Designing Your Christmas Dinner Menu with Maurelle Calligraphy


It’s hard to believe that Christmas comes at the end of this very week. As you make your final preparations, we thought you might enjoy this lovely tutorial from Maurelle of Maurelle Calligraphy. Follow along to make your holiday table a little more elegant this year!

Watercolor Calligraphy Menu

by Maurelle Calligraphy


I love watercolor and its unpredictability. Today I will share with you a simple Christmas dinner menu design you can create using some of my favorite tools.


Materials :


  1. Watercolor set – I love the Yarka student set that I usually use in my brush calligraphy workshops. It produces vibrant colors and can go a very long way.
  2. Watercolor brush – a round or flat brush that can hold enough water like. I really like using the Simply Simmons brand. A round 10 or 12 is good enough.
  3. Gold Ink – My all time favorite is Ph. Martin’s Copperplate gold
  4. Pencil
  5. Eraser
  6. Ruler
  7. Watercolor paper cut into 5×7 size
  8. Sakura Pen-Touch gold
  9. Holder
  10. Nib
  11. jar of clean water
  12. paper towel


Part 1 : Graded Wash


  1. First, choose the color you like and make a mixture on the palette. For this one, I chose the lighter red. To create the graded wash at the bottom on the watercolor paper, I loaded my brush with clear water and painted a few strokes starting  at the bottom left corner of the paper  and finishing about halfway up the paper. Just make sure the paper has just enough water (not soaking!) so that the paint will travel nicely through the paper.
  2. Immediately load your brush with the paint of choice and paint a stroke at the very bottom. Quickly dip your brush again on the jar of water to reduce the pigment, and make another stroke across the paper starting where you left off.
  3. Now put down your brush and carefully lift your paper so that the watercolor will move around on the paper. Let gravity do its job.
  4. Put your paper flat on a table, and let it dry nicely. The paper will definitely buckle a bit, but once totally dry it should be okay to use. Tip : If you want a flatter paper, get a pile of heavy books, put the paper in between, and leave it for a couple of hours.


Part 2 :  Gold Calligraphy



  1. Pencil is your friend. Draw some guidelines and write the wording in pencil first so you can achieve visual balance without wasting a lot of paper and ink. I love the Palomino Blackwing as it’s gentle on paper if I write lightly!

Tip : Make sure not to put hard pencil lines as that may leave  very obvious marks.

2. If you are worried that the pencil marks will be visible, you can try doing it first on a 5×7 copy paper and sketch a few samples until you achieve a layout that you prefer.

3. If the watercolor paper is thin enough that light can pass through, you may use a lightpad to write.

fave-gold-ink4. Ink away! Once you have your pencil lines, go over it with the gold ink . My favorite is the Ph Martin’s Copperplate Gold , but Paper and Ink Arts has a lot of other selections that I also love like the Finetec Watercolor in Gold!

5. Let the ink dry completely and erase the pencil lines very gently. If you have a kneaded eraser, that would even be better as it will not leave eraser residue.

6. Do the final details on the menu. I drew  watercolor holly leaves on top and gold dots at the bottom. I created the dots using the Sakura Pen-Touch Gold which complements the gold ink that I used.



7. Voila! Christmas dinner will never be the same with your calligraphy menu designed with lots of love!


Merry Christmas everyone! May your days be merry and bright!



We appreciate Maurelle sharing how to create a simple watercolor menu! Check back tomorrow for her next tutorial on creating place cards. In the meantime, if you’d like to see more of her work, you can find her on her website, Instagram, or Facebook.


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