I’m going to show you my 5 best tips & tricks for centering and writing the place cards themselves.
In this tutorial, I’m not going to walk you through how to actually DO calligraphy – I have toooons of tutorials on that if you’re brand new to calligraphy! I’d recommend watching THIS one first.
Instead, I’m talking about the key considerations you need to take when planning your project, how to plan your layout and make a template, and how to keep your sizing consistent!
First Things First…
The links below may be affiliate links where appropriate. This means that your purchase through these links may result in a few cents in payment to me, to support creating further resources like this one! That being said, I will never suggest supplies that I do not personally use and fully recommend.
- Place cards (make sure you have 20% extra!)
- Tombow Fudenosuke
- Micron Fine Liner Pen
- Johnson Hot Shot Laser Level
Prefer watching over reading? Feel free to skip right to the video and see these in real-time! ??
My Top 5 Tips!
Tip #1: Make sure you know EXACTLY what the client wants – specifically, what format and style.
Do they want it to say “Mrs. Becca Courtice,” “Becca Courtice,” or just “Becca?” Do they want the table number written on the place card, or a meal preference instead? What style do they want it all in?
The most common style and format is the first & last name in calligraphy, with table number underneath in block letters.
Tip #2: Ask for 20% extra blank cards. You are bound to screw up – it’s human nature!
Tip #3: Scan your list of names before starting. Find the longest name on the list, and do that one first. You’ll see why in just a second!
I grab my card and a pencil, and lightly draw in some guidelines. Then, I write out the name lightly in pencil and erase until I’m happy with it ?.
Finally, I go over it in my brush pens and erase the pencil.
Tip #4: Make a template.
As you can see, we don’t want to be doing these steps for EVERY place card – that would take forever! Instead, we take the card we just made, and use it as a template.
First, I cut a piece of cardstock paper to match the size of this place card. Then, I put it beside the example and trace out the waistline and the baseline of the name, and do the same thing with the block letters.
Lastly, I just cut out the rectangles and mark the centre line.
I can use this template for all of the place cards to make sure the writing is the same size on each one.
This is why I always do the longest name first. If I had written a much shorter name, like “Ian Kite,” as my example card, and then gone to write a longer name like, “Stephanie McDonald” in that same size, the writing wouldn’t fit. This way, I ensure that all of the names will be written in the same size – the size that works for the longest name.
Tip #5: Use a laser level.
You can obviously use the template really easily for block letters. But for the calligraphy portion, your ascenders and descenders won’t work with the template the same way.
What I like to do is draw two dots in the corners to mark the line, then use a laser level to shoot a guide across.
And voila, perfectly consistent place cards!
And that’s a wrap!
Making a template might seem like a lot at first, but truuuuuuust me – if you take that time upfront, it will save you soooo much time in the long run and you will make far fewer mistakes!
And if you’re ready for more calligraphy tutorials like this, check out this video where I show you my hacks for envelope lettering…including a free template!