Thursday, December 27, 2018

Monograms Are Always a Good Idea

Or, in this case, technically we've got initials. R,L, J and M to be specific. The initials of my four beautiful nieces, Riley, Lindsay, Jillian and Maddie. We are lucky enough, most years, to celebrate Christmas together, on the 25th. Which means I'm wrapping presents in bulk, and potentially in a bit of a hurry, lol. Even so... I still don't really like to "mass produce" anything. So my strategy is to formulate *one* design and then personalize each version. Fancy initials are really great for that, and as a bonus you don't even need tags! This year I grabbed my favorite holiday collection: Santa Baby, from Prima Marketing and got to work.

The number one question I get about initials and monograms? "Where do you find fancy letter templates?" The answer is: my computer- and yours- is FULL of them. Set up a word document to the size you need (mine are approximately 6.5 x 8.5") then scroll through your fonts, find a style you like, and format the initial to fill the space*. In this case I've got a free font called "Storybook" which has nice chunky letters with some interesting curves. I print them as outline only, on plain paper. Then staple them to the patterned papers I want to use for each one, and cut out around the outlines. Easy, peasy!

Once you have nice big initials, it's time for the fun part: embellishing!!! Again, I take a basic recipe and sort of adapt it to each one. My basic set of supplies here is: paper doilies; hearts diecut from bright white sheet music backed with plain cardstock; Prima flowers and butterflies (from a few different collections over the years) in shades of white, cream and pink; Chipboard and diecuts from the Santa Baby collection and bright white sticky-back pearls.

Placement is more or less determined by the elements on the base paper initials. For example, I managed to incorporate the beautiful Santa face on the "Grand Christmas Exhibition" paper into the right hand side of the J... so that was obviously going to be my focal point. I added the "bright" chipboard to that side, and the pretty bird and flowers to the hook of the J. Then I "connected" those areas using doilies, flower clusters and pearls.

With some careful cutting, I was able to get both the Santa from the lower left of the "Santa Baby" paper and the cluster of birds and flowers from the upper right of the same sheet! Which worked perfectly for the L and R, respectively. Unfortunately, I sort of decapitated (?!) one of the birds on the R. So my butterfly and flower embellishments were placed quite... ummmm... strategically, lol. 

I thought the M, which is cut from the stripey "Let it Snow" paper would need the least  embellishments, because it has the most different patterns and elements on it. But it turned out to need the most, actually. Which just goes to show that planning is a great idea, but you still have to be ready to roll with the punches as a project comes together.

Since the first three bags each had a Santa, I used the cardstock diecut one on the M, and clustered most of the flowers and embellies at the lower part of the letter, to sort of ground it.

Of course, pretty bags look nice on their own, but what you really need at the end of a post, is a group of beautiful supermodels to show off your work. Luckily, I have one right here!

I hope the rest of your Christmas week will be a relaxing and happy one! 

*My top tip on choosing fonts for more than one initial: make sure that ALL the letters you need will look nice in that style. For example, when printing capital R, L, J and M, it's sometimes hard to find a font where the L is at all interesting. A fact I have occasionally found out AFTER printing the R, J and M. So now I preview each one before I commit! ;)


  1. Beautiful bags and models. I love that paper collection and the embellishments. So pretty! Happy Holidays


the *BEST* part of blogging is the comments, dontcha think? thanks for taking time to leave one! ~♥~