In today’s calligraphy tutorial we are talking ALL about how to do a wedding seating chart on a mirror, something I get asked to do ALL THE TIME!! I am going to walk you through my step-by-step process on how to create these for your clients or for your own wedding.
If you prefer to watch my video over reading through the steps you can check it out right here:
SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED:
The first thing you will want to do is take the list of names provided to you by your client and print out a copy. This comes in handy so you know what table every is sitting at and to have it available in front of you. (And so you can double, triple & quadruple check for spelling mistakes!)
Open Adobe Illustrator (If you don’t have AI you can download a free trial. If you are going to be doing this type of work regularly I would highly suggest purchasing this program!)
Once inside Illustrator, open a new file and set it to the actual size of the mirror (ie. 11 1/2″ x 36″). This will allow you to play with the exact layout as it will appear on the mirror and will help you to clearly see if and how everything will fit.
Choose a font that is similar to your calligraphy so the spacing and sizing is right. You can find tons of script-style fonts on websites like Creative Market, for example.
Play around with the layout on Illustrator until you have it just how you want to replicate it on the mirror. Then, print it out! I typically use 8 1/2 x 14 paper because it’s a bit bigger but standard printer paper will work as well.
PRO TIP: Don’t “scale” or “fit to page” when printing, you want this to be printed in actual size (ie. scale 100%). You may need to play around a little with your own printer settings and how you print this out.
Take the printed pages of your layout and attach then along the side of the mirror with tape, at the height you want them to go. Then, grab your Bistro Chalk Marker to create guidelines by lining up your ruler with the text on the printed pages, and drawing the lines across. You will want to do this all the way down the mirror, using your printed sheets to guide your spacing.
NOTE: All of these steps, for taping/lining up your printed sheets, could be avoided if you’re good at math and can figure out the spacing. I’m just not.
Add your calligraphy and writing of names on the mirror, using the Sharpie Oil paint pen.
PRO TIP: If you have a tray or the lid of your container or supply kit, keep it handy so you can use it as a surface to keep pushing down on the Sharpie tips so the paint keeps flowing well. There is nothing worse than having it dry out and crack off (you will understand what I’m talking about if this has happened to you!!!)
Once you have the names and titles looking just the way you want, take a dry paper towel to wipe off the chalk guidelines. These should come off fairly easily leaving only the oil paint writing on the mirror. You COULD try Windex but you will want to be very careful to not rub too hard or remove any of the lettering.
Seating chart COMPLETE!
HOW TO REMOVE LETTERING WHEN FINISHED
For this step you will need to use 100% Acetone and paper towel or an Exacto knife/straight blade (or paint scraper).
Add acetone to a paper towel and start wiping away the writing. WARNING! This will make a HUGE mess at the beginning but once you take a dry paper towel it will all start to rub away. This will take some muscle power but it should come off fairly easily once you get going.
You can also use Acetone on the Exacto blade and scrape away the paint, personally this method creates a lot of dust and debris which I really don’t like so I usually opt for the above method first.
That in a nutshell is how to do a seating chart on mirror!