Happy Saturday everyone! It’s the weekend & there’s finally some extra time (hopefully) to rest, catch up on things around the house, & be creative!
This is a fun & easy tutorial on how to create a cute & decorative Monogram Initial frame. This will make great decor around your home, or the perfect gift for a loved one in your life. Depending on how you customize it, there are many possibilities of what it can be used for.
First, things you’ll need:
- A large, flat workspace
- Mixed Media Paper
- 4 x 6in Picture Frame
- Paper Letter Monogram Stencils (Mine are 3 in- also, there are all sorts of font options out there, pick the one you like best.)
- Black Drawing Markers (I’m used Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pens)
- Watercolor Markers or Paints
- Paintbrushes (if using paints)
- Paper towel
- Scissors or cutting tools
Alright, once you have all of that, it’s time to start!
Step 1: Remove insert from frame & trace onto your mixed media paper (preferably in either the top or bottom right corners- this will make it easier when it’s time to cut it out- I’ve also found, once you cut it out, you can use the extra paper for easy crafts like creating bookmarks).
Step 2: Use the ruler to mark the center points across the top/bottom & sides of the traced rectangle. You will use these to find the center-point to help center the letter.
Step 3: After you’ve made a mark in the center of your 4 x 6 space, place your stencil letter of choice in the center (based on that dot placement) & trace. Do not trace the whole stencil, leave the areas that would connect the stencil spaces empty so you won’t have to erase & leave marks behind. It should end up looking like you have gaps between parts of the letter.
Step 4: Carefully connect the parts of the letter, getting rid of the gaps. Go back over to erase any stray marks & make sure the trace is smooth.
Step 5: Using your black artist pens (or whatever other color you may have chosen), trace the outline of the letter. Start with a thinner pen because as you trace there may be some bumps. You’ll go back over it with a thicker marker to smooth out the bumps. Go VERY VERY VERY slowly. Once this marker is down, it’s permanent, so be very careful so as to not make mistakes.
Step 6: Now it’s time to add some color! Whether you’re using watercolor markers or paints, pick out your color scheme. Pinterest (Check out my fun color scheme board) is a source of inspiration for this. Also, consider what you’ll be using the piece for, where you’ll be putting it, or who you’re giving it to. You’ll want to make sure it matches whatever purpose you have in mind. I went with a summery theme: making light blue the main background color, then adding some slight teal & lavender. I chose a sunny yellow & gold to fill in the letter. Also, after you’ve painted the background & letter, you’ll want to retrace the letter to make sure the black outline is nice & clear.
**Here’s a tip: If you’re using watercolor paints & want the colors to be lighter/more transparent, wet your paintbrush in the water, get color on it & move the color to a mixing plate. When you feel like you have enough of the color, dab your paintbrush back in the water & add a few drops of water to the color. The more water you add, the lighter the paint will be.
**Another tip: as you’re painting the background, paint beyond the border of the 4×6 rectangle. This will make the edges appear cleaner when you cut out the page.
Step 7: Now, add a bit of personality. Again, Pinterest (my doodling board for inspiration)is a great source of inspiration. Look up different patterns & borders you can draw. Pick the ones you like best. Or look up an inspirational quote or scripture verse to fill in the background around the letter. I went with a somewhat “Bohemian” style with a feather in the center & arrow-shaped borders around the edges.
**To do the feather: Use a pencil to trace about 1/4 inch away from the inner edge of the letter (depending on the letter- if it’s something like an “E”, you might want to do it on the outside or along the top or bottom) . Generally try to follow the shape of the letter. Start with 1 line, then towards the bottom, make a wider upside-down “V” shape. You’ll fill this in. Trace it over with black- again, being very slow & careful so you don’t make any mistakes. From there, use a smaller-tip black artist pen to draw close diagonal lines, longer towards the bottom, shorter towards the top, on both sides of the center line of the feather. Leave about 1/2 in-1in of line at the bottom without “feather hairs”.
Step 8: Create the border. Depending on what pattern of border you chose and what type of frame you’re using, you’ll want to do this about 1/4-1/2 inch (or more) away from your traced edge. Again, be very careful. You may want to start with pencil then go back over it with the artist pen. I just used the pen because I chose a fairly simple pattern, not flowy lines, or anything. Again, depending on the style you’re trying to create, the border doesn’t necessarily have to be straight. That’s what gives it a bit of hand-created “bohemian-ness”.
**Here’s a tip: My frame does not go all the way around, the glass shows straight to the edge, therefore, I could do the border closer to the edge without it being hidden. If you have a frame that has a piece going all the way around, you may want to measure to see how much of your picture might be hidden by the frame & adjust your border accordingly.
Step 9: Using scissors or a cutting tool, cut out the picture at the traced edge. You should still be able to see it under the water color. Once cut out, place in frame. Trim any edges that don’t quite fit, then put your frame back together…and TADA! You have your monogram initial.
Step 10: Enjoy or give it away to bring joy to someone else!
Thanks for checking out this tutorial. Keep looking back & join the regular newsletter to get more great ideas for crafting & cooking on the weekends!
Your turn: Are you going to make this? If so, what will you use it for? What types of colors, patterns, or drawings will you include in yours?