Monday, December 31, 2007

Patchwork Monogram

I have looked at paper mache monograms for a very long time.

Each time my glance fell upon these huge monograms at Joann's, I imagined I would cover the letter up (preferably the letter C for "Create") with all of my designer scraps that are threatening to explode out of my drawer! But every single time, I walked away, failing to plunk down the $7.99 necessary to purchase one and transform it from ugly brown paper mache to beautiful, stunning home decor.

Until yesterday that is. It's my girlfriend's birthday today, and I needed a present to bring her, as I do every year. See, we're going to their house tonight to ring in 2008. We've spent New Years with them for as long as I can remember. So, desperate and feeling daring, I found the letter "G", searched the store for modge podge and a few foam brushes and checked out. If this worked, it would be a very cost effective gift!

I was skeptical and nervous as I got started. What happens if my idea doesn't pan out? I'd be stuck with a big, fat, 24 inch letter G, that's what! What the heck would I do with the letter G for heavens sake? My last name begins with a W! I was determined to make this work.

First, I painted the whole letter with gold metallic paint, the quick drying craft variety. Then, I took three 12x12 pieces of designer paper (I didn't use any of my scraps on this since it was a gift and needed to match their home decor) and ripped each into long strips, and then ripped each strip into three pieces. I rubbed each edge in Ranger Distress Ink in Walnut to cover the white caused by the ripping. Then, I applied some modge podge to the letter and then applied it to the back of one of the ripped pieces. I smoothed it on, and then covered it with more modge podge. I continued this routine until the G was covered (front only) with the paper. Since I used three different patterns, I made sure I alternated where I laid each piece of paper so I never laid the same paper side by side.

This is what the G looked like once I was finished gluing the paper on.

You can see that my paper pieces hung over the edges, which is what I wanted it to do. It would have been a nightmare if I had tried to paper piece it perfectly with no overlapping. This way, once the modge podge was dry, I could flip the letter over and then use an Exacto knife to cut away the overhang paper. This was really easy.

Once that was done, I sanded all the edges so they were smooth. Then I touched up the sides of the letter with more gold metallic paint, and went back over all the edges with more Ranger Distress Ink in Walnut to hide the white caused by the sanding. At this point, you can add another layer of modge podge, but I chose not to. It's just going to hang on the wall, so I don't think it will get much wear and tear.
Since I needed to make a birthday card for Sue as well, I decided to stick with the patchwork theme I had going on for the monogram. The card base is 5x7, made out of strong cardstock (much sturdier than say, a piece of Very Vanilla). The reason I chose a strong cardstock? Because I wanted to do the same modge podge treatment I did on the letter on the front of the card! Yikesarooni! Have you EVER? I personally had never tried this technique before on a card, but what the heck, I was feeling very capable after my letter had turned out so cute:)!

So, here's the finished card....what do you think? Personally, I think the paper sort of looks like the fake wood paneling on the side of a big 'ol 70's station wagon! LOL. Seriously though, I LOVE how it turned out. The texture on the card is amazing. The colors are so rich and warm. I sure hope Sue likes her gift! I used the colors in her home to match the paper, so it should be turn key as far as working the letter into her current decorating. You never know if someone will like the handmade gift you've made them. I think I'll be a little nervous about this one! I feel like I want to add something to it, but I'm not sure what. Any ideas? I'm going to see what a bunch of buttons would look like all over the letter, just for fun.

So, have you given some thought to what your New Years Resolutions are going to be? Here are mine, I'll check back in a year to see how many I've accomplished....

Personal Goals

  • Lose weight/Exercise

  • Keep my stamp room cleaner

  • Try and be a better housekeeper (this will be HARD)

  • Make more time for God in my daily life!

  • Stamping Goals

  • Keep submitting cards for publishing. This year I managed to get two cards accepted for first will be published in the Feb issue of Cards, and the second will be in the April issue of Cards! Yippee!

  • Use what I have instead of buying more--I've really made headway into this one the last few days, all the cards I've made this week/weekend have been using scraps or whole sheets I've had in my stash for forever! Yes!

  • Get a logo designed and business cards made up using my new logo.

  • Try and come up with something that differentiates myself from others, as related to stamping "style".

  • This is about all I can think of for now. I'm sure there are a million other things I should have as New Year resolutions, but I've got to keep it in perspective here.....these are going to be hard enough, namely the losing weight bit. Adding anything more will only sabotage me. Better to be simple than stupid.

    You only have a few more hours to try and win my blog candy from here if you want to leave a comment!


    1. Your monogram turned out great ane you thought ahead to take pictures! I am sure your friend will love it!

    2. this is awesome, I have had the word JOY sitting in my stampin room for over a year and have done nothing with it!!! You my dear, have inspired me. So, on that note, that will be one of my NYR, hehe, the main one is to get my book published this year, next is to book more SU Workshops, I will slowly but surely add to this list!!

    3. This is gorgeous Amy! She is going to love it! I don't make resolutions.....I never keep em anyway!

    4. Your monogram is wonderful. I bought my monogram months ago but have been afraid to try it.

    5. Colleen11:10 AM

      Amy, Thanks for the card!!! Love it. Happy New Year...hope you have a great time tonight. Your friend will love the is wonderful. I love how you made the card to match.

    6. I like the idea of buttons and how about tying some ribbon around one of the sides? I have done several of these in the smaller versions and usual tie a piece or ribbon around mine and just knot the ribbon. You could also hang something from the bottome.

    7. Amy that is fantastic! What a wonderful job you did on both the card and the letter. Now of course I need to find a letter that big here in England, only seen small ones. Keep it up girl, you make my day when I have all these wonderful creations of yours to look at. Hope you and your family have a very Happy New Year.
      Rosie x

    8. This is awesome. You could always add flowers, ribbons, buttons, a tag. Great gift.

    9. Wow, that monogram came out beautifully! I'm sure your friend will adore it! You made it for her ;) I don't know anyone who doesn't love a homemade gift and especially this one that you put a lot of thought into for her specifically!
      Happy New Year to you and your family!

    10. Love this!!! A blessed and happy 2008 to you!

    11. love it and the card, and I'm sure your friend will too!!

      thanks for sharing your goals...they're good! Why? because they're achievable!

      happy 2008! thanks for making my 2007 smile-ier!

    12. Carol8:40 AM

      Your friend will be pleased with your hand-made gift I'm sure! It's time well spent :)
      I admire the goals you've set for yourself, but I've learned through the years to skip the resolutions. I just take one day at a time and try to make improvements as I see the need. For me, doing this eliminates that stress factor to constantly succeed. Have a fun-filled and happy New Year in 2008.

    13. jennibell1:45 PM

      You'll have to let us know how she liked her gift -- I would certainly treasure it!!! Thanks for sharing.

      Good New Year's resolutions too. It's always good to write something down, sort of makes you feel accountable, huh? I think you do have a very distinctive style with your creations. Maybe this will be the year you find just the right "market". Happy New Year to you too and please keep sharing your life with us!

    14. Your monogram turned out so pretty!!! I love the card as well!

    15. I love that big letter!! I must make one for myself now. I am decorating my living room in an odd color combo. But I can bring it together with that great idea! I have tans, indian red and very pale blue. So I can just buy papers to go with it like you did! Thanks for the great idea!!!! And my resolutions are almost 100% the same as yours. Maybe one or two do I not need to submit cards and design a logo. Good luck with that!

    16. Anonymous8:58 AM

      Wow, both are just gorgeous! Very creative! And good luck with your resolutions.



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