Wednesday, 16 November 2011

DIY: Monogram Wall Art

Homemade presents are a great idea at times like these when 99% of us are feeling the pinch. They needn't be scrappy or look cheap, although you can make something for practically nothing. Take a look at this wall art that I've made for my parents this year (Mummy and Daddy - if you're reading this, sorry to spoil the surprise!).

This would make a lovely present for just about anyone, any age, any sex, single, a couple, a family or a work team. Just adjust the font and colours you use to suit the recipient. I used pages from my old Laura Ashley catalogue for this one, but you could use newspaper, book pages, junk mail, magazines, wrapping paper, comics... the options are numerous. Why not give it a try and make someone happy?!

What you need:

Paper (see above). I used 4 pages for this A4 sized picture.
PVA glue
Scissors. You can use a craft knife or scalpel but you don't need one.
Cocktail stick, skewer or knitting needle.

Let's get started...

Step 1

Choose your font and print out a large letter on to A4 paper. You need to make it really big - this one is 700pt. It doesn't need to be dark, so you can save ink by using a pale colour.

I chose 'Copperplate Gothic' for its classical Roman style, but I'd have picked something different for say a baby's room or a teenage boy. Just make sure the lines are clean and reasonably thick. Any of the following would have been suitable.

Step 2

Cut out your letter.

Step 3

Cut out the paper you're using (magazine, comic or whatever) into strips making sure they are wide enough to fit the area you're covering. Don't worry if you have a rough edge where you tore the page out. This will be cut off later anyway. Snip the corners off your strip. This will make the next step much easier.

Step 4

Using your cocktail stick or knitting needle, roll the strip up around it, ensuring that the side of the paper you want to show will be on the outside of the roll.

This is quite fiddly work, but once you've got the first edge tucked in it's pretty easy.

Step 5

Paint a line of glue down the edge next to the roll. You need enough to make it stick, but not so much that it all gloops around as you continue rolling. You shouldn't be able to see blobs of white PVA. If you leave it a few seconds to start getting tacky, it'll be much easier to continue rolling.

Step 6

Cut the roll away from the strip. 

You don't need to get right up to the roll and it doesn't matter if you have a little unrolled, unstuck piece sticking out. Leave it to dry and then cut off the excess later. If you try to do it while it's still wet, you'll get glue all over your scissors and the roll will start to come undone.

Step 7

Repeat until you have enough rolls to cover your letter.

Make a few more rolls than you think you need. Once you stick them down they'll be closer together than they are laid out loose like this. Go over the dried rolls and snip off any excess paper from them.

Step 8 

Start glueing your rolls down on to your cut out letter. My advice would be to start from the top and work down, but if you made your rolls to different widths, make sure you cover the wider bits of your letter with the wider rolls. 

If your letter includes straight, vertical lines, then line up the rolls to the edge as this will save you having to cut that part out later.

But make sure that all other parts of the letter are completely overlapped by the rolls, including the straight, diagonal lines.

Step 9

Once your letter is completely covered in paper rolls, let it dry completely. Turn it over so that you can see your letter template and use this to guide you as you cut the ends of the rolls off using scissors.

If you turn it over, you can see it starting to take shape now.

Cutting the paper rolls will flatten some of them at the edges. Use your cocktail stick to open the holes up and make them nice and round again. (See close-up below in Step 10.)

Step 10

Once you've finished cutting it all out, glue it onto a piece of backing paper or card and mount in a frame.

I think this looks great, especially when you consider how much it cost to make. Now give it away and share the happiness! Or stick it on your own wall and feel proud! 

The whole project took longer than I expected. I reckon it took about 6-8 hours in total, but I did it all in front of the TV and caught up with all The Waltons I've recorded. It was fiddly at first, but you soon get into a rhythm making the paper rolls and it quickly gets very easy.

Please leave a comment below - I'd really love to know what you think of this. And if you have any questions, please ask away! 


  1. What a fun project! Thanks for walking through all the parts. I could see trying to cut off the excess while the rolls are still wet and going crazy. You saved me a future headache! I'll let you know when I try this one.

  2. I made all the mistakes, so you don't have to. lol

    I'd really love to see your results! Might do another one of these myself too. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

    Thank you all for your comments!

    1. Sally - this is a great tutorial, I Love it!! For some reason I can't leave a separate comment, but wanted to say how cool the letter looks and I will definitely be doing this for my kids! Simmi x

    2. Thanks Simmi! Sorry you can't leave a separate comment :( Please show me a pic when you've done - I'd love to see!

  3. Award headed your way and blog fun too

    Thanks for commenting on my blog too

  4. awesome! what a great gift and repurposing project this could be

  5. It looks great! Thanks for the tutorial.

  6. What a clever idea! The finished piece looks great! Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial :)


  7. Wow....awesome idea...Thanks for sharing....

  8. Sally, what a lovely gift, and great blog post - love seeing how people do stuff! I'm sure your parents will love it! x

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  10. This is very creative. I can't believe that beautiful hanging art is made up of paper.

  11. I love it!!!! My last name starts with an S ---- THAT will be a challenge, but I'm going to try it!!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  12. Love this, might have to give it a go some day...

  13. Love this, might have to give it a go some day...

  14. T Y, beautiful! Great winter project for me. I certainly have the msgs to do it. Where do u get the glue? This is new to me :D

  15. Hi CATZ, I just used ordinary white PVA glue, or if you're in USA, Elmers Glue.