One Layer Monograms for Less Is More

by Joanne James26. June 2021 07:00

Today I'm here bright and early to share a couple of cards for the new challenge over at Less Is More where I was delighted to be asked to be Guest Designer following my recent accolade as overall winner for April. 


I would like to say I am delighted - although I did break into something of a cold sweat when the lovely Anita told me the challenge for the next fortnight is not only 'Monogram' but yes - ONE LAYER monograms!


She did give me the option to defer, but never one to shy away from a challenge I started researching - this challenge really did necessitate me getting my thinking cap on! So first things first - the definition we are using for the term 'monogram' is:

Monogram: a motif of two or more interwoven letters, typically a person's initials, used to identify a personal possession or as a logo.

A design consisting of two or more alphabetic letters combined or interlaced, commonly one's initials.

My first card uses my own initials. One of the challenges for me in creating a card to meet the brief was that it needed two or more letters. I explored various ways to combine the two Js in my name. I explored various ways of combining the letters and in the end went for a rotational pattern in a Tiffany & Co.-inspired design of black on Coastal Cabana - take a look:


This card uses a long-retired set called 'Sophisticated Serifs' which I'm not sure I ever blogged with, but is a set I love for its clearly defined alphabet. I added some flowers and a strong black border to draw the eye to my monogram:


Once I'd started, I tried out a few other ideas too. Another way monograms are often used is to create fun patterns for wedding or anniversary cards. The thing is, both my husband and I share exactly the same initials - JLJ - so in preference to a trio of Js, which whilst quirky wasn't that interesting, I created a second card using someone else's initials to create a fun monogram - can you guess who they belong to?


If you guessed Mickey and Minnie Mouse then you are as big a fan as I am! I created a couple of stencils using my retired Large Letter Die Framelits and sponged in the red and black base colours. I added some buttons for Mickey and a bow for Minnie - whilst this challenge is one layer, small embellishments are allowed in the LIM Rules (that's my story and I'm definitely sticking to it!) I thought this would make a fun anniversary card with an appropriate sentiment inside; I like the way that the colours and embellishments make the letters recognisable as a monogram because of how they are decorated:


I considered adding an ampersand, but decided against it, given that MM could mean both 'Mickey Mouse' and 'Mickey and Minnie', with the former really being the true monogram although my decoration suggests the latter.

This turned out to be quite a fun creative diversion - you should definitely check out the LIM gallery to see what the Design Team have created! Whilst my cards today used items from my retired stash, I hope they provide you with some inspiration. I'm also linking up with the lovely gals over at SUO Challenges today where funnily enough they also have an 'initials' theme this week (it doesn't have to be one layer though!). If you decide to have fun with initials and are using Stampin' Up! products, you should go and pay them a visit too.

You can see all of my 'How To' summaries on my 'How To - Tips and Techniques' Pinterest board in case you've missed any. 

Enjoy your day and I'll be back tomorrow with another project. Until then, happy stampin'!


Comments (6) -

Stephanie Lanzalotto
Stephanie LanzalottoUnited States
6/26/2021 12:15:34 PM #

Wow! You really outdid yourself here, Joanne. I had to laugh when I read your comment about breaking out in a cold sweat when you heard what the challenge was. I had the same reaction. I LOVE what you came up with. I love that you turned on J upside down, and I love the addition of the floral motif next to each one. I love that it is all black on aqua and the frame looks wonderful. The second is genius. What a wonderfully creative interpretation! I am so glad that in the end you had fun with this one. So did I. Thanks so much for Guest Designing with us. It is always a joy to see your work.

Heather Heroldt
Heather HeroldtUnited States
6/26/2021 6:45:01 PM #

Ah, great job, Joanne, and you even did doubles, lol - genius!  Mine is a double, too, lol.  Brilliant on the one-layer work!  Thanks so much for playing at SUO!

Natalie Arnold
Natalie ArnoldUnited Kingdom
6/27/2021 9:08:06 PM #

Wow Joanne love your cards I especially love the Minnie and Mickey one its brilliant my hubby and I both have the same initials too. Thanks so much for taking part in the SUOchallenge hope to see you on the next one x Natalie Arnold

Jan Clothier
Jan ClothierNew Zealand
6/28/2021 8:12:43 AM #

Goodness me, that black on Coastal Cabana is striking! Simple but magnificent.

LynneUnited Kingdom
6/28/2021 5:31:16 PM #

I think we all had the cold sweat reaction to this challenge but you've pulled it off in magnificent style. Love your two J's, the black on aqua looks amazing but your Mickey Mouse is stunning.So pleased to see you as our Guest designer for this challenge x

Izzy Scrap
Izzy ScrapFrance
6/29/2021 1:33:30 PM #

Absolutely stunning ! You rock this challenge with your two cards. It's sometimes good to go out oneself confort zone and you did it beautifully ! Love your two cards. What a great idea to put the J's upside down. And those Mickey & Minnie initials are terrific ! It's really a great pleasure to have you as our Guest Designer for this challenge. x

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Hi I'm Joanne and live in Northampton and when I'm not looking after my husband and two beautiful children, am an avid crafter with a passion for all things Stampin' Up!

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