DIY Calligraphy; Or, How To Create Real-Looking Fake Calligraphy

Need some beautiful calligraphy for invitations, announcements, etc, but have neither the skills nor the tools to do it right? No worries. There are plenty of shortcuts for creating your own DIY calligraphy or real looking fake calligraphy.

Techniques for DIY calligraphy range from simply thickening certain lines in ordinary cursive writing to printing out calligraphy fonts and tracing them onto envelopes or stationery. While we’re no experts – our attempts at calligraphy look like it was done by a troop of drunken monkeys – we’ve found some pros and talented amateurs who can tell you how it’s done.

Lindsey Bugbee offers one of the simplest techniques for DIY calligraphy. She simply uses a Pilot G2 gel pen to write as neatly as she can in cursive, then thickens all the downstroke lines and fills them in to give them that calligraphy/fountain pen appearance.

Fake Calligraphy 1

Credit Lindsey Bugbee The postmans

She calls it the, “Fake It ‘Til You Make It” method and, based on the samples on her website, seems to work.

Jones Design Company offers a more detailed example of how to fake calligraphy using the same method. Jones recommends starting with a pencil, then using a Pilot Precise extra fine to draw each letter. Once the letters are done, you can use the Precise to add thickness to all the downstrokes in the letter.

fake calligraphy 3

Credit Jonas Design Company

Another simple tip is to find a calligraphy font online and print it in light gray on your stationery, then use your own pen to darken it. That way, the calligraphy will look hand-printed, even if it isn’t, although it may end up looking too perfect.

Fake Calligraphy 4

Credit The Diary of a Mad Bride

(Calligraphy fonts aren’t hard to find. In fact, there are a number of font websites, as well as calligraphy cheat sheets available for printing or tracing.)

If you want to get really detailed about it, and don’t mind spending some money, Intimate Weddings offers perhaps the most sophisticated way to produce professional looking DIY calligraphy. It involves buying a tracing table and a calligraphy set to copy a font printed from the Internet.

fake calligraphy 5

Credit Intimate Weddings

By the time you are finished, you’ve almost done real calligraphy, but without the nerve-racking experience of trying to do it freehand.

Or, if all else fails, you could always just hire a pro.

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Tony Bridges

As a seasoned journalist and freelance writer, I've spent over three decades telling stories and exploring the world through the written word. With a passion for writing instruments, I found my niche at The Pen Vibe, a blog that shares our collective fascination with pens, pencils, and other tools that have shaped the art of writing.

1 thought on “DIY Calligraphy; Or, How To Create Real-Looking Fake Calligraphy”

  1. Hello!
    These calligraphy fonts are AMAZING.I would like to get my next tattoo with these fonts…can u help me?
    I would like one word with these fonts:Grateful

    thx for ur help


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