Introduction: Monograms

This is a step by step guide to painting a set of monograms for any occasion. I know monograms can be hard to paint, and buying monogrammed items is really expensive. This tutorial makes it easy to create a monogrammed painting at home with ease and for cheap!

Step 1: Collect Your Materials

You will need:

  • a canvas, size doesn't matter I used a 9"x12" but bigger or smaller is fine
  • acrylic paint
  • paint brushes
  • cup of water to clean brushes
  • a circular shaped object for tracing, needs to be smaller than the canvas. I used the red bowl pictured above, but Tupperware lids, bowls, or plates can work too

Step 2: Add a Circle

Center the circular object on the canvas. Trace around it to create a circle on the canvas. The size of the circle doesn't matter. It can be bigger or smaller depending on personal preference. Remember though, the monogram goes inside the circle. The size you want the monogram should be the deciding factor. I didn't like the size of the object I choose so I drew one small circle and one large circle (image 1). Then I drew a circle free hand in between the two (image 2).

Step 3: Paint the Background

The background can be whatever color, pattern or design you want. The important thing is to decide what you like and keep it outside of the circle that you traced. In order to paint the background. Mix a background paint color, or colors depending on what you want to do. Paint the canvas everywhere except inside of the circle that you traced. Make sure to paint around the circle evenly in order to keep lines clean.

Step 4: Add Letters

Inside of the circle you need to add letters. For a monogram initial letters go First, Last, Middle initial. So if your name was Mary Jane Smith the monogram would appear, MSJ. To create the monogram break the circle into three parts. These parts can be even, or if you want the center section can be made a little larger. This will emphasize the last letter initial. Once you have your sections marked start drawing the letters. The last initial goes in the center. Draw the letter to fill the circle, this means the letter should be somewhat circular in shape. As you can see the top of the F that I drew is rounded to match the circle I traced. Once the last initial is added add the first initial on the left and the middle name on the right. These should also be rounded. You can see in the letters I drew the the M and L are very circular to coincide with the circle. Once the letters look the way you want all you need to do is paint them in.

Step 5: Clean Up Messy Lines

Once the letters are painted most of the work is done. But with any painting there can be a little bit of clean up to do. This can mean making edges crisper, fixing little mistakes, or in my case eliminating pencil lines. Since I drew on my canvas there was still pencil lines on the canvas after I finished painting. If this happens on your canvas take extra white paint and cover up the lines. If your lines aren't crisp enough just make sure to mix the right color paint and retrace lines that may be sloppy or uneven.

Step 6: Add Finishing Details

With any craft there can always be more added. Little details can make or break a canvas. For this project the easiest thing to do to make the monogram pop is to trace the circle you originally drew. This is a good way to finish up because it is simple, and requires no extra supplies. The outline can be done in any color you desire. I choose black because I thought it would show up the best, but I could've chosen anything. If you want to get fancy you could even add a design to the circle.

Step 7: In Conclusion

I hope this tutorial will help you make some beautiful canvases to decorate your home or apartment with, or to give as a gift to some friends!