Sunday, January 8, 2012

DIY Monogram Art

There was only one gift-giving rule for our family Christmas this year: everything must be hand-made. Now, that term can be used pretty loosely, but it resulted in some really amazing and most thoughtful gifts I have ever seen.

What next on the handmade Christmas list?

Monogram Art

This gift idea was straight off a Pinterest pin, so I can't take credit for all the creativity. It turned out just as I'd hoped! This monogram artwork is personal, interesting, and flexible enough to give to just about anyone.

I made one of these for Jaz and Jose Carlos, since their last name starts with an "M." As a newly married couple (remember the Fall wreath I made them in October?), they're always in need of meaningful artwork for their apartment.

Here's what you'll need:
- Picture frame, shadowbox preferred
- Exacto knife
- Pencil
- Ruler
- Glue stick
- Paper: scrapbook paper, cardstock, and colored paper

See those little cutout triangles that are red? Well, I didn't initially have any colored paper on-hand to use. I eventually found a green envelope from a Christmas card (how appropriate) and borrowed a couple of slices out of it. While gluing, I remembered that green is the color of Jose Carlos' rival soccer team (Real Betis)...  I thought, "Maybe they won't notice.........." and slept on it.

Sports. Rivalries. To me, that means Ohio State vs. M*ch*g*n. Now, put in that context, it was only right that I should change the accent to Sevilla's team color. ['Cause I dare you to find maize and blue in my house. I dare you!] Unable to find any red-colored paper on hand, I finally found a popcorn box in my pantry that was red. So, I ripped my earlier work apart carefully and used a little piece of a popcorn box for their artwork. Yep, popcorn art. Oh, the things we do for sports.

From start to finish? Easy:
1) Draw a letter, in pencil, on white cardstock. I used the letter "M," which I drew with a ruler and by creating some guidelines.
2) Cut out the letter carefully with an Exacto knife.
3) Free-hand (with your pencil again) some shapes for your cutouts. Mine were triangles of varying sizes. Cut those out with your Exacto knife.
4) Cut out pieces of colored paper that are slightly larger than your cutouts, making sure to match shapes so that the colored paper fits only in one cutout.
5) Glue the colored paper to the cardstock, in the cutout windows.
6) Cut a piece of scrapbook paper (for the background) to the size of your picture frame.
7) Glue the finished letter to the scrapbook paper
8) Frame (then rip apart and restart from Step 4 if you screwed up the color)
9) Gift proudly!

In the end, I liked this project and its simplicity so much that I made another "M" for my sister, Megan. Her  background was grey - lighter this time - and a light turquoise for the inlaid color.

What do you think? Have you made any cool or fun paper gifts?

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