Thursday, March 25, 2010

tenth craft till christmas: monogrammed wall art

If you've been following along on my tenth craft till Christmas this month, you know that I've been struggling a bit with . . . I mean, succeeding immensely at . . . procrastination.  When I finally set to work on this month's craft, I just couldn't get myself psyched up to do a towel with Heat n Bond applique.  Great idea . . . check it out . . . but it's just not for me this month. 

So . . . I decided to experiment with Heat n Bond to come up with my own variation of this idea.  After last month's Molly Monkey - which was a HUGE learning curve for this sewing novice, this little craft added its own little learning curve to my crafting/sewing repertoire because I've never used Heat n Bond (hadn't even heard of it until three weeks ago) and I had no idea how to do hand stitching. 

Here's the process I used to make these monogrammed wall hangings for my kids' rooms. 

First things first . . . rummage through your supplies and grab the following:
  • a 13 x 15 rectangle of fabric for the background (this is the piece you will stitch your monogram onto)
  • 1 - 10 x 5 rectangle of fabric for two of the letters
  • 1 - 5 x 5 square of fabric in coordinating color for one letter  (You could also use 3 5 x5 squares is you wanted all the letters to be in a different color.)
  • Heat n Bond or similar product cut to similar size - either 3 - 5 x 5s or 1 - 10 x 5 and 1 - 5 x 5
  • embroidery thread
  • duct tape (I used clear.)
  • an 11 x 14 picture frame
  • piece of cardboard to fit frame
1) Decide on the size you want your finished product to be.  I choose 11 x 14 for one and 5 x 7 for the other.  This tutorial is based on the 11x 14 version as the project model, but with your own variations, the options are endless.

2) Set up your design using your favorite computer program with the size you have chosen as your template document.  What you see below is what I wanted my finished monogram to look like.  Now, you know the perfect size for your letters.

3)  Copy and paste each of these letters onto a blank page. (Depending on the size of the letters you might be able to fit more than one letter on each page.)  Print and cut out each letter.  Put aside.

4)  Iron 10 x 5 and 5 x5 piece to similar sized Heat n Bond pieces using product directions. 

5)  Place paper letters BACKWARDS on Heat n Bond, trace with pen/pencil and cut out.  (Please pay special attention to the word in all capitals - BACKWARDS.  This might seem obvious to pretty much everyone except me, but I learned this the hard way.   If you can see the black outline of your paper letters, you DO NOT have them the right way!  See exhibits A and B below.) 

6) After repeating all the above steps because you cut out your letters backwards . . . oh, wait . . . that was probably just me . . . so, if you cut out your letters correctly the first time, congratulations!  Head on down to step 7.

7)  Remove Heat n Bond's paper-backing and place your letters on your 13 x 15 background fabric facing up.  Then iron letters on background fabric using product directions.

8)  Using embroidery thread hand stitch letters on to background.  I used the backstitch for the VERY FIRST TIME!  Woohoo!  You could also use the stem stitch - a fave of mine, or any stitch that trips your trigger.  This was a painstaking process - ugh! 

9)  Take your 13 x 15 piece (that now has the letters embroidered on it), and place it facing down on your work surface.  Then place the 11 x 14 cardboard down on the backside over the fabric.  You can see in the first picture below that I actually used the matting and cardboard that was already in the frame.  Then wrap the cardboard similar to the way you would wrap a present using duct tape to secure the fabric tightly in place.  It won't wrap completely closed like a present because there are only two extra inches on each side. 

10)  Turn it over to make sure the monogram is in your preferred place.  Then place it inside your picture frame.

11)  Tada!  You've finished a beautiful personalized piece of wall art. 

Now, reality tells me that my 2 and 4 year old girls will not think that these personalized pieces of art are the most amazing Christmas gifts under the tree next Christmas.  However, hopefully they'll appreciate the love that went into each and every stitch . . . someday!

This is great for gift giving - whether for a wedding gift with the couple's initials, wall art for a child's room, a gift for a friend, or to add a little something to a bare wall in your house.

Think creatively, give generously and . . .
craft on!

**Linking this project to the CSI Project for the week of June 22.  Click on the button to check out more great ideas for wall decor, frames, etc.



Mrs. Kelley Dibble said...

Absolutely incredible! Thanks for the tutorial!

Unknown said...

Great job! And yes, I would have cut them out backwards, too, so I appreciate your leaving that part in the tutorial.

Anonymous said...

What color embroidery thread did you use? Can't really tell from the pics. Thanks.
Tina W.

elizabeth @ twelvecrafts said...

I used pink thread. The brown floral print was some old scrap fabric, and the blue was from my FAVORITE pair of jeans that I've been recycling into different projects.

Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence said...

That is fabulous, what a great gift idea, unique and special. Thanks for sharing!

Jess said...

I love this. I am featuring it next week on Favorite Things Friday! Stop by if you would like a featured button.

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans said...

Very cute! It turned out fantastic! :)

Fallan said...

This is a good idea and looks simple enough! The possibilities are endless, you could even do an actual name. I will have to try this sometime! Thanks for the idea!

Misty @Creative Itch said...

Cute!! Thanks for linking @Creative Itch's "Sew Cute Tuesday"!

Pam - @diy Design Fanatic said...

What a great project!

Hancock said...

If only it would turn out as well if I were to do it! Great gift idea

Kari said...

I love this! I can't wait to try it out - what a great gift this would make for someone! Thanks for sharing :)

Jill said...

I love this idea for a wedding gift! Beautiful!

the lovely paper shop said...

wow! i really love this idea! it turned out so cute and i like the patterns together.

Belinda said...

I've been pondering monogram artwork for my living room and this is really great. Thanks so much for the tutorial and idea.

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