Yes, my creative friends, the madness continues… I am completely out of control to say the least. As you can see in the above picture, I have monogrammed almost everything possible (placemats, pillows, napkins, dishtowels, etc…) and I just can’t stop. It’s just too easy and too fun and it’s ok because no one gets hurt.
There are SO many different and easy monogram techniques out there that I realized that I have no choice but to carry on the madness to a “Part 3”. After realizing that it’s probably best to separate the styles and various techniques, I decided that today’s posting will be about casual monograms and then my next posting in a few days (Part 3) will be more of an elegant/ formal style of monogram on velvets and silks and I PROMISE, the madness will stop there! Although, I do have to tell you that the BEST is yet to come in Part 3! I cannot believe what I have stumbled upon for elegant monograms. Look out Neiman Marcus, I finally got your number on those $500.00 monogrammed velvet pillows! Yes, you too will not be able to help yourself and join me in the monogram rampage.
Let’s jump right in to casual monograms, here are some additional items that I monogrammed below.
(The burlap “peanut sack” that I created above will be framed and hung in the playroom. I started to just play with different fonts and ended up with this sack. Maybe it’s just me and the toxic oils in the burlap but I thought it turned out cute).
This distressed and block style of monogram on burlap, feed/grain/flour sacks, linen and jute is the trendiest look that we are seeing in home decor stores today ( Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Ballard Designs and yes, Neiman’s). These stores feature fabulous (and expensive) monogrammed/stamped letters, French addresses, numbers and old vintage French advertisements that have been monogrammed and stamped in distressed and an intentional faded style on pillows, towels, upholstered furniture pieces and much more. This particular style has grown on me, especially after I saw these pillows below at Neiman’s made by French Laundry (by the way, these are not THE pillows that I have been talking about trying to conquer for a year. Part 3 will have THE pillows).
Obviously, I am starting to fall in love with the affect of this particular faded and stamped style, which is really imitating a casual French country look. Look at how terrific the pillows that I made look in my guest bedroom below.
There three various techniques that I have used for this monogrammed the items above. They are; 1) homemade stencils made from label/project sticker paper for the ink jet printer, 2) traditional stencils and 3) stamping. At the end of this posting, I am providing you with extremely detailed instructions including EXACT products to use to walk you through the process.
My favorite of all three of the techniques that I used was via the homemade stencil that I created from sticky label/project paper (for creating you’re own labels) that you run through the printer. I had recently read about a popular freezer paper stencil technique and I wondered if it would work with the sticky label paper so I could skip the ironing and tracing process and simply cut out my large letter and use what was left as a stencil. I was thrilled to see the fabulous results. The picture directly below shows a more uniform results from the homemade label stencil (I intentionally made the paint/color faded to look old).
Stencil Made From Label /Project Sticker Paper (for ink jet printer)
(label cut out stuck to fabric to keep paint from going under the lines- I had to cut out the top triangle part of my “A” and place separately after I took the picture)
The next technique that I used was via traditional stencils/screen print screens that are available at craft stores. I do like traditional stencils/screen print stencils but unfortunately the fonts and sizes are limited and you need to carefully hold down each area of the stencil as you paint to prevent paint getting under the stencil. Below are pictures of the traditional stencil/screen print technique.
The final and most casual of all monograms that I used was a stamping technique. The technique that I used to get this look I stumbled upon by sheer accident. I didn’t think it would work but in my quest to find a very distressed, faded and old stamp look, I gave it a try and I was very excited with the stamped results. It’s actually a large foam letter sold in craft stores (not designed for stamping) that I used as a stamp with a combination of fabric and screen painting paint. Take a look below at the foam letter stamp results and look at the end of this posting for detailed instructions.
Foam Letter Stamp Technique
Now that you have seen all three easy techniques that I have used and the results, maybe you’ll be inspired to monogram your whole house and anything that moves too. I LOVED monogramming dishtowels (that look like old grain sacks) and I made a few sets and will give as gifts. As usual, the possibilities are endless! Keep reading for detailed instructions and don’t forget to check back next week for Part 3, elegant/ formal monograms on velvets and silks.
Label/ Project Sticker Paper Stencil
- Avery Ink Jet Sticker Project Paper (#3383)-I found this product at Hobby Lobby (this was the only label product I tried, so please let me know if you do and your results) Make sure whatever you do use is solid and is not pre-cut into labels.
- Tulip Fabric Paint (available at craft stores in fabric paint section) (always use Matte)
- (first choice) Scribbles 3D Paint (available at craft stores in fabric paint section) or (second choice) Plaid Simply Screen Screen Printing Paint (fabric section again)
- font design on computer ready to be printed on to sticker project paper
- small foam brush (about an 1.5 wide)
- fabric or item to stencil
- disposable plate or bowl to mix your paint
1) I have found that with this project, I obtained a much better result mixing the two above fabric/screen printing paints 50/50 or 75/25 either way. Separately, these products were either too translucent or too shiny but together, I was able to get a fantastic look. If you want the same faded black/grey color results as I obtained, mix black and white to dilute the boldness of the black. Practice and sample on scratch fabric to be sure.
2) To design your letter or monogrammed item, create your design on your computer. In Microsoft Word, I used the font “Baskerville old face” in Bold -font size 700 (hand enter the number 700 in the size box and hit enter).
3) I printed my letter onto the project paper and carefully cut my letter out ( Its ok to cut into the paper from the edge as you can stick it perfectly back together when you stick it to the fabric).
4) Remove sticker backing and attach to fabric and keep in mind placement of the letter itself. Make sure you push every line edge down to male sure that the paper adhered and to keep paint from getting under cut lines.
5) do not double fold fabric as the paint WILL go through the fabric. Always use a paper bag or something flat underneath the area that you will paint. Again, paint WILL go through fabric!!
6) take your narrow foam brush and get a small amount of your mixed paint on to the brush. Think of your paint and your brushing technique as applying blush to your face. You want enough paint the will allow you to cover but you do not want too much to saturate the paper. It’s ok to paint over the paper but I encourage you to practice multiple times to get a feel for the right amount of paint and the brushing technique as you can only paint over the paper and area just a couple of times before the paper begins to saturate and raises up. In other words, you need to work fast! Practicing this technique will give you a better idea of the challenges.
7) paint up and down, limit the side to side strokes and again, try avoid re-brushing a paper line more than 2-3 times.
8) after you have filled in your entire area, immediately and carefully pull up your label stencil to keep paint from going through paper over time. If you realized that you missed a spot after you have removed your label stencil, just use your foam brush or a small water color brush to add a little more paint to the area.
9) your monogram should be dry within two hours.
10) you can only use a label stencil one time.
Traditional Stencils/ Screen Print Screens
- Stencils or Screen Print Screens (found in craft stores) (I used Stencil ease 3″ Old English Letters found in the paint section)(I also used Plaid Simply Screen block letters found in the fabric painting section) You can also order these items online at http://www.shophobbylobby.com/
- Tulip Fabric Paint (available at craft stores in the fabric painting section)
- (first choice) Scribbles 3D Fabric Paint (available in the fabric painting section) or (second choice) Plaid Simply Screen Screen Paint (available in fabric painting section) I get a better result mixing Tulip Fabric Paint with either Scribbles or Simply Screen
- fabric or item to stencil
- narrow foam brush (about 1.5″)
- disposable plate or bowl to mix paints
1) I like to cut out each letter individually instead of moving long sheet of stencil around. (I keep them stored in a ziploc after I have cut them up)
2) I get a better result by mixing Tulip Fabric paint 50/50 or 75/25 either way with either Scribbles or Simply Screen. For a faded color add white to the black or brown.
3) do not double fold your fabric, the paint will go through fabric. Always place something flat underneath.
4) tape a line for you to use as a guide if your using a word or a name.
5) tape the top and the bottom of the stencil in place onto your fabric or item. I do not tape the sides as I use my fingers to hold down narrow lines as I move and paint the letter. You will get paint on your fingers but this process will give you the best result. Practice first!
6) take a small amount of paint on your foam brush and with your other finger, hold down the lines within your stencil and paint up and down like you are applying blush. Limit your side to side strokes. Again, practice to learn and manage the challenges!
7) for the screen print screens, I do not use the flat squeegee thingy, I still use a foam brush with a small amount of paint.
8) immediately and carefully remove your stencil after painting and touch up any areas with a water color brush if you need more paint.
9) wait at least 30 minutes to do the next letter.
10)immediately wash your stencil in warm water to enable you to reuse the stencil or screen.
Foam Letter Stamp
- Use the same paints as above in the instructions for tradition stencils.
- Large foam letter made by Eva (available in craft stores or at http://www.shophobbylobby.com/)
- narrow foam brush (about 1.5″)
1) If your letter is not a mirror image when stamped, you’ll need to remove the adhesives to enable you to reverse the letter and stamp with the backside of the letter. The best way to do this is with the sharpest knife in your house. Just take your knife and try to cut the adhesive as flat and flush as possible. After stamping, you may have to use your foam brush to paint the spots these circles may leave behind on your stamped item.
2) cover your letter with paint. Keep in mind that your brush strokes will be seen on your stamped item, therefore, it looks best to do the strokes up and down.
3) You want just the right amount of paint on your letter. Please practice first and wash of your letter to see the challenges. You want your letter to basically be slick but not soaked so the paint globs out beyond the letter.
4) after you have covered your letter with paint, take your fingers and slide it down all sides and inside your letter to lightly remove in any extra paint. This is VERY important.
5) stamp your item or fabric precisely where you want it. After you laid your stamp gently on the item, push the letter down in every spot, just like a stamp.
6) rinse your letter with soap and water immediately to be able to reuse.
7) stamp should be dry in 30 minutes
Let me know if you have any questions or need troubleshooting! I hope there is a technique that inspires you here and be sure and check in next week for more madness! Please share with us your finished projects!