I know you’ve seen them – either in real life or online (ahem… Pinterest). Perfect wedding invitations that are hand-addressed in calligraphy, or the cutest escort cards and table signs custom-drawn for the wedding. So, how do you get your hands on those?
Well, you can hire someone so do all of the work, which many people do, or you can try to tackle it yourself. Yep, it’s possible to do it yourself!
I wanted to see just how difficult (or, easy) it was, so I took a one-night Hand Lettering 101 class provided by Heather Spooner of Spoonfeathers designs. As an added bonus, this class was held at Edwards Cafe and Catering in Northville, MI, and it included bakery goodies! It was a relatively small class of 10, which allowed some one-on-one help from Heather if needed, and I did need to ask a question or two.
A little background: I hate hand writing. I pretty much always have, so I went back to printing as soon as my elementary school teachers would allow it. While my mother would write in cursive, my father was a printer too, so I blame him! Still, I’m a lazy printer. I’m sloppy, and do not take my time because: Computers. I’d rather type, and it’s so much quicker. That said, I was surprised to learn in Heather’s class, that I preferred calligraphy to printing letters (Serif & Sans Serif). But, I was shocked to learn that I forgot how to write some letters in cursive! EEK! That’s embarrassing. But, I was able to ask my neighbors to jog my memory, and they were more than willing to help.
After a brief lesson about the types of hand-lettering, Heather took us through various practices, and then onto some great tips and tricks. I think that the reason I gravitated to script during the class was because there are “no rules.” As long as you take your time, and manage to connect the letters together by whatever means you need to, then it’s all good. I have to mention: We did not use calligraphy pens in class. We used pencils and markers only, as calligraphy pens get more complicated. If using a calligraphy pen is something you would like to try, I encourage you to learn with a pencil/ marker then begin experimenting with the calligraphy pen.
We took a break for desserts provided by the Cafe, including a mocha chocolate cake, a mini cupcake, a mini tort, and a coconut/chocolate goodie. After loading up on sweets, we returned to our workstations. Heather walked us through some ideas about mixing and matching fonts and styles – which I really liked, and then talked about using letters as shapes, and connecting letters together. We were then provided with blank cardstock, and set off to create our own cards. Many, including myself, made Valentine’s Day cards. At this point, I became very aware that the other students in the room were quite creative, and I was trying to casually look over their shoulders at their work. I opted to keep the rest of the cardstock for a later date when I need some birthday cards for friends, and I was feeling a little bit like my creativity was drying out for the evening (maybe it was the sugar!)
In the end though, I feel much more confident that I can create hand-lettered goods for myself. Obviously I’m no professional, so if I ever needed professional quality work, I’d hire someone. But small jobs and cards are no sweat now! I’m looking forward to using my newly-acquired skills for fun projects.
So, how did I find Heather and her wonderful class? I found Heather when I followed her on Intsagram, and saw a post about the class. (Not gonna lie, the baked goods provided as part of the class might have sweetened the deal.) Heather is a former teacher who always loved to hand-letter, but started creating works of art professionally two years ago. Heather sells her Spoonfeathers Design work on Etsy, including greeting cards, posters & prints, hand-lettered globes, and custom work. She holds workshops like these regularly – in fact, her next class is February 9th, and is a focus on calligraphy for love letters (for your Valentine, galentine, moms, aunts, sisters, friends, etc..). Follow Heather on Instagram for more info.