There is something beautiful about an embroidered monogram. The catalogs that come through the mail are filled with sheet sets, towels, napkins, canvas totes and more, all with the option of adding your monogram in a variety of styles and colors. I’m sure that you love them, too. I’m especially fond of the personalized bedding. Just a set of monogramed shams transforms the bedding from ordinary to elegant with just a little extra cost. Pottery Barn, for example, charges $9 to embroider one monogram, which is not an out-of-reach cost. Some companies do personalization for free, but even so, you would still have to buy their products. For only two shams that would add up to maybe $100 or more.
I have my own way of getting that Pottery Barn look in all our bedrooms for a lot less: I buy solid color (mostly white) pillowcases from Marshalls or Home Goods – I always find 100% cotton pillowcases for about $12/set and they’re great brands, too, such as Donna Karan, Calvin Klein etc. – and I embroider a monogram myself. And if you feel like this is getting too difficult, I promise that you can do it, too! The satin stitch (which is the most commonly used) is nothing more than just rows of thread that cover an area. That simple.
No matter how old fashioned this may sound, I actually have fun with embroidery. There might even be health benefits associated with sewing and embroidery but I will tell you from experience that not only is this very relaxing, it also gives you a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. It’s usually during this time of the year, when things get quiet and a little lazy, that I spend a few afternoons to make a monogram from start to finish.
I just finished monogramming a set of pillowcases for the master bedroom in a simple lower case and a modern font. Instead of centering the monogram in the middle of the pillowcase, this time I opted for a more playful side placement.
I have embroidered a few more monograms in the past. You may have seen the pictures of this king size pillowcase in the boy’s room from previous posts. It took a little longer to make this one as I embroidered the entire name instead of just initials. I chose a font that suits the style of the room.
This is the first pillowcase I ever monogrammed, about five years ago and I got really creative. I still love the combination of the sleek letters in the soft pink that I chose for the first and middle names with the overlapping calligraphic different color for the last name. You can tell that from the style and colors that this is for a girl’s room.
The DIY upholstered headboard with the embroidered monogram remains one of my favorite projects and it is a very easy one, too! The fabric (a shower curtain) was embroidered before stapling the fabric onto the headboard.
If you want to embroider your own monogram, here is my easy tutorial that anyone can follow. You will need:
(1) Choose a font and print your monogram on regular paper. Place the printout on the desired spot of the fabric and slide a sheet of carbon paper in between. You may want to use pins to keep everything together. Trace the outline with a pencil – it helps to use a ruler for the straight lines.
Make sure that the letters are well transferred onto the fabric before removing the carbon paper and the printout.
(2) Center the embroidery hoop on the part you will first work on. Secure the hoop on the fabric: the inner part of the hoop goes under the fabric and the outer part on top. Tighten the screw and make sure that the fabric is well stretched and wrinkle-free.
(3) Cut a length of floss, about 3 feet long. The floss consists of 6 strands. Separate three out of the six strands of floss. Thread the three strands of floss in an embroidery needle, tie a knot.
(4) Insert the needle from behind the hoop along the pattern line. Reinsert the needle across, on the pattern line. Continue until the entire space is filled with stitches. Make sure to insert the needle exactly on the pattern line every time so that a perfect outline is created.
(5) Finish your last stitch by bringing the needle in the back and weaving, as such. Repeat in the opposite direction and cut off any excess thread.
(6) Spray a stain removal on the marks left from the carbon paper. Machine wash cold, delicate cycle. Air dry. Iron. It may take a couple of washes before the ink disappears completely.
** If you have no experience with embroidery, it is worth practicing on an old piece of fabric. You will get better with every stitch! **
I enjoyed learning more on the embroidery history, here.