I had a lot of people email me about following through with a tutorial on how I painted the houndstooth pattern on the M. It couldn't be easier!
First you need your letter. (a number would be cute too) I bought my oversized M at Joanns, and it's made of lightweight paper mache. The J I am using today is the same thing, just smaller.
Give the sides and front a coat or two of paint.
I searched online for a large-scale houndstooth, and finally came up with this one. I just right clicked on the pattern to copy it, and pasted it onto a blank page in Word. I put my cursor on the corner of it until there was an arrow, then drug the pattern out until it was as big as my screen. I wanted a really big pattern, maybe you want something smaller? You're the boss! I printed it out, and that is the pattern I used. (this is probably illegal?) But harmless.
Lay it on top of your letter and center your pattern the way you want it. I always put a little piece of tape somewhere to help it stay in place. Now sandwich a piece of tracing paper between the pattern and your letter, with the dark side face down.
Trace over your pattern with a stylus. A sharpened pencil will work just as well. You don't have to push down very hard at all. You really want your pattern to be just dark enough for you to see. Take a peek underneath to make sure it is transferring onto your letter. You will have to keep moving your pattern around to cover your whole letter. Just make sure it matches up every time you reposition it.
Once the pattern is all transferred onto your letter, it should look like this, only lighter. I just made mine darker so it would show up well for you in the pictures.
Take it from me, I'm almost a professional....you are going to want to lightly mark the part you want to paint. Once you actually start painting it, your eyes will play tricks on you. It's hard to tell which ones are supposed to be filled in and which ones are supposed to be blank. Don't skip this step. You will be sad. And so will I.
Now comes all the fun. Using a small brush and the color of your choice, paint in the lightly colored part of the pattern. You don't have to be a perfectionist since you are going to be distressing.it a bit. When it has fully dried, give it a light sanding with some fine sandpaper. It would look great if you wanted to take it a step further and age it with some watered down brown paint. I was going for a bit of a cleaner look, so I didn't.
Here she is, all done and sitting in my office. The vintage card catalog is a treasure I found years ago on Craigslist. There is actually a twin sister to mine that resides at my mom's. At my old house, this piece was in my great room, and I kept all my candles in the drawers. I put it in my office at this house, and am filling it with sewing notions. It makes me happy every time I see it .
If you use my tutorial for inspiration, I'd love to see your finished product!