Hand Torn Calligraphy Place Cards

A small black piece of paper with white writing lines drawn on it rests on a white piece of paper. A left hand is holding the paper still; a right hand holds a calligraphy penstaff, ready to write. There is white ink on the calligraphy nib.

Our client, Elizabeth, needed 45 calligraphy place cards for a private event. She reached out to us through our Etsy Shop. Elizabeth was hoping for white calligraphy on black paper with rustic-looking torn edges.

It had been too long since we’d had the chance to write in white ink on black paper. We were also excited to relax by tearing the paper down by hand!


Tearing the Calligraphy Place Cards by Hand

We used a ruler and a thin wet paintbrush on textured black paper to create tear lines. This way, the rips were controlled, but not too clean. We measured the place cards with an 18″ cut mat so we wouldn’t have to draw the lines first.

After tearing cards down, we used a white mechanical fabric pencil to lightly draw guidelines for the calligraphy.

The Calligraphy

We chose a dressed-down Copperplate Script for these simple first-name calligraphy place cards. This made them easy to read as well as an elegant element of the place settings.

Elizabeth told us that she planned to display the cards in birch holders. We wrote each name above the horizontal center of the cards allowing space for the holder and satisfying the mind’s eye.

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