There is much debate these days about whether you should handwrite a recipient’s name and address or print it out on your home printer, either with a sticker label or directly onto the envelope itself. Most agree that handwriting is best, especially with wedding invitations. Although professional calligraphy is ideal, it is unaffordable for many brides.

So what is a bride-to-be to do? You don’t want a printed label to make your invite appear as if it were junk mail. Or even worse is when a recipient feels like a printed address implies that you invited a ton of people and that it would have been such a daunting task to add any sort of personal touch to the large number of invitations.

Handwriting them yourself can seem easy enough for those with pretty penmanship. But usually in an attempt to not look messy, many people without nice handwriting opt for printed labels or printed envelopes.

In comes the concept of “fauxligraphy.” We initially ran across this great idea here and here. This process involves first printing the address directly to the envelopes, and then tracing over the print with a specialty pen from a craft store. When printing off the addresses, use a very light ink saturation setting and possibly even using the same color ink of the pen or the envelopes themselves. {Since we used a gold pen, we printed off the address in gold ink, at about 20 percent opacity.} Calligraphy type fonts can be downloaded for free from sites like dafont.com. {We used a font called English to test run, since it’s not too swirly.}


This is a great project for someone who doesn’t mind putting some time and effort to produce lovely, semi-DIY calligraphy! Possible obstacles may include several trial and error attempts in finding the perfect printer settings (to center the address, adjust ink color, etc.). And depending on the thickness of the liquid pen, you may have to trace over the address several times before you’re happy with the coverage and overall look. Having a few extra envelopes on hand certainly can’t hurt either.

Overall, I thought this idea was pretty clever actually. I must confess though, I am part of the even-messy-handwriting-is-better-than-labels camp. I’ll definitely practice this at home next time I send invitations. Maybe try it yourself, and see if fauxligraphy can be the budget-friendly answer to your calligraphy concerns.