Reproductions of famous paintings have long been a favorite source of inexpensive decor for college students and recent grads who are figuring out their style. Especially after visiting a museum, the postcards or calendars from an exhibit were little mementos of how you felt when seeing the real thing in person. Here's an easy way to upgrade those images. We used tear sheets from some old art books and covered a letter "Z", thinking it would be a nice addition to Zandra's typography collection.
Other than knowing the image had to work with the size of the letter, we didn't have anything in particular in mind. We settled on "Lorette With Turban And Yellow Jacket" by Henri Matisse because we liked how the woman's face fit into the upper corner.
The galvanized metal letter came from a craft store. First, trace the front of the letter directly on the image, making sure you place it right where you want it. Then trace the sides and top of the letter adjacent to the trace lines you make for the front so that when you cut the paper, the image wraps around the letter. Then use 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!