September 8

Even our ancestors were proud of their names and heritage and were probably decorating their clothing and home decor with their initials and family crest since before first set of guest towels were hung on a rod.

Seriously, the wealthy families had crest rings and medallions since before the average man had two names.

Today monograms still give us a sense of family identity. If it belongs to you, you can put your mark on it. Even if it is just your annual pumpkin. Click HERE for the pumpkin tutorial.



Decorative monograms can be incredibly intricate and designing your own can be quite a task. The simple solution is to not re-invent the wheel and use one of the many reference books available to either scan straight from the books (for personal use only) or use as a starting point.

While it has numerous Art Nouveau Initials in it “The Treasury of Authentic Art Nouveau Alphabets, Decorative Initials, Monograms, Frames and Ornaments” Edited by Ludwig Petzendorfer only has five complete sets of Monograms, every combination of two letters possible. However they have a Art Nouveau flare while still being simple enough for any craft project straight out of the book. This is my go to book as a jump off point when designing my own monographs.

I highly recommend The “Compendium of Ancient Artistic Initials For Vintage Style Monograms“,  well described in their Amazon description as “a collection of over 3400 intricate artistic initials largely drawn from Victorian, Art Nouveau and Edwardian eras”. Initials and designs are in larger format (most are 2 inches high or greater) to preserve detail.” With multiple monograms styles from between 1840 and 1850. Most of which are suitable for sewing and craft projects straight out of the book.

5000 Decorative Monograms for Artist and Craftspeople, Edited by J. O’Kane is filled with 2 and 3 letter monograms that have a Victorian (or older) feel and are well suited for embroidery as well as a nice way to add art to pedigree charts and family group sheets in family history books when photographs are not an option.

Monograms and Alphabetic Devices are to quote the preface are “Unabridged republication of the plates from the Dictionnaire du Chiffre-monogramme” published in Paris in 1881. They are ornate but the printing is clear and well suited for the family history book when photos are not an option and with minimal work, suitable for embroidery and craft projects.

The Encyclopedia of Monograms by Leonard G. Lee are elaborate monograms with a renaissance flair. most suited for inclusion in family history books or decoupage.

You can see inside of these books using the links.

I hope you find my reviews helpful.


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