DIY + Giveaway: Modern calligraphy envelopes by Shoshy Cadoodle®

Hello! It’s London Local Team member Shoshana here, illustrator and founder of Shoshy Cadoodle® bringing you a DIY and Giveaway mash-up combo of a post. (You can’t say we don’t spoil you here at London Local!)

The Joys of The Handwritten

Between texts, tweets, what’s apps, snap chats, facebook and facetiming; finding a handwritten envelope lying on your door mat can feel like a pretty incredible and rare moment. With more apps and websites than ever before to communicate digitally, today we appreciate good old fashioned snail mail from friends and family that little bit more.

That lovely excited, irreplaceable feeling when a handwritten envelope slides through your letterbox!

That lovely excited, irreplaceable feeling when a handwritten envelope slides through your letterbox!

Here at Shoshy Cadoodle® HQ, we love handwritten notes and cards. There’s something special about knowing someone has gone that extra mile, not only to write to you by hand, but to spend time searching out the perfect card for you. Whether it’s just something really beautiful, or it contains an inside joke between the pair of you, the moment you receive it, you can’t help but smile.

We send out Shoshy Cadoodle® orders out in handwritten calligraphy addressed packages, because we too are suckers for hand lettering! In this DIY post (with a giveaway at the end – so stay tuned!) I’m going to share with you how you can recreate these beautiful calligraphy envelopes with a modern twist.

The Japanese Pilot pen was a wonderful discovery for us. So much less mess!

The Japanese Pilot pen was a wonderful discovery for us. So much less mess!


  • Calligraphy brush pen
    • A lot of calligraphy aficionados will say they swear by a dip nib pen along with a bottle of india ink. That’s all very well, but for the average person, this method is incredibly messy and india ink is known to be an especially stubborn stain to remove. No thank you! That’s why we vote for a good quality calligraphy brush pen any day; they’re easy to use and unlikely to mess up your whole outfit (eek!) or home.
    • Our favourite brush pen is the Japanese Pilot Futayaku Black and Grey Ink double sided pen. There’s lots of great things about this pen, but one of our favourite things is that the ink is waterproof, (just like the bottled india ink), so you can use it to address envelopes and parcels without worrying about them getting smudged off on their journey.
  • Paper to practice
    • Calligraphy takes a bit of getting used to, so make sure you have some recycled paper to practice on.
  • Envelope or sticky label
    • You might want to experiment with the type of label or envelope that works best with the ink. Some papers are too absorbent and the ink bleeds causing a spidery effect. On the other hand, choosing a paper with a slight “tooth” can create a lovely and attractive effect. In the end it’s a balance between very smooth and slightly textured.

The rules of modern calligraphy:

There are two general rules of modern calligraphy.

A demonstration of thick and thin strokes.

A demonstration of thick and thin strokes.

Rule No.1:

The first, most basic thing to remember with modern calligraphy is a general rule that upstrokes are thin and downstrokes are thick. To create a thin line, press very lightly on the pen and to create a thick line… yep! You guessed it, press harder, creating a bit more pressure on the pen.

Practice, but aim for personality – not perfection.

Practice, but aim for personality – not perfection.

Rule No. 2:

The second rule is that there are no rules. And by this, I mean you should inject your own personality into your alphabet. There’s no set style for creating an A or a B or a C, just try to have fun with it and know that it’s ok to experiment. Aim for personality rather than perfection.


Don’t be afraid to look at other modern calligraphers’ work for inspiration. Here is an alphabet by Shoshy Cadoodle® for your first peek of calligraphy inspo:

The lovely thing about modern calligraphy is that your letters don’t have to be uniform. Allowing yourself flexibility and room to experiment is key!

Top tip for avoiding your post getting lost in the mail:

Modern calligraphy is beautiful, but if you’re popping your gorgeous envelope into the post box, you want to make sure it actually gets to the lucky person it’s meant for, right? Our number one tip to make your mail pretty and still have it reach its intended destination is to write only the recipient’s name in modern calligraphy, but to write the finer details of the address in clearer, “normal” lettering, especially the postcode/zipcode.


We hope you enjoyed this DIY post and it’s inspired you to be fearless in trying out modern calligraphy yourself.

Now, for the giveaway. To enter our giveaway to win a Shoshy Cadoodle® greetings card or gift tag of your choice, you’re in the right place!

What you need to do:

Screenshot your favourite picture in this blog post and share it on Instagram tagging: @shoshycadoodle and @londonlocalteam and hashtagging #shoshycadoodle along with a caption about your favourite thing about giving or receiving snail mail. It’s as easy as that. We can’t wait to see your Instagram entries and read your captions!

The winner will be notified via Instagram on 2nd November 2015 and will be sent (in a calligraphy addressed package) a card or gift tag of their choice from the Shoshy Cadoodle® shop range. Please note that to be in for a chance of winning, your Instagram account must be set to public view, rather than private.

If you’d like a sneak peek of what you could win, visit the Shoshy Cadoodle® shop on Etsy here.

Thank you London Local for having me on the blog and good luck everyone with the competition!

All the best,

Shoshana from Shoshy Cadoodle®

Giveaway, DIYLondon Local Team