used a thin, black sharpie. I think the black keeps the card looking neater, especially if you haven’t mastered steady handwriting. For design inspiration, look to quotations, an object to trace, a favorite doodle, or holiday – and don’t be ashamed of using the image searches! There’s nothing that a good clip art-doodle-google search can’t fix, especially when thinking about fonts. I used cookie cutters in this thank you card that I got while in Disney with a friend – use a pencil to outline, erase the lines, and trace with marker!
My favorite cards are pretty busy – lots of doodles, and different font styles…can you tell? What are your favorite card styles? Don’t forget to email us, tag us @whattodowithlemons, and use the hashtag #wtdwlemons with your creations!