DIY CALLIGRAPHY MENU FOR PARTIES

Although this particular tutorial is for an Iftar menu, the template is pretty much the same as that of a wedding or party menu.So if you’re reading this post Ramadan, you should still scroll down because you don’t want to miss this perfect party DIY.So what are you waiting for?Learn how to do a simple DIY calligraphy menu.

Create a pretty DIY calligraphy menu that can be used for parties or weddings using watercolor.

If you’ve read my about page, you’ll know that this year my challenge hobby is modern calligraphy.I’ve always been fond of lettering.During my time at architecture school, I was stuck with doing the charts if we had group presentations. Needless to say, with deadlines looming up and last minute mishaps, the pressure used to be high. So it wasn’t really an enjoyable process.Last year,I was a lucky bunny when I stumbled upon “The Postman’s Knock” website.And I was luckier when I got to work with Lindsey, who is the founder / artist / calligrapher behind TPK for a collaboration. I was drawn into her world of modern calligraphy and I knew instantly what I wanted to learn next.

This particular DIY calligraphy menu uses Lindsey’s Kaitlin style worksheet.Instead of using inks which is generally used for calligraphy,I decided to use watercolor.Watercolor and calligraphy go hand in hand and you’ll find plenty of tutorials online that explain the process of using watercolor with pointed nib pen.Alternately you could also get your hands on Molly Suber Thorpe‘s amazing book called “Modern Calligraphy” where she talks about using this technique.(Review of the book will be posted in the coming weeks).

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Materials required for the DIY calligraphy menu are:-

  1. Smooth Bristol paper or Rhodia paper*
  2. General’s cork grip pen holder
  3. Winsor and Newton watercolors
  4. Brause EF 66 nib
  5. Pencil
  6. Ruler

*If you’re going to digitize your calligraphy and then take prints of the same,you don’t need to use an expensive paper like Bristol. Rhodia pads are excellent for practice calligraphy as they are really smooth.Since the paper isn’t as thick as Bristol,you may want to go easy on the amount of water used.

Step 1:Menu cards generally are rectangular in shape.This isn’t necessarily the case always. But as a general rule, rectangular cards are preferred. For this particular iftar menu,I chose the size 4″x9″.Again the dimensions need not be the same.From both the International A4 size and U.S. Letter size, you’ll be able to get two cards if you plan on trimming it vertically.And you’ll be able to get three 3″x8″cards if you trim horizontally.The choice is yours.And depending on the menu type(big or small), you can vary accordingly.

Create a pretty DIY calligraphy menu that can be used for parties or weddings using watercolor.

Step 2: Next,draw guidelines for writing your content. For the iftar party,I didn’t divide it into the usual “appetizer”, “entree”and “dessert” sections. Here I have “iftar”(food during breaking of fast) ,”dinner” and “sweets”. On top,we have “menu” written.So there are four main headings and content in between.The main headings are 1/2″ in width.The distance between “menu”and “iftar” is 3/4″.The gap from the top to “menu” is 1/2″.

Step 3:Time to start writing! After the guidelines are drawn horizontally,vertical ones are drawn to centralize the content.I left 1″on either side and drew two vertical lines which will help fit in my calligraphy.Write your content in pencil.

Create a pretty DIY calligraphy menu that can be used for parties or weddings using watercolor.

Step 4:Apply the color ‘turquoise” on your brush.Brush over your nib as shown below.You may have to re-apply often.It’s a bit tedious but worth it.Write with your dip pen over the pencil strokes.Notice how my downstrokes are thick and upstrokes are thin.

Create a pretty DIY calligraphy menu that can be used for parties or weddings using watercolor.

Create a pretty DIY calligraphy menu that can be used for parties or weddings using watercolor.

Create a pretty DIY calligraphy menu that can be used for parties or weddings using watercolor.

Do the same for the rest.At this point,I decided on being adventurous and thickened my downstroke for “menu”.I used a “lemon yellow” hue for this.The result was a beautiful mix of blue,green and yellow.The yellow bled into the turquoise creating a lovely effect.

Create a pretty DIY calligraphy menu that can be used for parties or weddings using watercolor.

Step 5:Paint some laurels on either side of “menu”.Here again I used two tones of green color for the leaves.I wanted to keep it simple but you may add flowers or other elements additionally.

Create a pretty DIY calligraphy menu that can be used for parties or weddings using watercolor.

Step 6:Draw guidelines of 1/4″ width between each heading.Write down your choice of menu.Needless to say, my mouth was watering as I did this step.And for those of youwondering if I made everything, the answer is “no”. Some were bought and some made.All in all it was a fantastic menu.

Create a pretty DIY calligraphy menu that can be used for parties or weddings using watercolor.

Create a pretty DIY calligraphy menu that can be used for parties or weddings using watercolor.

Rub off the guidelines after the ink is dry.And viola! You’ve created a beautiful party menu all by yourself.You may scan ,take prints and display on each individual plate.Or you can just use the menu you created and display it beautifully on your buffet table.Now wasn’t that a lot of fun?Your guests are sure to go ooh and aah when you say that you did it all by yourself.Pat on your back for being so creative!

Create a pretty DIY calligraphy menu that can be used for parties or weddings using watercolor.

Create a pretty DIY calligraphy menu that can be used for parties or weddings using watercolor.

What do you think?

What color scheme would you choose for a DIY calligraphy menu like this? I would totally dig a peach/peach combination.It would be awesome for a fun bachelorette party wouldn’t it?Let me know what other tutorials you’d like to see in the comments below.And don’t forget to hashtag with #makeinkstruck on Instagram if you try this out.

Cheers!

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About zakkiya hamza @ inkstruck

Zakkiya is the creative blogger and founder of Inkstruck Studio. She’s a self taught artist who let go of her architecture profession to pursue her passion in art. Zakkiya likes to write detailed tutorials in watercolor, calligraphy, and hand lettering. She also teaches watercolor workshops occasionally in Doha where she’s based currently. Other passions include traveling, photography, and basketball.When she’s not working, you can find her cuddling and running around with her toddler boy.

4 thoughts on “DIY CALLIGRAPHY MENU FOR PARTIES

  1. This is absolutely gorgeous! I’m afraid I wouldn’t have the patience to make it as perfect as you did, but I would love to try this for the next dinner I host!

    1. Thank you so much Lara. I would definitely love to see what you come up with. I think it’s wonderful to have something special that’s sure to wow people at dinner or parties. Makes it even more special!

  2. This is such a fun DIY project! I love adding personal touches. I have been wanting to learn calligraphy amongst other things. It’s so popular right now so it’s fun to see everyone’s interpretation. I love the color combo here of blues and greens. Perhaps I’d try pink and orange? For a high fashion look. I’m going to check out The Postman’s Knock. Thanks for the suggestion!

    xx Yasmin
    http://banglesandbungalows.com

    1. Lindsey of The Postman’s knock is of the best calligraphers out there. Not just that, she has a ton of information on her blog. I’ve learnt so much from her tutorials. I love the pink and orange idea. Definitely something you should try out Yasmin and I would absolutely love to see it if you do 🙂

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