How to Transfer A Monogram To Wood: The Low-Tech, Non-Artsy, Super Easy Way

I really wanted to do something special and different with these garage sale chairs when I decided to redo them (see the before and after of the chairs here). Painting them something other than white (my go-to color) was the first step. Covering the seats with burlap (really popular right now) was the second step.

Adding the elegant monogram to the backs, though, is what really sets them apart from the normal chair. Well, at least in our house.



However, HOW to apply the monogram was a bit harder for me than the painting or covering because:

  • I don’t paint freehand. Ever. Well…I guess I could, it’s just that the outcome is so horrible, it’s better that I don’t.
  • I can’t write elegant letters. Yeah, my handwriting is nothing to, um…write home about (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!).
  • I don’t have any letter stencils that fit, and the thought of making one was a bit daunting.
  • I don’t own a Silhouette- nor do I know anyone who does (that’s a vinyl-cutting machine, in case you’re wondering…).

Then I remembered a pencil rubbing technique that I learned in junior high, I think. And since I had everything I needed, I was able to finish the monograms in about 20 minutes (not counting the time it took to find one I liked online). Gotta love that!

I found a monogram I liked online, which was harder than I thought it would be. Actually, I only liked part of the monogram, so I just planned to leave out the parts I didn’t like. I then took these steps to apply it to the chairs:

1. Sized it to fit the backs of the chairs, printed it, and cut it down smaller from the printer paper.

2. Colored the entire back of the paper heavily with a pencil.

3. Taped the copied monogram to the chair with the colored side down.

4. Used the pencil to trace around the monogram, pressing hard with the pencil. It doesn’t have to be perfect (as you can see, I didn’t always keep to the lines), and this is where I left out parts of the photocopy I didn’t like.

5. Removed the paper and – voila! – there’s the monogram (I seriously did this quite a bit as a kid- it’s about the only way I could “draw”).

I originally thought I’d fill in the outline with paint, but as I looked at the monogram I thought about bleeding lines and steady hands and the mess and clean-up…well, it just seemed too much at the moment.

So I decided to do something unconventional:

I filled it in with a Sharpie. Yep, I know- cheater, cheater.

But guess what? It was EASY. It was done in a few minutes. And the clean-up consisted of putting the cap on. So I LOVE it!

It was, however, very…how do I describe it?…”pen-looking” at first.

A simple sanding block blurred the lines and aged it, which coordinated with the distressed edges of the chairs I had already done. After the sanding, I don’t think anyone would guess it was made with a Sharpie- least of all me.

So there you have it:

Paper + pencil + Sharpie + sanding block = low-tech, non-artsy, super easy monogram transfer

Works for me!


This is linked to Saturday Nite Special and Lovely Crafty Weekend.


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