The way a Monogram personalizes my possessions is what endears me to it. The combining of my initials in a tasteful manner decorating my clothes and accessories – it is the ultimate in customization. It is also increasingly being used in modern decor to bring on a hint of sophistication and distinction. A monogram is that final artists’ signature on your creation/ possession that makes it extra special.
Checkout the post on Monograms – General guidelines and placement rules for more details on Monograms and where to place them and how to arrange them. After you have decided on the placement of your monogram and their order and style you can go about creating them on your computer or draw them freehand.
A Monogram has overlapping/interlocking letters/numbers most of the time. At times a person may choose to have a single initial monogram. As letters are what basically monograms are all about you need the font to be striking for a stand apart monogram. So decide on the best by exploring various options.
Elaborate and ornate or simple and modern – What ever style you need, it is possible to be recreated with the many different computer programs available today. Simple options start from the ubiquitous MS paint (every other computer has them), MS word, Photoshop, illustrator, paid options like the picmonkey; it all depends on the special effects and features you want.
If you are using text editing software like MS word / Photoshop/ illustrator check out the different styling and font options available in the software. You can make many special effects / add a border or give a shadow effect. You may have decided to write the initials separately or combined. Make each letter in a separate text box. This way you can overlap the letters as you like.
When selecting the font of the monogram the first thing you have to consider is the occasion or where it will be placed. On your son’s luggage, an ornate monogram would be out of place; he may not fully appreciate it. For a wedding hankie, a doodle one would be too casual.
After creating the monogram print it out on printer paper. Ensure that it is the size you want. It should be appropriate for space you mean to make the monogram. Now this monogram has to be transferred to fabric.
How to transfer the monogram onto the fabric
You can use any of the methods used for transferring embroidery ( outlined in the post 9 embroidery transfer methods) to transfer your monogram design. My favourite method is to make a stencil when I am painting the monogram. I simply use a carbon sheet to copy the design outline if I am embroidering
How to make the monograms – 4 ways
There are many different ways to create the monograms on your clothes and accessories. The favourite methods I use are outlined below.
1. Print the monogram on the fabric
Fabric printing is the easiest way for getting the monogram on your fabric.
Checkout this post on the correct way of printing on fabric using your inkjet printer. Related post : 10 best textile printing methods
2. Hand Embroider the monograms
Fill the letters with outline stitches like stem stitch, split stitch or use any of the filling stitches – like french knots, split stitch, chain stitch, satin stitch. Check out the post on embroidering letters for more details.
My favourite is to use the split stitch to fill the design. It gives a very fine filling to the letters. Checkout the different filling stitches here.
3.Using rhinestones / sequins or bead
Rhinestone/sequins/beads can be used to fill the inside of the monogram or it can be used to fill the outside space in a rather void/negative embroidery method.Checkout the tutorials for attaching beads, attaching sequins and attaching rhinestones for more detail.
4. Painting the monogram
If it is a monogram with a thick outline, I would definitely be using the stencil as explained below but if it is a simple small monogram I would simply trace the monogram onto the fabric with a carbon paper and paint over it
5. Applique Monograms
Beautiful Monograms can be created by Applique. Use satin fabric to make these monograms and they will beat any machine embroidered monograms made with high end embroidery machines. Checkout the post on applique letters and different ways to sew Applique designs
6. Sewing Machine embroidery
Of course, this is the best way to make a monogram and all the professionals do it with their fine embroidery machines. But if you do not have one, you can use a darning foot on your regular sewing machine and do free motion embroidery to make the monograms. Make the designs somewhat big and fill the monograms with free motion embroidery stitches. Check out the tutorial for free motion embroidery for more details on this.
How to make a stencil for your monogram
A stencil of the monogram is made so that when you paint the paint would not bleed on the edges. When a stencil is used the resultant monogram will look as if it is printed.
If you have freezer paper you can use this to cut out the stencils. The freezer paper has a paper on one side and a plastic coating on the other side. You can make the design on the paper side of the freezer paper. Cut out the design with a sharp blade. Now keep this design plastic side down on the fabric. Iron the paper side and the plastic coating will adhere to the fabric. Now you can paint the inside like you would any normal stencil. After the paint is dry just peel off the freezer sheet.
But if you do not have freezer paper do not worry. You can use this DIY method to make it yourself. You need printer paper and the thin black garbage bags. I had garbage bags at home of course but I had an even better thing. Those disposable plastic gloves by the dozen. Cut one open and you have the best plastic for replicating freezer paper.
Take a printer paper and print your monogram on to it. Now Keep the plastic sheet on the ironing surface. Keep the monogram printed paper on top. Iron from the top. Once the plastic is tightly bonded to the paper, Cut out the monogram ( inside portion carefully ) with an extra sharp exacto knife.
To use this stencil, place the plastic side down onto the fabric where you want the monogram. Iron on the paper so that the plastic is bonded on the fabric; now you can use this stencil.
Use a paint brush to fill the design.
After you have painted the design and the paint is dry, carefully peel the paper off.
You can use any of the fabric paint available at hobby stores to paint the monogram. Remember to prewash the fabric and then dry and iron the fabric before painting the fabric. Stretch the fabric on a hoop to avoid wrinkles. Carefully use brush strokes to bring life to your monogram. If you have acrylic colors you may need to use a fabric medium to dilute the colors so that the fabric does not harden.
After the monogram is fully dry remember to heat set paint with an iron from the back of the fabric.
Checkout this Pinterest board for some inspiration on making your own custom designed monogram.
I have heard that for some monogramming is an obsession. What a pleasant obsession to have. Carry on.