Sunday, June 2, 2013

Simple and Sparkly Hand-Stitched Monogram

Recently, some bloggers posed a challenge to add something gold to your home.

Gold is not usually one of my choices, but I thought it would be fun to see what I could do to add a touch of something sparkly to my usual vintage-y look around here, so I bought some gold metallic thread and came up with this hand made monogram.

If you'd like to make something similar, here's what you'll need: metallic thread (found with the embroidery floss at the craft store), some lightweight fabric (mine was plain white broadcloth), an embroidery hoop, painters tape, fabric scissors, and a needle.

I bought two different shades of metallic thread and ended up going with the one that was less yellow. It seemed like it would blend in with my decor a little better, though I think the yellow-gold one would have been fun too.

First, make sure your fabric is free of wrinkles, then put your fabric between the two pieces of the embroidery hoop, and tighten the little screw at the top as tight as you can. Leave the extra fabric hanging around the edges for now.

Then, take your painters tape, and use it to make your letter on the fabric. Make sure it's centered how you want it, and that the screw at the top is centered over the letter, since we'll use the space under the screw to hang it from the wall later, and we don't want the letter to look crooked once it's on the wall.

Next, thread your needle with the metallic thread. Usually, a skein of embroidery floss will have six threads. For this project, I used three threads at a time, but you can use more or less, depending on what you like. Just make sure you have a needle with a large enough eye for fitting all the threads through. Metallic thread tends to be bulkier than regular embroidery floss.

Once your needle is threaded, tie a knot on the end, then start on the backside of your fabric, and begin a simple running stitch alongside the tape.

Here's what mine looked like on the back.

Stitch along the entire outside edge of your letter, but don't stitch around the "ends" of your letter. For my letter R, I left the "feet" of my letter un-stitched. Then stitch around any inside areas, like the inside of my letter R.

After that, remove the tape.

Now you want to start filling in the rest of the letter with more rows of stitches. I wanted my rows of stitches to be as evenly spaced as possible, so I made my first row in the very center.

Then I filled in with two rows of stitches on either side of that center row, for a total of seven rows of stitches. I think I probably could have gotten away with only five rows of stitches, but I wanted to up the sparkly factor with the metallic thread, so I figured the more shimmer the better.

Here's a close-up. As you can see, my rows aren't perfect, and my stitches aren't very even, but all together, they look nice.

Metallic embroidery floss tends to be a little more tricky to use than regular embroidery floss. It tangles more, and the untied end will fray. I definitely wasted more thread than I'm used to with a typical embroidery project, but even still, I barely made a dent in one skein of thread. The back of my project had a lot of tangled looking knots by the time I finished, but you can't tell from the front. Once everything was finished. I re-tightened my fabric and the screw on my embroidery hoop, and then used my fabric scissors to trim off the excess fabric from the edges of the embroidery hoop.

Here's the finished project! It looks simple and vintage and handmade, but that metallic gold thread gives it just a little bit of sparkle.

 And here it is on my family monogram wall!

Here's a close-up of my embroidered letter on the wall. I used a skinny finish nail to hang it up. You can't see it, but it's there hiding out in the little triangular space beneath the screw on the embroidery hoop.

This wall is really coming along. I love the little bit of sparkle this gold embroidered letter adds to the space. It's subtle, and doesn't overpower the other letters on the wall, but it does make it's own little statement.

Linking up to:

Ditto DIY with The Inspired Room and many more!
Before and After Party with Thrifty Decor Chick
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage
Inspire Me Please Weekend Blog Hop with House of Rose Blog
Weekend Blog Hop at Tatertots and Jello


  1. This is really pretty! It's so simple yet unique!

  2. I really like this and I love your gallery wall! So neat!

  3. That is such a great idea to incorporate some gold in decor. Love it!
    - Anjana @

  4. Oh wow! I LOOOOVE love love LOVE this! I'm so inspired to make one of my own. Thanks so much for linking this up to Ditto DIY! I'll be sharing it on my FB page later today and pinning it!

    Kelly @ View Along the Way

    1. Thank you! And thanks so much for hosting this link party!

  5. This is beautiful!! I've never even thought to attempt to embroider something myself, but I think I could do this! Such a great idea!

    1. Thanks Rachel! Using the tape as a guide really made this an easy project.

  6. This is SO so cute!! I definitely want to do something like this for our home!!

    - Chaney (stopping in from the "Gild Something" challenge!)

  7. Love this so much!! Thanks for sharing. I've been looking for a monogram embroidery for beginners, and this is perfect!

    1. Thanks! It did work out to be pretty simple, always a good thing! :)

  8. That is too cute!! I love the sparkly thread you used...and your Monogram wall is awesome! I need to do that in our house because I have a ton of Z's!! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

    1. Oooh, I'd love to see a monogram wall of all Z's. What a fun letter to get to use! :)

  9. Wow, that is amazing! You're so talented!
    Jamie @

  10. What a cute project, and I love all the letters on your wall! I hadn't seen this idea before and I really like it! :-) ~Angela~

  11. I really like this and have never seen anything like it! Thank you for a great idea!!!!

  12. How lovely! I love the clean and simple look, just beautiful!