Handmade cards featuring Manuscript

Yesterday I mentioned how I’ve been bitten by the calligraphy bug and pointed out a few of my favourite gifts for people.  If you didn’t read it, you can check it out here.  I didn’t mention one product, however, that I’ve really started to enjoy using and I wanted to talk a little about that today.  It’s the Manuscript Italic & Poster Set.  I challenged myself to try and make some handmade cards featuring Manuscript calligraphy products and this one jumped out at me.  It’s so perfect – and I’m really excited about today’s post.

Manuscript Italic & Poster Set

The set is a dip pen set, which comes with various types of nibs.  We’ve got four “poster” nibs and seven “tape” nibs of varying widths, as well as a magnet.  Using just these products – and some ink – I decided to try and make some card designs.  I’ll do a proper review of this product in the new year.  There I will show you the various widths that you get with this.  Today, however, I wanted to look at some simple card designs you could create with this set.

Now I want to start by saying that these are all really basic.  If I can do it, you can do it too.  They are all beginner level, I think.  The supplies you will need are:

  • Manuscript Italic & Poster Set
  • Any coloured ink.  I chose the Gold Acrylic Artists Ink & Chinese Black Ink
  • Card or Paper that can hold the ink
Very easy cards using the Poster Nibs:

Using just the various poster nibs that you get in the set, I created a few very simple Christmas trees.  The gold is so shiny in real life – much nicer than it appears on the photos.  You can add text to the panels, if you wish, with one of the tape nibs.  These cards that I made are A7 size but you could easily make a bigger card by adding more lines.

Personally, I prefer what the trees looked like without my handwriting on them!  I think I ruined the look a bit by adding that.  Next time, I’m going to look at stamping the text onto the cards.  If you own some stamps and hate your handwriting, it’s an easy option.  Hopefully by next time, I’ll have improved my lettering style and have lovely handwriting!!  When it does improve, I want to try writing a sentiment between the existing lines.  For example, “we wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year” in the white spaces between the gold lines on the tree.

Either way, these are really easy to do.  All you need is to use the poster nibs, dip them into the ink and draw lines that get longer and thicker as they go down the tree.  Straight lines of varying lengths, that’s all!  If you have green and brown ink, you could definitely make it look a bit more realistic. I personally love the shimmery gold though so focused on that – with small highlights of black in a couple of them.

Slightly harder but still very easy cards to make:

These five designs are slightly harder than the first one – and a little more time consuming.  However, they are still simple enough to get the hang of.  To make all of these, I used a few of the tape nibs and occasionally the poster nibs.  You could definitely do them with just the tape nibs though.

The two with the black ink:

The two cards on the left are simply two phrases or sentences written with the tape nibs in black ink.  Whilst they aren’t perfect, they have a handmade look to them.  The better you get, the better they’d look I think.  I’m sure with practice, I’ll improve – and so will you!  We’ll both be adding flourishes and details before long!  I chose to write two different phrases.  One was a really sweet one I saw saying “Merry everything and a happy always”.  I thought it was just so beautiful that I had to try writing it.  The other was one I might give to my brother for jokes.  It says “obligatory Christmas card”.  He always complains I spend too much time making “rubbish” (so I never make him anything) and then proceeds to complain I didn’t make him anything.  Sigh!  This one seems perfect for him, no?

I need to practice my calligraphy, without a doubt.  However, if I can make these two cards as a beginner then I’m sure you could too.  The bottom one – the obligatory card – has a lot of empty white space around it.  So, I might try trimming off the edges and cutting it down a little.  And then layer it onto colourful paper – perhaps a metallic gold layer.   I used this layering technique in the Hobbycraft set of handmade cards I showed you earlier.  That would definitely make it “pop” a little and add a bit of colour.  You could also put it onto patterned paper!

The three with the gold ink:

The three gold ones all sport a Christmas tree theme.  The middle one on the top row is actually very simple.  You start by drawing a triangle, that shapes the tree.  Then you add some words into it.  I kept repeating Christmas and new year wishes until I got to the bottom.  The tree ended with “and a happy”…  Which gave me the idea of adding “new year 2018” to the tree truck.  You could write a sentence in your tree, repeat “Merry Christmas” over and over or even just repeat with one word (like “joy”).  Once I improve my lettering, I’m going to try this again but without the triangle outline.  To keep to a triangle, you could pencil in the triangle lightly so you have a rough marker and then just fill it up too.

The last one on the top row is simple but does take a little bit of planning.  You need to plan out what you want to write and roughly, what spacing you need to write it.  I think the phrase “A very merry Christmas” works well with “and a happy new year” on the inside.

The bottom one is probably the easiest one to do.  I drew the three Christmas trees using one of the poster nibs. It made it very quick and easy to fill the whole tree out – just angle the nib whilst you work.  You could also create the trees with the tape nibs.  It would just require a few more strokes to colour it in, as they are a lot thinner.  Then write a greeting at the top of the card.  Once you’re done with that, you can flick your dip pen and let the little flecks fall everywhere.

And there you go!

That’s it, there you have it.  I made several different card panels using just one set of nibs and two inks.  Though, let’s be fair, it could be easily recreated with just this stunning gold coloured ink.  I love how shimmery the ink is in real life.  It’s the sort of colour that really doesn’t photograph well but looks so lovely in person.

What do you think of these?  As I said, they are all super easy to make.  I feel like if I can make them then so can you!  All you need is the right tools and the dedication to give it a go.

Speaking of right tools, you can get the exact products I used over on Manuscript‘s website.  Just to remind you, I used:

I did these tests on some drawing card I found on my desk.  You could use any card or paper that hold the ink well.

Let me know what you think of these designs.  Do you have a favourite?  Have you done something similar?  Comment below to let me know.


Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted these products by Manuscript to test out and review.   This doesn’t affect my opinion of them – I will always be honest and truthful about the products. The product reviews will come in the new year but I wanted to get a little festive with them whilst giving myself a challenge, so I could probably test out easy they are use and how versatile.

4 thoughts on “Handmade cards featuring Manuscript

  1. I have had my calligraphy pen for nearly a year and absolutely love writing with it, especially writing my Christmas cards this year. I absolutely love the gold tree with the writing inside and how you used 2018 as the base of the tree. It’s so cute! I love the simplistic look of the first photos of the trees. I think next year I might have a go at making my own cards. We used to do it all the time as a child as my mum was amazing at it. With all sorts of beautiful stampers, papers, embossing pictures and all sorts! This post inspires me to be all creative!

  2. Really great and detailed post and they look fab! I make Christmas cards but have never tried calligraphy so I’m defo inspired now. It’s so satisfying making something yourself and you’re doing a fab job. Lovely lovely post xx.

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