As Christmas approaches, all sorts of opportunities arise for making use of your calligraphy skills.
It’s great to enjoy the freedom of creating things that perhaps only have a short life: table names, menus, envelopes for cards, gift tags. They are all opportunities to try out new and adventurous ideas, safe in the knowledge that you’re not making something that is going to be around for years and years – so let your creative self have some fun!
What about Christmas cards? You might think that they only have a short life too…. but the good news is that many people love receiving a hand made card, and will definitely keep any beautiful pieces as the other cards get put into the recycling. Indeed there are people who will display the hand made cards for years and years.
So it is better to think of your hand made cards as having a long life!
As the busy season begins it’s really important to make sure that the making of your cards doesn’t become just another chore. Think about the people who will really appreciate a handmade piece, and make sure you have time to really enjoy the creating for them.
Here are a few thoughts on keeping it fun!
- You don’t have to create every card by hand. Your own design, printed (at home or at a print shop) or even photocopied, is a good was to avoid getting bored or stressed.
- A printed card (your own or a bought one) with an added handmade touch is great – a little gold or sparkle or colour (especially on a black and white card) can look amazing.
- Add your calligraphy to a printed card – the recipient’s name on the front, or beautiful calligraphy inside the card make it special and thoughtful.
- Experiment with materials you don’t usually use- gold pens, glitters, stamps and bright colours might not be part of your usual calligraphy work – but on a Christmas card – why not?!
If you are printing your own cards, think about the envelope size you’ll need – much cheaper and easier if your final card will fit in a standard envelope, and if the card is A5 or smaller that will keep the postage costs down.
Do a test to make sure that your printed piece can take any decoration you want to add – for example check that the paper you are using won’t bleed.
Here are a couple of layouts for cards that can be photocopied on A4 sheets and folded into practical cards.