In this tutorial, you will learn how to add swirls and borders to your calligraphic pieces. Calligraphy borders and swirls are a way to embellish and decorate your calligraphic pieces, whether that be an invitation, a menu, or an addressed envelope. Calligraphy swashes, swirls, borders and ornaments will really take your work up a notch.
Looking to add calligraphy borders and swirls to your digital creations? Head on over to Envato Elements where you can find several calligraphy-inspired resources, such as this calligraphy ornaments pack.
What You'll Need
Before you get into the fun stuff that is this tutorial, you will need:
- Plain paper
- Guide sheet
- Tracing paper
- Ruler (optional)
- Brush pen
1. Warm-Up Exercises for Calligraphy Borders and Swirls
To warm up, we will be practising the basic strokes of modern calligraphy. Go ahead and practice these for a couple of lines. We learnt these strokes in the "Making Your Own Font" tutorial and the "Intro to Modern Calligraphy" tutorial.
To loosen up, we are going to make some big loops. Start from the dashed line, arc up to the top line, and then continue over into a slightly curved downstroke looping to the left and up to the top line. Without lifting your pen, repeat the stroke.
Starting at the bottom line, make a slightly slanted upstroke toward the dashed line and loop over to the left. Then without lifting your pen, make an upstroke to the top line and come back down to the bottom line. Play around with the sizing of your loops. This helps with your flow.
Starting below the dashed line, make a downstroke and go up and over, round in an oval shape, and then cross your lines, ending at the dashed line. Repeat this a few times, slightly changing the shape.
2. How to Add Calligraphy Borders to a Menu
To help with sketching out a calligraphy border swirl for a piece you are designing, you can measure out the height and width you would like for it to fit the space it will be occupying.
Tracing paper comes in really handy for designing and sketching calligraphy swirls and borders. Take a sheet of tracing paper and put it over your final piece to which you want to add a decorative calligraphy border. Then play around with a calligraphy swash that you like. I am going with the one I've measured out.
Before you draw your swirl border on your project, you can sketch it out in pencil first, and then trace over the pencil lines with your brush pen. Remember to play with heavy and light strokes to get some variety in your design. Wait a few minutes for the ink to dry, and then erase the pencil markings.
3. How to Add Decorative Calligraphy Embellishments to an Envelope
Here's an example of how to embellish an otherwise plain addressed envelope. The recipient's address is over on the right, the sender's address is in the top left corner, and the stamp is in the top right corner. That leaves us with a big gap in the bottom left.
Taking a piece of tracing paper, play around, have fun and sketch out a design to fill the gap. Use what you have already learnt in this tutorial.
This design is a lot more elaborate than the menu example.
5 Cool and Elegant Calligraphy Embellishment Fonts From Envato Elements
Now that you know where to start with your calligraphy embellishing, borders, and swirls, it'd be a good idea to check out the fun and beautiful fonts that you'll find on Envato Elements.
1. Lunchbox Ornaments (OTF)
Lunchbox is a hand-drawn typeface with many customizations available. There are over 1,500 different characters, making it perfect for all your lettering needs.
2. Advertis Ornaments (TTF, OTF)
Want to add some extra charm to your calligraphy letters? Try Advertis, a beautiful font that's full of flourishes and swirls. It's perfect for invitations, wedding stationery, cards, and more. It also includes a PDF guide to help you along the way.
Khatija is an elegant modern calligraphy/copperplate hybrid font. There are 2,484 letters to choose from, and an array of floral ornaments. This font supports 27 languages.
4. Zaheera Script & Sans (TTF, OTF, EOT, SVG, WOFF, WOFF2)
Check out this beautiful handmade script and sans serif font. It's perfect for all kinds of projects such as crockery design, logos, and wedding stationery.
Blue Angel is a fun typeface complete with three styles and ornaments. This is a great font for design projects, graphic design, posters, and clothing.
More Calligraphy-Related Tutorials
Still looking to broaden your calligraphy writing horizons? Check out the following content:
- Fonts44 Best Fancy Cursive Fonts (Tattoo, Calligraphy, Script, and Writing Fonts)Daisy Ein
- Fonts42 Cool Fonts to Draw (For Calligraphy and Handwriting!)Daisy Ein
- Fonts44 Best Vintage Script Fonts (Retro Calligraphy and Cursive Styles to Download)Nona Blackman
- TypographyHow to Design and Construct a Functional Cursive FontKelvin Song
- Arabic CalligraphyCreative Arabic Calligraphy for Beginners: IntroductionJoumana Medlej
- FontsThe Different Types of Writing Fonts: Calligraphy Font Styles, Hand Lettering, and MoreDaisy Ein
- CalligraphyMastering Calligraphy: Making Your Own FontNaselle Anderson
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