Friday, January 14, 2011

Fluffy Letters Tutorial!

Well, I've survived Christmas, and I'm only slightly traumatized. If I ever start blogging about my family, you all would understand. I suppose I just have to mention "family" and many of you are already nodding your heads...or banging them against the wall. Just me? Ok, then.

So, I'm back to wedding crafting and I still think it's about the best thing I can do with my time. Surprised? Me neither.

I love monograms. I see them all over weddings nowadays. Like these from Martha:

And, of course, I love these fabric poms:

I wanted to combine these two loves into ruffley monograms. I managed to do so, although I'm not sure that I'm madly in love with the results. I wanted to be madly in love with the results, but these things happen.

These ruffled letters are certainly cute enough to make their way onto a dessert table or a guest book table, where they will happily show off their ruffleosity and announce that this is, indeed, Chris and Kerissa's wedding.

For this project you will need:
* Wooden letters (I purchased mine at Michael's. They were painted white, which helped because I knew I would be covering them in a cream colored fabric, so they would blend well. They are approx. six inches tall.)
* Fabric (I used inexpensive cotton)
* Hot glue/gun
* Circle Cutter (Optional)
* Scissors

Here are the letters pre-fluffiness:

I knew that the fabric ruffles had to be short enough that you would still be able to tell that it was a "K" at the end of the project. So, I took my circle cutter and cut out a one-inch circle out of paper to use as my template. You could certainly freehand this as the circles do not have to be perfect.

Then, I cut some inexpensive cotton into a zillion teensy circles.

Next, I put a dot of hot glue in the center of the circle like so (but hopefully with a hand that was more steady than mine when I took this blurry photo):

and stuck it to the letter.

Repeat 50-hundred times. :)

To give it the ruffled look, I stuck each circle up tight to the one before so that it would fold the edges of the other circle up in random spots.

Sometimes the cat helps. But she looks irritated when you explain to her that she cannot nestle in that fabric. See the look?

Here are my tips, also known as "what I would do differently next time":

(1) I ruffled the whole letter. This probably isn't necessary but I thought perhaps I would hang them, so I wanted ruffles all around. However, I think I liked the less cluttered look of the letter when only the front was ruffled, like this:

The fabric was able to hang over the side and look gently ruffled. But, then I ruffled the sides and it looked like this, which I wasn't as thrilled with:

(2) So, if you do want to ruffle the whole thing, I learned that it is best to start with the back and sides first. I ended up flipping the "C" over and using the back as the front (thank goodness it was a symmetrical letter!) and making the ruffles a tad less crowded on that side. As you can see, I had perfected my ability to use a little less fabric and make it a little less ruffly by the time I got to the "K."

(3) I also trimmed the edges of the ruffles in the center of the letter to make sure that the edges were still defined and the "K" was identifiable, instead of a ruffled blob. :)

I do love me some ruffles!

These are the smallest letters I've purchased, so some ginormous monograms are certain to follow.

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