Create a unique look with paper quilling! Quill a monogram with a paisley touch! And the monogram is even made with recycled cardboard. You can’t get much more thrifty than that!
I’m working on Christmas presents already and I’m working with a strict budget. So coming up with things that look expensive out of things that just plain aren’t is kind of a hobby of mine. I love monograms and they make great gifts. So with that in mind, I decided to create a monogram out of cardboard and add a quilled twist to it.
For this project I used:
One cardboard box
I located an old box that has been sitting in my attic for years. No, I did not drink a box of Gin. Really I didn’t. I don’t even like gin. I’m blaming it’s presence on Tom Selleck. I’m sure he and his mustache must have had something to do with it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I decided to create an “A” this time. You can either print off a template using any font on your computer, or do what I did and just freehand it with a straight edge. I tried to use up as much of one side of the box as I could because I wanted the monogram to be large.
Draw out your monogram and then cut it out with a craft knife.
Flip your box over and using your cut out monogram, trace the letter again and cut out a second, matching piece.
Lay one piece down and start cutting 2″ wide sections of cardboard to create the sides. I started in the center, measuring the length and cutting the cardboard to match, gluing each section with hot glue. Once the center was done, I glued the front of the monogram to the back, matching the edges. This does not have to be entirely perfect as we will be using paper mache to clean up all the edges.
Continue to cut 2″ wide strips of cardboard and finish gluing to all the edges using your hot glue.
Now mix up a batch of paper mache glue. I use two parts white glue to one part water, mixing it in a small tupperware container. Tear your newspaper into approximately 1″ strips. Do not use scissors for this as the torn edges of the newspaper absorb the glue better and create a smoother finish. At this point, I suggest putting on rubber gloves. Otherwise, you will spend the next two days picking bits of glue off your hands. Just saying.
Dip your strips of newspaper one by one into the glue mixture and smooth onto the monogram. I did not paper mache the whole piece, just concentrated on all the edges where the pieces of cardboard met. Smooth the newspaper strips on as you go, creating smooth, clean edges.
Once all the edges are paper mache’d to your satisfaction, allow the monogram to dry overnight.
Then paint the entire monogram black.
Cut the white cardstock into 1/4″ strips. Create the paisley design using a quilling tool. I used basic quilling techniques on this project, consisting of loose spirals and loops.
You can find my beginning quilling tutorial here. Using white glue, continue gluing down your quilled pattern, filling up the front of the monogram with a paisley design. This is a free-hand pattern and I made it up as I went. Just go with what works for you. Quilling is a beautiful paper art and can make anything look fabulous.
The finished piece looks almost lace-like and will make a wonderful piece of artwork for a mantel or table top. Total cost for this project was in the pennies as the box I used was 20 years old and total cardstock used was 2 1/2 sheets. Can’t beat that!
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Currently, a green and lavendar version of the paisley monogram is being featured in the June 2013 edition of Crafts ‘n Things Magazine! Be sure to check your newsstands now!
If you enjoyed this tutorial, you might like my Quilled Monogram Tutorial. This monogram is a framed piece that is quilled with a flower and leaf motif.
Also, check out my Summer Blooms Quilled Frame. This picture frame is quilled with wild flowers and berries and makes a wonderful inexpensive gift.