A friend of mine wanted a basket with her monogram on it to use in her new office. She had already bought the materials, but didn’t feel comfortable hand lettering it herself. I volunteered to help out (even though I cannot hand letter myself – yet)!
Read on to find out how I did it!
My husband and I are DIYers by nature. When something needs to be made, built, fixed, or anything else, we generally try to tackle the job ourselves. We’ve painted rooms, painted furniture, built sheds, installed irrigation, hemmed pants, made signs, reupholstered furniture, and repurposed frames… The list goes on and on. Today, I want to share with you how I DIY’d this Monogrammed Sea Grass Basket for my friend.
- Sea grass basket
- chalkboard plate
- pencil or chalk
- gold paint pen
- computer with MS PowerPoint
- printer paper
- painters tape
First, I used MS PowerPoint to design the monogram. You can find tons of cute fonts on the web that are free for personal use. If you were making something to sell, you would need to buy a license for commercial use. Shout out to a couple of my favorite font designers on TPT – Kimberly Geswein and Cara Carroll. I have a commercial license for their fonts, and I LOVE them. I use them in almost all of my TPT products.
For this particular project, I used a free (personal use) font called Magnolia Sky. I’m not earning any money from ads, afflilate links, or my friend for this project so I feel like personal use applies. You can get the font here. This designer has tons of AMAZING fonts! Check it out!
Each letter is in it’s own text box and is a different size. I just kind of eyeballed it until it looked how I wanted it to look. The tail of the V wound up running into the side of the W, so I used the draw tool to cover the part I didn’t want.
Once the monogram looked how I wanted it to, I needed to resize it to fit on the chalkboard plate for the basket. I had measured to find the size of the chalkboard plate, and I determined that the monogram needed to be 2 1/2 inches wide. Most people would think to just choose a different font size for each letter and move them around, but I used a much easier method!
If you’ll look in the picture above, you’ll see that just under the Copy function, the Paste function actually has two options – you can paste as text or you can paste as a picture. PASTE AS A PICTURE saves soooooo much time!
Watch this video to see how it's done!
This is my first attempt at making a youtube video, so please be kind! I hope you find it helpful!
The next thing I needed to do was get it printed and ready to transfer to the chalkboard plate. Now, if you’re familiar with crafting with vinyl, you know that you need to flip the image in order for your vinyl to be oriented correctly when you transfer it to your item.
The way I used to transfer the monogram from the paper to the plate is NOT like that. You do not need to flip the image.
I have to be honest here… When I’m crafting, I just make it up as I go. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. The next step for this particular project was initially a fail for me. Luckily, I have a very strong growth mindset and I don’t give up easily.
So, I thought to use chalk first. I’m transferring onto a black chalkboard surface – chalk makes sense right?
I flipped the monogram over and rubbed a nice thick layer of chalk onto the back of the paper. This chalk was to become my outline on the chalkboard plate.
Here’s a closer look.
Next, I cut out the monogram to fit the chalkboard plate and used blue painter’s tape to hold it in place. I personally like the blue painter’s tape over regular masking tape or transparent tape because it is very easy to remove from your final project.
Now it was time for the most crucial step – getting an outline of the monogram onto the chalkboard. For this step, I used a pencil to trace around the edges of all of the letters being very careful not to stray.
Whatever you do here transfers to your project’s surface — or at least that’s the idea. This is where my epic fail occurred. I didn’t take into consideration the texture of the chalkboard plate. It wasn’t a typical chalkboard with a matte finish. This chalkboard was very slick and glossy.
The outline from my chalk rubbing wouldn’t stick!
So I was left with a decision – give up and take the (unmonogrammed) basket back to my friend and sulk in my failure OR try something else! I told you I have a growth mindset, so I was definitely NOT giving up. Nuh uh. Nope! – I guess it’s from all those years spent teaching math! Ha!
I thought I would try a different medium for my outline. I’ve used pencil to create an outline on a different project, so I thought I’d give it a try here. I did and it worked wonderfully!
I brushed the layer of chalk off of the back of the monogram and rubbed on a thick layer of pencil lead. Then, I taped the monogram back on the chalkboard plate and retraced all of the lines.
Helpful tip from a painful personal lesson – Leave the paper taped to the surface! Only peel up the parts you need to work with. If it accidentally shifts here, you’re probably going to have to start over or risk your final product will being skewed.
Now, it was finally time to paint the monogram!
Using that careful process of gently lifting a section of the paper up to reveal the traced outline in pencil, I began painting the monogram using the gold paint that my friend wanted. She had originally bought a medium tip paint pen, but I replaced it with a fine tip paint pen. Honestly, it probably would have been even more helpful to have had the chisel tip to make painting the really thin lines easier.
I’m showing you both ways – under the paper and with the paper removed. Either way, you have to be VERY careful!
I carefully painted over my outlines with the gold paint pen and touched up for cleaner lines here and there. I’m almost finished in these pictures.