I love when a dining table is decorated with a lot of care, especially when you invite your nearest and dearest to eat. In Austria, place cards are more common for big celebrations like weddings but I love the idea of adding them to smaller occasions too. It makes guests feel welcomed, makes for the perfect conversation topic (a great ice breaker too) and really looks pretty on the table.

Thoughtful for guests, easy to do

One of my co-workers asked me last year if I would write calligraphy on our rolled place cards for her Christmas family party – I loved the idea, it’s so thoughtful, even and especially for the closest family. It makes sharing meals and events even more special. Needed so much in these stressful times.

How to create faux calligraphy

But how to write the perfect place card when you’re not a world-renowned calligrapher or designer and still want your place cards look flawless on your beautiful table? Let me help you!

First, you need the perfect pen: I recommend either a gel pen or a rollerball filled with ink. Now you could just write your guests’ names with your normal, very own handwriting. It’s very personal, charming and will look great with the timelessness of the paper.

How to write the perfect place card on handmade paper

But you could also use, and that’s secondly, faux calligraphy. Faux calligraphy is based on the principles of calligraphy without actually being calligraphy. It makes handwriting look like it’s calligraphed. Here is how to do it:

In calligraphy the downwards strokes of the words you write are thicker than the upwards strokes, just because of the nature of working with a nib. So to mimic calligraphy you “thicken” the downwards strokes in your words.

Here’s a step by step guide:

  1. Write your guest’s name in cursive script lettering. The letters that have little loops in them (like e, d etc.) need to be wide enough so you later fill out the loops.
  2. Go back and double any downward stroke in the word with a second line.
  3. Finally fill out the gaps you just created.

There you have it: your very own “calligraphed” place card.   


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