May 24, 2012

what's in a name

We are in the home stretch (whoop whoop) of this master bedroom and what is one of the last things you do before leaving your room each morning?

I would accept 'hide dirty clothes in closet' but really 'make the bed' is the answer I'm looking for.

Since the beginning I've had monogrammed shams in mind. Now we've already established my love of out-of-my-budget-linens, but I though since I wasn't going crazy with linens on the rest of the bed, I could certainly spring for two Euro shams.

Turns out I couldn't. Everything I found that would work was upwards of $75 each and still not right. And I'm not spending that much on something I don't absolutely love. I do have a pair of old Pottery Barn shams but their polka dot color wouldn't work. Too green and gray.

Other than the color though, they were in perfect shape. I couldn't see spending money on new shams when I had two perfectly good ones sitting in my perfectly organized linen closet. So... I bleached them.

I figured they would either sit in my closet forever and never get used, or I could take a chance that the bleach would work.

And luckily, it worked. Wonderfully. I should have done it long ago.

With crisp white (and wrinkly) shams in hand I called the local monogram shop that I've used several times before.

"How much would it be to monogram two Euro Shams?"

"Well, it depends on the size of the monogram and the type, but it would start around $150 per sham."

Excuse me?
Does that include the crack you are smoking, or is that separate?

Did she not know the conversation I'd been having with myself about cost? See paragraph above lady!

I mourned my perfectly stitched monogramed shams for about two minutes and then thought, I'm just going to have to do this on my own. Kirsten at Restored Style and Jenny at Little Green Notebook have both tried similar things. So I know I wasn't crazy. I can do this.

First step, finding the monogram. I played with some fonts on the computer until I found the style and size I wanted.

After printing out the monograms, I laid them out on my cutting board to cut out the letters. If you have 'B' 'O' or any letter that has a cut out, be sure to keep those cut outs as you will need them later.

With the monogram cut out, it was time to transfer the template to the sham. I taped it down super tight and put a book inside the sham to 1. prevent any bleed-thru from the paint and 2. keep as flat and hard a surface as I could for painting.

Time to get down to business. I used craft paint I already had on hand (fabric safe) and a little, very stiff, paint brush. It is super important to always brush away from the paper so you don't paint 'outside the lines'. Slow and steady wins the race. Full concentration is required. I even had to turn off Bravo (gasp) for a bit as it was too distracting.

After its all painted, pause for a quick 'Did I really just paint my bedding?!' and then

slooowly pull the tape and stencil off. I admit, I did this with only one eye opened.



Now just lather, rinse and repeat with the second sham. I did lay the second sham onto of the first one (after it was dry of course) to make sure to line up my stencils. It was faint, but just strong enough to help.

Now I've got what I was picturing in my head and didn't have to spend $$$ to get it. This project was 100% FREE since I already owned everything I needed.

This means I can cross another thing off my 'f' list:

  • find a rug
  • finish art project for walls
  • finish bedding
  • find bedside table alternative
  • finish seating - 80% finished

I'm making one final push this weekend and then I'm slapping a big old 'done' sign on this sucker.  Wish me luck that I keep my momentum going for a few more days. What do you have planned this weekend? Tackling any projects? Tackling any BBQs?


  1. OK...for real? Bleach? Ta Da....girl. That was brilliant. I would have been way too scart to paint that monogram on. I have had many things monogramed and $150.00 is outrageous! But you did it and it looks great.

  2. Your DIY monogram looks fabulous! Love your crack comment to the monogram fella, it really cracks me up. No pun intended. :) You are such a funny lady!


  3. Great idea Elizabeth! Your monogram turned out terrific. I am with Sherry I think I would have been too nervous to paint the monogram on too. Way to go girl! Fabulous and free, you can't beat that.

  4. You are one brave funny lady. I love all your DIY projects. You are so fantastically good at them. Great job with the monograms.

    Your latest follower. Anastasia at Decor is like butter

  5. Ah Elizabeth, those shams look awesome and I love that they were free!
    Your nails also looking rather nice. I always attempt all my DIY jobs with a fresh mani...

  6. Way to go! I am still shocked at the monogram price. There is a shop near me, and I was thinking about going I must, just to see if it is the same here. Your room will look fantastic!

  7. LBE-
    I love the 100% free part. You really are so cute and clever.

  8. Loving it! And loving that it was free! Those are always the best projects! AMAZING GIRL!

  9. Those look great Elizabeth! Not sure I would have been brave enough to paint them...but your courage paid off! Beautiful, personalized bedding for free!

  10. Who would have ever thought that anything good could come from turning off Bravo? Andy Cohen's eyeballs are surely rolling up into his head as we even say the words. But you have made a believer out of me...those shams are so crisp, clean and classically chic that I kinda want to die. Well done.

  11. WELL DONE!!! Totally impressed! Looks awesome!!

  12. $150!!! Is that with 14k gold thread?! I love your version. Well done!

  13. Nice job - the bleach part was genius!

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  15. You just gotta love free. Wahoo! I want know how it is that your nails always look so nice.

  16. Standing ovation!! I want euro's with a that look! Good job sister!

  17. Amazing! I am I awe. Really fantastic job and I can't believe how much money you saved. I think the way the bleaching turned out is almost as great as the monogram. Can't wait to see the finished product! -Lane

  18. I would definitely have thought of trying the bleach, but NEVER would I have the nerve to stencil the monograms. Wow. You did a great jog! BTW, you can have monograming like that done in Dallas for $20 per sham. What up with that place you called? Your bedroom just keeps looking more and more gorgeous!

  19. Looks awesome! Yay for recycling, I have a pair of sheets and I think I will be doing this. Thanks for sharing :)

  20. What a brilliant idea! I love a fabulous FREE makeover and this one is so creative. I can't believe they wanted $150 for a monogram? Friggin' insane. This looks great and the bleaching was a stroke of genius! Love the way your bedroom is shaping up xxx

  21. Awesome solution!!!! They came out so dang good!!! I can't wait to see the rest of the room!!!
    As for my weekend...I spent it wondering why the heck the foam I ordered 3 weeks ago for my ottoman isn't here yet...I hope I didn't get scammed out of $100! The place sounded good online....

  22. You are a freaking genious! Xoxox

  23. How did I not know we have the same initals- obvi I LOVE this project and the monogrom :)

  24. I love this...this gives me confidence to do the same!


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