5 Ways To Use Handwriting in Your Gift Giving
I love coming up with out-of-the-box ideas for homemade gifts, quite often inspired by what I've seen in shops or on Pinterest. And so following National Handwriting Day last week, I thought that this personalisation method would be the perfect skill for you to try out to get ahead of yourself for those special presents (or let's face it, for Christmas!). Below is a list of 5 ways to use hand-lettering, or calligraphy, in your gift giving this year.
Handmade Gift Ideas - Calligraphy Art
This can be as big or as small as you fancy. Whilst the one pictured is for a married couple, you could do something very similar for a baby's birth, a person's favourite saying, or a list of travel places in the shape of a globe. Pop it in a photo frame, or get professionally framed for a present that is unique and thoughtful.
Tips: - Give yourself plenty of time, especially if you're not used to calligraphy, or your handwriting needs a bit of work!
- Use a rule to give yourself straight lines to work from
- Make sure you get a photo frame with glass in it. Anything else looks cheap.
- Do the design in pencil first, lightly sketched, then when happy transfer into pen.
Handmade Gift Ideas - Kids Clothing
Lettering on clothing. It's a classic right, everybody's at it. Sometimes it's not even words (LDN, NYC, STR anyone?). So if it's good enough for the big boys, it's good enough for us. Use nicknames, first names or a favourite saying, and with this you don't even need to worry about it being too tidy, as the lumps and bumps in our bodies will distort it anyway. Write your chosen words/phrase in the centre, to one side, around one arm, or even on the back. It's all good.
Tips: - Use fabric paint, or pens. Anything else will wash out or run.
- Just buy a plain coloured top, t-shirt or vest top from a basics range.
- Do patterns if you want, or just keep it very simple.
- Use tailor's chalk or pen to write out roughly where you want the calligraphy.
Handmade Gift Ideas - Calligraphed Homewares
Although the picture here shows cushions, which might not be the easiest thing to calligraph due to the thickness of the material, there's loads of things you can use that live in the home. Glasses, plant pots, plates, mugs, photo frames, coasters, the list goes on and on. You do need to make sure that the handwriting materials you use are suitable for the surface they are going on to, otherwise all of your hard work will be wasted. Practice on a sample piece, before you go guns-blazing on to the piece that you want to give.
Tips: - research this one carefully. Make sure you're using the right materials for the job.
- this will need practice. Get a practice model of a similar consistency or material.
Handmade Gift Ideas - Handwritten Wrapping Paper
This is something I've been doing now for about 3 years in some shape or form. Brown wrapping paper, black sharpie pens, and stamps with black (or occasionally coloured ink) are standard in my wrapping arsenal, and I will mix handwritten words (or the name of the recipient in big letters) with motifs and images depending on the occasion. Now, this might not appeal to everybody because it does look very home-made and rustic (especially if the daughter has been helping), but there's loads of ways you can really smarten this idea up. Plain white paper with gold or silver lettering, textured paper with a tom-bow style lettering pen, or even handmade paper, with which you could easily write on with biro, or felt tip pen. This works better with smaller gifts like jewellery boxes, otherwise you could find yourself writing phrases forever.
Tips: - make sure the wrapping paper isn't too big for the present. You don't want to waste a lot of your effort because the paper is too big.
- if using gel pens, allow them to dry before wrapping the gift
- start from the top of the page down so your writing doesn't get smudged
- do this after wrapping. Write the name of the recipient in big bubble style writing, then fill in the rest of the front of the present with one greeting repeated over and over. Just do the one side.
Handmade Gift Ideas - Calligraphed Greetings Card
I confess, I've used this one on more occasions than I care to think about (mostly because I've forgotten to buy a card in advance). Sometimes it's a simple greeting written in my best handwriting on the front, sometimes it's one greeting written over and over in the front, with just one line of it written out in a different colour. This is a great one to use for thank you cards, valentine's, easter or birthdays for those in-between years [just like my 41 years old coming up soon if you want the practice ;-)]
Tips: - use textured or heavy weight card for a luxurious feel
- if using a heavy pen (like a Sharpie) make sure it doesn't bleed through to the inside of the card)
- draw yourself lines as a guide, and they don't have to go on the horizontal
- if you're covering the front with the same greeting, start off with the different coloured greeting first, and build the others up around that one
- if you're good at art, maybe monogram, so take the initial letter and decorate that.
The above are just the tip of the iceberg, and whilst I've focused on writing your designs, you could always sew, embroider or print. Just don't forget that, as with all things, the more you practice the better your designs will become. Of course, if you've tried and everything has just gone wrong, you can always buy these type of products from artists and makers themselves. Try craft markets, facebook communities, and galleries to find the maker that's the best fit for your design.
I hope this has given you some inspiration, either to learn or improve a skill, or just a new set of ideas for difficult-to-buy-for people. And all of these can be used for Christmas presents, with a little thought and fore-planning. Happy calligraphing!
Related Articles to Different Ways to Use Handwriting in Your Gifts:
- Annabelle Summerfield