Tell Someone You Love Them
Originally, this post was scheduled as a DIY piece for Father’s Day, so that you could make your own card or sign. However, in light of this Monday’s events, I thought it was a very fitting way to close such a tragic, heart-breaking week, by focusing on the love, strength, and kindness that absolutely beamed from Manchester and the world in the aftermath. As Fred Rogers told us his mum used to tell him: "‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realising that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” In an attempt to bring some light from the dark, I thought I’d gently remind you to tell someone you care. They’ll appreciate it now more than ever.
We’re in the age of a Writing Renaissance, where we’re coming full circle on the written letter, pretty paper and stunning hand-lettering. Paper goods are something we’ve come to once again covet, and we love the tangible memory that we can keep forever. There’s more options than ever for them too, as we obsess over new details and bring specific talents into the mainstream. There’s an abundance of card stock and finishes, calligraphy and handlettering styles, and final embellishments to choose for one – we, for one, are here for it.
A perfect time to lend your own hand to these is with personalised cards. High Street cards are so often absolutely extortionate, and the sentiments they have on them are often a bit twee and never seems to perfectly fit your situation. I once saw an article saying that Valentine’s Day is not only hard for single Pringles, but hard for ‘in-between’ couples too, for whom the cookie cutter traditional relationship doesn’t quite fit their situation. This extends so much further than Valentine’s Day, and covers all celebrations and occasions. This is never more evident than when trying to pick a card in the crimson hell that is a town centre card shop. And who’s this cookie cutter traditional relationship for, anyway? Does anyone know of anyone in one of these? Answers on a (homemade) postcard please!
However, if you’re like me and spend hours poring over calligraphy accounts online, and torture yourself with stunning hand-whittled pens and inks made from the finest crushed gold (and seemingly some of my own poor person tears too), then you may know that it can rack up to be quite an expensive hobby to pursue. Hence, this is our slight cheat’s guide to a stunning card that—disclaimer—involves absolutely ZERO cheating, but maybe some shortcuts and time-saving.
How to make a hand-lettered DIY card that looks expensive and wonderful and talented and creative (the list goes on)…
- Get decent card. The one thing that will give the game away is a piece of printer paper folded in half. Card stock is inexpensive and comes in a variety of finishes – mottled, matte finishes work better for this than shiny ones.
- Use a template. The wonderful Cassie from Ivy & Inks, bespoke handletterer, calligrapher and wedding stationer extraordinaire, has designed an exclusive template for And So To Wed followers to learn from, with the super cute (and super appropriate, for all you ‘in betweeners’ out there) ‘Love you to the moon and back’! Click the link to access it.
- Practice practice practice on scrap paper. Really focus on the way the letters flow after another, and exactly where they join. It’s also useful, even if you’re using a ballpoint pen, to imagine how the ink would work in a traditional pen—the rule is that the thicker strokes will be where the pen is working downwards, and the thinner strokes will be in ascending details. From this, make sure you space your letters out enough so that you can add in your faux calligraphy afterwards, filling in those emboldened downwards strokes.
- When you feel you’re ready, take a steady hand and start to imitate! Cassie’s design can be used to trace if your card isn’t too thick, but if not, a slow and measured approach can win the race too. (I did mine with a ballpoint pen as a 15 minute challenge to myself, and if am allowed to blow my own trumpet quietly, it doesn’t look too shoddy—if you excuse a wobbly L!)
- Embellish! With your new found handlettering skill, go wild on the envelope, and finish with a wax seal—we’re HUGE fans of a wax seal as a super simple but effective way of making something look lavish and ornate. Throw some confetti in there, emboss it with glitter, go WILD.
If you’ve got the calligraphy bug, there’s so many places to go on this wonderful adventure! Our first suggestion would be a pitstop at Ivy & Ink’s instagram, website, and Facebook page. If you’re looking into wedding stationery, décor or signs, they can help you out with full suites, bespoke commissions and one-off pieces. Alternatively, Cassie runs calligraphy workshops in Bristol, to personally teach you her skills and what she’s learnt from years in the design industry—alongside nibbles, wine, and tales of her gorgeous cat, of course. Thanks so much for the template, Cassie…it must be so nice to know you’ve helped so many couples say their “I Love You”s this year.