The Life Hacks of Presentable Writing on Multiple Pieces of Blank Paper

Yes, Sundae Scoops is alive. Hallelujah!

If you’ve been wondering where we’ve been… the three of us went on a mini holiday break last December. I extended finishing some projects a few weeks after. Elaine and I attended Graphika Manila last week… and finally, we’re back… with stories to tell. *wink wink*

I’ve been doing some envelope addressing projects for friends’ weddings recently and I thought I might share one of the “shortcuts” I used to get them done on time.

The Guideline Template

Writing on a blank paper with straight paragraphs is an impossible task for me. I got used to the ruled notebooks we had during school days. Most of the time, the line of text end up going upward or downward. It was just recently that I’ve taken an interest on unruled notebooks to practice on writing straight lines of text. But to be sure, I still use guides for projects — even if it means that it would take me longer than usual.

Friends of mine entrusted me with the task to write the names in calligraphy for their wedding invitations. How many?


Sets of more than a hundred!

For some, it may be an overwhelming amount to beautifully write things on. For me, it’s not just a task on my to-do list but an opportunity to practice the craft.

I figured I needed something that could shorten the time and lessen the effort in creating the guidelines. For multiple blank pieces of paper in need of presentable writing, I’d usually line a paper insert for the envelope with a marker to serve as guides. Unfortunately, this hack didn’t go well with the first set of envelopes I got. It was lined.

I decided to cut a thicker piece of paper with the same size as the envelope. Marked it with pencil as if I would write the names in it. Took a pair of scissors and cut the markings to create a rectangular cutout in the middle… et voila, a makeshift ruler!


I marked the top right corner just to make sure I’m using the correct position of the text bar. Using a pencil, I created the guidelines in preparation for calligraphy time.

Pen: Zig Cocoiro flexible brush tip in black


The Trial Paper

Justification is another problem for me. In the real world, CTRL+E is not an option, especially when the texts that need to be centered doesn’t have the same lengths. So is CTRL+Z… and if only CTRL+C and CTRL+V is possible the guideline making process for all envelopes!

As a solution, I made a “trial” paper with the same width as the envelopes and wrote the texts in penciled calligraphy. This is to avoid constant adjustments in the positioning of texts. The final writing goes on the envelope, where I usually put on the upper part of the paper to copy the alignment.


Double, Triple, Quadruple Check

After writing everything and erasing the pencil lines, quality control. There were instances that I had to redo some envelopes because of unexpected ink blots or smudges from erasing the pencil lines too early. I check the envelopes for writing mistakes, smudged ink, unnecessary marks, and all that needs to be checked.

Materials: India ink, Hunt 99 flexible nib in oblique holder


I put them in the same order as the list given and send the whole bunch back to my friends for distribution.


The Most Important Shortcut

If there’s one hack that would REALLY help you finish a task like this, it’s the heart and patience to do. Guideline templates, trial papers, and quality checks are all useless without it. Practicing calligraphy day by day is useless without it.


Art takes time.

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