Friday, November 7, 2014

Monogram Wall Decor

Hi there!  I hope you are all enjoying your Fall.  It's starting to get much chillier here in New England, and we actually had our first snowfall this past weekend.  Thankfully we only got 3 inches or so, but it just felt too early for snow.  My youngest exclaimed with pure excitement as he watched the snow flakes fall from the sky, "Can we make Christmas cookies, Mom?"  And with that folks, we had barely got past Halloween, skipped right over Thanksgiving and moved right onto Christmas!  Though, I suppose that's no different than what all the retailers are doing!

Well, my momentum has slowed with projects around my house.  I am still working on the finishing touches for my daughter's room.  I only started this project back in March!?  I always struggle with knowing what to put on the walls.  I want the wall decor to be timeless, yet appropriate for my 8-year-old.  Whimsical yet that possible?  Anyhow, I love to decorate with framed photos, so centered above her bed is a beautiful black and white framed photo of her.  We had our family portraits taken this fall, so I let my daughter pick out her favorite picture of herself, and we blew it up to a 12x18 size.  I bought a 22 x 28 inch white frame at A.C. Moore for $20.  Since the size it not a standard size, I had to purchase a mat on-line from Frame Destination.  Their prices and shipping rates were unbeatable.  The quality was wonderful, and I received the mat in less than a week.  I was super impressed with how carefully the mat was packaged.  There was so much bubble wrap, my kiddos and I actually took the bubble wrap outside and laid in on our driveway and jumped all over it, screaming and laughing the whole time.

Here's how it looks centered above her bed.

I know you're wondering where does the monogram wall art come into play, right?  Well, before we began this room redo, my daughter had a letter "E" wall decal on one of her walls.  She loved that decal, and was bummed that we had to take it down, in order to paint her room.  Note, decals once you take them off, are VERY difficult if not near impossible to reapply.  That being said, I thought it would be fun to have her initials monogrammed, and when I shared the idea with her, she was elated.  I stumbled upon this blog post one day several weeks prior by Dixie Delights.  She made a monogrammed canvas, and it turned out so beautifully, that I decided to give it a try.  It was super easy.  I simply bought the size canvas that I wanted for the space I intended to use it in.  I actually ended up with the 22 x 28 inch size, which is rather ironic as this is the same size of the framed photo above.  I searched etsy and ebay and stumbled upon a vendor who made an 18" Wooden Vine Monogram  for $11.50 with only $3.50 in shipping.  This price was unbeatable, and trust me when I say I scoured the internet to find the best price.  The monogram came unfinished, in birch wood. The best part for me was it is made right here in the USA!  The length measured 18" long and the middle initial was 12" high, with the others letters with a height of 9".  I would have liked for the letters to have been taller, but for the price I was willing to compromise.  

When I received the monogram I lightly sanded it, and then applied the paint of my choice.  I opted to have Home Depot Color Match the paint to my daughter's coral/peach quilt.  I bought a sample of Behr paint for $3, which was more than enough paint.  I opted for a flat finish as I knew I would be painting the canvas with Benjamin Moore's Simply White, Semi-Gloss finish, as this was the paint that I had on hand and used to paint all the trim in my daughter's room.  It did take a bit of time to paint the monogram.  I applied two coats to fully cover.  Make sure you have a paper bag or piece of cardboard under the monogram as you paint it.  It can make a bit of a mess as you aren't just painting the top, but rather curvy sides.  The best advice I can give you is to take your time and go slowly.  It is super easy to get drips and runs, so paint slowly and with little paint on your brush, and watch closely for runs.  

Here's how the monogram looked upon arrival

As you paint, it's helpful to hold the monogram in one hand and paint with the other hand.  Make sure you get paint into all the crevices.  

And, here's what it looked like after the second coat of paint.  

As I mentioned earlier I bought a blank canvas sized 22 x 28 at A.C. Moore for $10.  All canvases were 50%.  Lucky me!!!  

  I then gave the canvas two coats of Ben Moore's Simply White.  Once it was dry, I took my decal and centered in on each side and then from top and bottom.  I took a pencil and outlined some of the monogram on the canvas so I would be able to line the monogram back up where it should be once I applied the glue.  I then turned the monogram over and applied super glue to the entire monogram.  Here's where it got a little tricky......when I placed the monogram on the canvas, I tried to only place one side on first to make sure that lined up first, but it didn't happen that way.  It ended up sticking to the canvas in all the wrong places, and wasn't lined up correctly.  I quickly lifted it off and tried again.  I was able to get it lined up pretty well, but then I had glue residue on the canvas.  So, I got the simply white paint out again and touched up those spots where the glue showed.  It did cover the glue spots and ended up looking just fine, but if I were to do it again, I would have waited until I had another person to hold the other side of the monogram and place it down on the canvas in a more controlled manner.  Regardless, it looks beautiful and my daughter thinks it is so special!

Sorry the photos aren't the best.  The lighting was poor that day and the light from the window caused a glare of sorts on the canvas, but you get the idea!