//, Wedding Stationery, Decor, Holiday, Party & Lifestyle, Learn Calligraphy/My 4 Best Tips for Writing on Perishable Items

It’s no secret that I love to write on all sorts of objects and surfaces. My clients come up with the most creative ideas like these recent Himalayan salt glasses I did for a wedding designed by Laura Ritchie of Grit & Grace, Inc.

If I can add whimsy to a celebration with my calligraphy, I’m one happy camper. You know that show, Will They Blend it? It’s kind of the same thrill for me: Can I calligraphy it?!

Today, I’d like to share with you a few tips about specifically writing on perishable items ( leaves, fruit, cake, macarons, cookies etc.) for your clients or even your own parties.

There is something alluring about writing on a surface that isn’t forever. I always think, “No where else will this calligraphy and surface exist except for THIS night” and that feels magical!

However, there are certain steps to take that can ensure your calligraphy and the object look perfect for your event.

Below are some of my favorite tips for writing on perishable items: 

TIP #1

Let the client know the timeline in advance for the items you’re working on. For example, if you’re writing on leaves and they last a week, let them know that their name list and materials must be received by X date and shipped/picked up by X date to have them done in time. Be clear about the timeline so that everyone is happy with the final product and you have enough time to complete the job. If the order will require rush shipping to accommodate the timing, be upfront about that.

TIP #2

If what you’re working on is edible, make sure you only use edible paints or markers to complete the project. Here is what we use! If the portion being written on is for show only, you can use non-edible pens. For example, you might be writing on the top tier of a cake, but that portion may be faux cake, for show only. There are more color options with non-edible pens, so find out if what you are working on is actually going to be consumed.

TIP #3

Make sure the surface is clean & completely dry so the ink/paint will write cleanly and clearly. You always want to get a few extras for testing. If you’re writing on a cake, ask if there is an area that will be covered by florals or some other embellishment so that you can test your pen first.

TIP #4

When the writing is complete, package carefully to preserve your work. When possible, have the client {or better yet, a courier!} pick up the work in person to avoid damage in transit. When we ship leaves, we sort them by table and pack them in bags so they don’t damage each other in shipping. Those bags are then packed into a box filled with air pockets or packing peanuts to keep them safe during shipping.

For step by step tutorials, we include a few in our book, Wedding Calligraphy! Be sure to grab yourself a copy and get it signed by me through our shop 🙂

Have fun, be creative and remember there is {almost*} no surface too crazy to use calligraphy or lettering!


*I say “almost” because we were one time asked to letter on lobster claws for a photo shoot…they arrived with the meat still inside. It did not go well.


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  1. Samantha Kin December 15, 2017 at 9:33 am - Reply

    Is there a blog post somewhere about the best brush pens to use? and the best paint pens to use for mirror/sign calligraphy?

    • Alyssa December 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      We don’t use brush pens, so we can’t recommend anything first hand, but a popular option is this brand. We share Laura’s favorite paint pens in a few posts, but you can download a list of preferred supplies in the side bar of the blog. Thank you!

  2. wells fargo bank login my account March 25, 2018 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Hi there I am so happy I found your blog, I really found you by mistake, while I was searching on Aol for
    something else, Anyways I am here now and would
    just like to say cheers for a remarkable post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have
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    • Laura Hooper April 2, 2018 at 8:26 am - Reply

      Thank you! So glad to have you following along!

  3. Kimberly Atianzar April 22, 2018 at 8:50 am - Reply

    Hi Laura,
    I found your blog by an extremely pleasant accident. But I’m trying to DIY my escort cards which are actually hexagon marble tiles which I plan to make into coasters. I’m getting married in Hawaii where there is humidity and Rain. So I have a question as to what pen to use to prevent smearing from it getting ruined from rain and humidity and because I want to have the escort cards be their giveaway coaster, what can I use to prevent the calligraphy from getting ruined from a drink (hot or cold) that will be placed on top. Is it a special pen or something you use to seal (spray or something) else on top?

    • Laura Hooper April 28, 2018 at 8:46 am - Reply

      You can use an oil based paint marker and spray with a fixative, such as Krylon Workable Fixative to seal them. I’d test one or two before you try them all.

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