DIY Large Letter Monogram

This weekend we got to celebrate Cecilia’s upcoming birth with a lovely baby shower hosted by my mom and sister. Words cannot describe how much it means to me to know Cecilia is going to be surrounded by so much love.

The shower took place at our house (which I would highly recommend as long as you don’t have to do the cleaning up!). With about 90% of the renovations complete, it was the first time our friends have been able to see the transformation of our home. Since our guests were there for the baby shower I knew that Cecilia’s room would be on display. One item in her room that was a big hit was the DIY framed monogram above her provincial dresser/changing table.

If there is one thing that southern ladies like more than sweet tea in the south it’s monograms. We monogram everything. As soon as you think that you’ve seen it all, someone comes up with another clever idea to slap a few initials on. Whether it’s vinyl lettering, embroidery, or wood letters, we simply can’t get enough.

Since it’s easy to go overboard with monograms, I have tried to limit the “P’s” throughout our house – although I can think of at least 3 (ok maybe 4) rooms with something personalized in it. What can I say, we just love monograms!

When we found out that we were having a little girl, I knew that I would want to have her initials on the wall in her nursery. A 24″ wood monogram usually cost somewhere between $25.00 – $50.00 plus shipping on Etsy. This isn’t terribly expensive, but I had hunch it was something that could be crafted.

After doing a brief search, I came across the blog “In My Own Style.” Diane Henkler, who is a brilliantly creative crafter, shared how she made an easy large monogram cutout using foam board. To see how she did it, you can find the original article here.

This seemed simple enough so I made a few alterations and Cecilia’s room now includes one of my favorite additions. Although a little time-consuming (this project took about an afternoon to complete), trust me when I say that YOU CAN DO THIS! Luckily, this project was a success on the first try, but even if it wasn’t, foam board is cheap so don’t worry if you make a critical error. Grab another piece of foam board and try again.

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Materials Needed:
Large monogram stencil (*see below)
Foam board
Pen or marker
Scissors
Tape
Craft knife
Sandpaper
Spray paint
*Super glue
Frame (optional)
Ribbon (optional)



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How to Make an Easy DIY Wall Monogram

The first thing that we need to do is create our monogram stencil. You will need to select a font for the monogram. I already had KK Monogram from Dafont.com downloaded on my computer (you can download it for free here), but the “P” wasn’t quite what I was looking for. What I really needed was an interlocking monogram font.

I did not find a free font for this and wasn’t ready to shell out $20 for a complete download of the font so I searched Google images for an interlocking P monogram. Eventually I did come across one.

To make the monogram stencil, I used Microsoft PowerPoint 2007. There are other programs that will work just as well (or even better), but this program is included in Office Suite and works just fine. Since part of the monogram is an image and the other part is a font, there are two things you will need to do.

First, paste the image of the interlocking monogram font. You may need to remove the background (I did). If this is the case, select the image, click on the “Format” tab at the top of the ribbon, under “Color” select “Set Transparent Color”. With the wand, click on the background portion of the picture. This will make it easier to layer the font.

If you have a lot of space on the sides of the picture, select “Crop” (also under the “Format” tab), and crop the sides down where all you have left is the single monogram that you need.

If it’s not in black and white, you might want to change it. It’s not necessary, but I like for everything to look the same (even if is just going to be for the stencil). To do this, select the image, click “Format” on the ribbon at the top, select “Color”, and Black and White 75%.

You should now have a single interlocking monogram letter.

For the next part of the monogram, I used the KK Monogram font. I created a text box (“Insert tab”, select “Text Box”) and put a single letter C which served as the left part of the monogram. Then I created a second text box with a single letter V. Based on the size of the center letter will determine how large you need the side letters.

Once the letters are proportionate in size, move the side letters where they overlap on the edges with the center letter. You may need to format the images/letters by “Sending to Front” or “Sending to Back” until the letters interlock exactly how you would like them.

When you are happy with the monogram, print out the monogram on regular 8.5″ x 11″ paper where the monogram takes up the bulk of the paper. Generally, I select the “Fit to Screen” option when printing.

Since we are wanting to do a BIG monogram, we will need our stencil enlarged. Unless you have a plotter handy, you will want to head over to your local office supply store (Staples, Office Depot, etc.). Go to the print department and ask the associate to enlarge your image. I wanted the monogram to be 24″ in length, but I wasn’t sure what the correct height would be. I asked the associate to print the monogram with the coordinating height and it came out beautifully.

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Once you have your large monogram on paper, you will need to cut it out. This is what will be used for the stencil. With a basic set of scissors, carefully cut out the monogram. Keep in mind that some parts will probably be a little flimsy once cut out so try not to tear it. Since it is going to be used as a stencil and not the completed project, you can always tape up any parts that did tear.

After the monogram stencil is cut out, tape it to your foam board. I was out of tape, but I did have these colorful sticky price tags left over from our yard sale so I used these instead. Using lots of little pieces of tape is ideal because it will ensure the stencil is attached securely.

I decided to put the stencil on backwards on the less attractive side of the foam board. It’s foam board so there’s a good chance that both sides will not be perfect. In hind sight, I’m not sure that you have to cut the monogram out backwards. My thinking behind it was that if you get anything on the monogram while cutting it out, it will be on the backside instead of the pretty side. Since that is the way I made the monogram, this tutorial will continue on as such.

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Once the monogram stencil is secured to the foam board, take a pen or pencil and trace the monogram to the foam board. Lift the small pieces of tape up when needed. After you have transferred the stencil completely on the foam board, remove the stencil.

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Using a craft knife (these can be purchased for $5 or less at any craft store), cut out the monogram from the foam board. I preferred doing this in sections. If your blade is sharp, it should cut through the foam board with ease. It’s a good idea to have a spare blade or two just in case the blade gets dull. I was able to complete an entire monogram with one new blade.

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It might not be completely clear in this photo, but the edges of the monogram were not as “finished” as I would like. Using a fine grade sandpaper (220 worked like a charm), sand the edges of the entire monogram.

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When all sides are sanded, lightly dust off any excess particles from the sand paper. Below is the large initial monogram after the finishing process.

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Oops! We encountered a little snag when cutting the “V” out of the foam board. If this happens to you, take a few drops of super glue and connect the monogram back together. Hold the letter (or whatever piece broke off) firmly to the other part of the monogram. Allow to dry before proceeding.

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For our final finishing touches, we spray painted the monogram white (although if it looks pretty good after sanding, you could possibly skip this step). Then I painted a cheap wooden frame purchased from Michael’s.

I hung the frame up first. Using craft putty (a.k.a sticky tack – the wonderful stuff that your elementary teacher’s used to hang up posters at school), I stuck the monogram in the center of the frame. Then I cut two pieces of ribbon which were tied to the top part of the monogram (one for each side) and nailed itĀ into the wall with small finishing nails. By tying the ribbon into a simple bow, I was able to conceal the finishing nails and add a girly touch to the frame. If the bow droops more than you would like, you can take a small piece of craft putty to hold the loops in a more preferable location.

Below is our final product and we just love the largeĀ monogram initials on the wall. It is the perfect southern feminine touch for our sweet Cecilia’s nursery!

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