Rosamund is now almost 4 weeks old and I am still working on her nursery! I know, no surprise there, huh!?!
I have been looking around for a very large “R” for her room…but in addition to being almost impossible to find, the ones I have found are very expensive. Furthermore, with a name like Rosamund, buying individual letters to spell her name would require a second mortgage! So, what’s a girl to do??? Make something herself!!!
My first thought was to create something out of very thin wood, having the local Home Depot cut it out for me…but that was proving to be just too complicated. So, here’s what I came up instead:
I covered an old artist's canvas with white denim fabric and attached a strip of ruffles in the shape of an R.
Here’s how I did it…if you’d like to know…
Start with a canvas the size you want. Mine is big! (and thank you for holding your laughter at the "artwork"...I'm sure it's all making sense now why I stick to fabric art!)
Gather your fabrics ... of course, I used scraps! Side note: I was hoping to make the ruffle out of several layers of different fabrics but I didn't have enough scraps in my color scheme. So, I resorted to using all the same fabric. If you get to do lots of different fabrics, please send me a picture!)
Cut out strips of varying widths - make them very long... I didn't measure, but I knew I needed enough to ruffle up and have enough to make the letter. I went with just two widths, but again, if you're using lots of fabrics, you'll have lots of widths.
Layer your strips - widest on bottom and narrowest on top.
Then sew a basting stitch (the longest stitch your machine allows) all the way down the center of the strip. It's hard to see it here since I used white thread, but if you squint and put your eyes right on your screen you can see it!
Now turn your strip into a ruffled strip. (Pull either the top thread or the bottom thread while you push down the fabric)
Take out your background fabric (making sure it's large enough to cover the canvas + a few extra inches all the way around) - Press the fabric as much as possible! Since I used denim, it took me a bit!
Now you'll begin forming your monogram - you can see the beginning of my R here.
And here I finished laying out my letter - at this point, it's loose so I can keep changing it as necessary until I get it exactly like I want it.
Now you can pin it all the way around - be very careful as you pin because the ruffle wants to move around on you! sneaky little devil!
Once it's all pinned, head to your machine and sew it to the background fabric. oooh, exciting!
Since my canvas had some dark "artwork" on it, I needed to be sure it didn't show through when I put the background fabric on, so I decided to put a layer of batting between the canvas and the fabric. If your canvas is blank, you can opt out of this step if you want. I do like the extra fluff it gives the final piece, so I'd suggest going ahead with it anyway.
cut out your batting so that it's larger and wider than your canvas because you'll be wrapping it around.
Pull your batting around to the back of the canvas and begin stapling it. I used a nice heavy duty staple gun but a regular stapler will work too.
Now you're ready to do the same thing with your background fabric. Only this time, you'll want to be sure to pull the fabric tight at you staple. To keep the fabric evenly distributed, I stapled the top first, then the bottom - pulling very tight as I stapled. Then I stapled the sides.
Here is a creepy shot of a creepy hand pulling the fabric tight as it staples. Hmmm, it's a little bit gross looking, huh!
When you're all finished stapling, the back should look something like this.
Trim away some the excess fabric all the way around, and then tuck your corners and staple.
Turn it around, and hug yourself! I still have a few wrinkles in mine...but taking your hand over them and rubbing them out works wonderfully.
Truthfully, I meant to stop here. Just a nice big R on a big white canvas. However, I wasn’t super pleased and felt a little anti-climactic after hugging myself…what was missing???
Light Bulb Moment! Strangely, I had left a random butterfly on Rosamund's wall... a remnant from when the room was Ellie's. And, since Rosamund's room is themed with butterflies, birds and owls - it would be perfect!
Since there was plenty of batting underneath the fabric, I was able to attach the butterfly with a simple thumb tack. Feel free to sew it on if you need to. I always take the path of least resistance!
Here you see it prominently on display above what will become her changing table - a craigslisted sewing desk! That's Ellie's cute little head!
So there you have it – a potentially FREE monogrammed piece of art – with RUFFLES too!!! The motto in my clothing shop is “You’re never fully dressed without a ruffle,” so I love that Rosamund’s room is finally well dressed!
And now for the breakdown…
Time: hmmm. This is a guess because I wasn’t able to do it at one sitting…I think in total it took about 30-45 minutes.
cost: for me it was FREE because I had everything on hand, including the canvas. If you have to purchase the supplies, it should run you less than $15!
Alrighty, that’s if for today … coming up in a day or two – a Reverse Applique Tutorial!
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