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The Bride's Guide Blog

Behind the Scenes: Epic Hankie Making

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In a recent issue we featured one of the coolest handkerchiefs possible: a custom handkerchief with hand-penned wedding vows. Calligrapher Anne Elser painted the vow text onto a beautiful linen (she offers several colors) that can be ironed and washed. The double whammy is that you're not reading from a crumpled piece of paper in front of all of your guests AND you can wipe your tears if you get emotional. Plus, it makes a remarkable keepsake to last a lifetime!

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Click through the gallery below to see Anne in progress. What are you doing with your vows? Anything special?

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Anne first mapped out each hankie on paper.

1 Anne first mapped out each hankie on paper.

The variety of linen colors she has readily available.

2 The variety of linen colors she has readily available.

Anne, starting to paint the groom's hankie.

3 Anne, starting to paint the groom's hankie.

A beautiful closeup of a test on this peach fabric.

4 A beautiful closeup of a test on this peach fabric.

From the beginning I knew. Your smile, your spirit, and your sense of humor are truly one of a kind. I promise to always respect, appreciate, and cherish you, my best friend, my partner in crime, my soul mate.

5 From the beginning I knew. Your smile, your spirit, and your sense of humor are truly one of a kind. I promise to always respect, appreciate, and cherish you, my best friend, my partner in crime, my soul mate.

Your big heart and upbeat outlook always lift me up when I am down. I promise, for now and forever, to love you as much as you have made me feel loved.

6 Your big heart and upbeat outlook always lift me up when I am down. I promise, for now and forever, to love you as much as you have made me feel loved.

Anne then used the sketch (given a once-over in marker) as a template for the actual cloth.

7 Anne then used the sketch (given a once-over in marker) as a template for the actual cloth.

A lightbox makes it even easier to trace, for extreme precision.

8 A lightbox makes it even easier to trace, for extreme precision.

The first round of painting is completed.

9 The first round of painting is completed.

And then white highlights are added around the border and the bride's name.

10 And then white highlights are added around the border and the bride's name.

A detail shot of the highlights. Don't you love the dots accenting the name and border too?

11 A detail shot of the highlights. Don't you love the dots accenting the name and border too?

It's just as pretty folded in quarters.

12 It's just as pretty folded in quarters.

Here's the bolder version of the template for the bride's hankie.

13 Here's the bolder version of the template for the bride's hankie.

Paint color tests.

14 Paint color tests.

Comments (2)

  • These hankies are just beautiful!

  • Thanks so much! These are so much fun to make. Linen and a brush make a beautiful combination, especially when you're writing words that mean so much to someone. I smile while making these. And keep on smiling.
    ~Anne

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