Calligraphy project – make your own copper “dipped” place settings!

When I’m asked to teach at The Handmade Fair or running calligraphy workshops in Manchester I like to show everyone how versatile calligraphy is… it’s lovely to write gift tags and cards, but I wanted to step things up a little and share some real ‘wow’ projects for all of those out there who have joined me over the last couple of years to play with calligraphy pens (316 of you have taken pens home… so let’s use them!)

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Make your own copper “dipped” modern calligraphy place settings

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This is a quick and simple project perfect for a dinner party or intimate wedding. Sticking the copper leaf takes a little time but it’s so worth it when you see those shiny tags twinkling in candlelight!



Calligraphy dip pen and Nikko G nib
Black calligraphy ink
Tacky glue or PVA and a cheap brush
Hot pressed watercolour paper cut into tag shapes
Sheets of copper leaf – allow one sheet per 5 place settings

Your step-by-step guide:

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Start by writing names onto your tags in a quirky style, leaving an inch or so at the bottom of the cards for your copper

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When the ink is dry mix your tacky glue with a little water so it’s just a little easier to ‘paint’ onto the cards. Use the brush to cover the area you want the copper to stick to

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Before the glue dries, lay a sheet of copper leaf over the glued area, and then place a paper sheet across the top. Press down very gently and leave to dry

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After a few hours the glue will be dry enough for you to gently cut or brush away the excess copper leaf

Attach embroidery thread or torn silk to your tags and tie them around napkins, to wine glasses or simply spike a rosemary stem through the hole before placing on napkins

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Calligraphy starter kits are available in my Etsy store: and include dip pens and nibs, practice notebook and alphabet templates to get you started!