A few years ago I began playing with faux calligraphy. “Why does she call it ‘faux’ calligraphy?” you might be wondering. I refer to my calligraphy as faux calligraphy because while it often looks like the real thing, I don’t use a legitimate calligraphy pen. As a matter of fact, I don’t use any fancy supplies at all! Since I began posting biweekly “Scripture Sunday” posts around this time last year, I’ve received several questions about how I write that way and a few requests to write a post explaining it, so today I’m finally getting around to doing just that! Before I get started I’d like to reference my friend Meg’s post from 2015 which is where I first found my bearings in the realm of faux calligraphy. I’ve narrowed my process down to four simple steps, but before we get started you need two things: a piece of paper and a writing utensil of any kind, I’ve used wooden pencils, Sharpies, ballpoint pens, Crayola markers, and just about everything else. Truly anything goes!
Step #1: Write your words in cursive.
Believe it or not, this step is probably the hardest of all. Your cursive doesn’t have to be spectacular for the calligraphy to turn out well, but putting thought into each letter certainly doesn’t hurt. As you improve your calligraphy over time you might begin to add extra curls to the ends of words and things of that sort, but I decided to keep it simple for the sake of this post. I typically wait until the end to dot my i’s and cross my t’s but if you choose to do so now that’s totally fine.
Step #2: Create blocks on the parts of each letter in which your hand makes a downward motion when writing.
This might sound confusing but it’s very easy! Think about where in each letter your hand made a downward motion and use another line to thicken that part(s) of the letter as shown above. Creating this little block area on each letter before doing the next step will keep your words looking clean and elegant!
Step #3: Fill in the block spaces with your pen or pencil.
This is the fun part! Now you get to fill in the spaces you just created as if you’re using a coloring book. Being meticulous in this step will work in your favor because coloring outside your lines can result in sloppy letters.
Step #4: Dot your I’s and cross your T’s.
You’re almost done! Now just go back and dot your i’s and cross your t’s. I typically make the lines on my t’s somewhat wavy as shown above to add an elegant touch but that’s just a matter of opinion.
Doesn’t your phrase look pretty? The best part about faux calligraphy is that the more you do it, the better it will look. My lettering has improved over years of doodles on algebra notes and in my Bible journal. I love making my friends birthday and Christmas cards in this faux calligraphy! As you now understand, this process is so easy but it looks beautiful and everyone assumes it takes some type of immense talent.
Thanks for reading! Enjoy your new “calligraphy” skills!