I love art books and calendars. When I was in college, I would tear out pages (gasp!) and hang them in my room after trekking to museums in New York. The reproductions were little mementos of how I felt when seeing the real thing in person. I don't hang art posters or calendars anymore but I still have a fondness for incorporating the work of The Masters into my decor. For this project, I wanted to upgrade my tear sheets and use a reproduction to cover a letter "Z", thinking it would be a nice addition to my typography collection.
I knew I wanted a woman's face to fill the upper left hand corner of the "Z" and I wanted to love whatever portrait I chose. Other than that, I had no idea what I would use. I borrowed a dozen books from my painter friend, Ruth Scotch, and flipped through images by Modigliani, Da Vinci, Hopper...and finally settled on "Lorette With Turban And Yellow Jacket" by Henri Matisse. (Ultimately my choice had to be based on a reproduction that fit size of the letter!).
I bought a galvanized metal letter at Michaels (I'm having trouble finding this item on their website but I think they're new so you'll probably have luck if you go to the store in person. You could also use one of those ubiquitous cardboard letters). First I traced the front of the letter directly on the image, making sure I placed it right where I wanted it. I then traced the sides and top of the letter adjacent to the trace lines I made for the front so that when I cut the paper, the image would wrap around the letter. I then used standard decoupage techniques: apply Mod Podge to the metal; lay paper on top; use a bone folder or the edge of a credit card to push out any air bubbles: let dry and apply one or two coats of Mod Podge on top of the paper to seal. Ta-da! You've got one nifty monogram for your mantel!