Ballard-Inspired Leather Studded Monogram

Ballard-Inspired-Leather-Studded-Monogram 2

Happy Friday everyone!  It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that it’s already Friday.  Not only that, the school year is almost over!  Here, we’re in a race to landscape our back yard before it gets too hot outside.  I’m also working on adding some fun additions to the inside of the house.  Including this leather studded monogram.


I was originally inspired to create this after finding this awesome leather studded typesetter plaque.  The price of this plaque is $149.  That’s a bit outside of my decorating budget, so I challenged myself to come up with my own version.


I had some remnants of leather left over from another project, so all I had to buy was the letter and some thumbtacks.  I wanted to find a letter close to the same font as the Ballard version, but those letters at JoAnn’s were 23″ tall!  I felt like that would be a little big for this project, so I bought a 13″ letter instead.  You can purchase leather at JoAnn’s as well.  You wouldn’t need very much at all for this project.  Maybe 1/4 of a yard.


I started by tracing my letter on the wrong side of the leather and then added 1 1/2″ around the entire tracing.  I cut it out with my rotary cutter and scissors.  If you’d rather not wrap the leather around the edges of the letter, you can always cut the leather the exact size of your letter of choice and then paint the sides a similar color to your leather.


I painted the backside of my letter and the corners brown to match the leather I was using.  You don’t have to, but I wanted the backside of this to have a finished look too.  You’ll notice I also made little cuts around the edges in order to wrap the leather along the sides of the letter.  Depending on which letter you choose, you may or may not have to do this.  I glued the front of the letter down with E6000 glue.


Once the face of the letter was glued down, I started gluing up the sides.


For the inside of the “C”, I had to cut some leather scraps and glue them in before gluing the inside pieces.


I trimmed up any sides or pieces that were not matched up just right with scissors and my craft knife.


Then it was time to start adding the thumbtacks.  Since they were going into leather and then the cardboard letter, they are pretty secure, so no gluing needed!  It took almost two packages of thumbtacks to complete this whole letter.  Once again, the number you need will differ depending on the letter you are working with.

Ballard-Inspired Leather Studded Monogram

Ballard-Inspired Leather Studded Monogram

I will admit that I was getting a bit nervous about this project while I was working on it.  I wasn’t sure I would like it and almost threw in the towel.  Thankfully, I pushed on and I absolutely love it!  It’s the perfect addition to this old bookcase I just painted.  I have so much fun with knockoff projects.  I love a good challenge and I also love saving money!  What are some of your favorite knockoff projects?

If you’d like to see how I painted this bookcase, just check out this tutorial on the Americana Decor Chalky Finish website.

Have a great weekend!


The following two tabs change content below.
Katie is a stay-at-home mom with an obsession for DIY and crafts. She has a deep love for coffee and believes it's never too late in the day for a cup! She is an Arizona native and has been married to her husband for 8 years. They have two crazy, adorable little boys, ages 7 and 5. When she's not in the garage building something, she's hanging out with her family or working on her blog, Addicted 2 DIY. There she shares her tutorials for crafts and furniture projects as well as her favorite recipes. She hopes to inspire others to give things a try and find their inner creativity.

Latest posts by Katie Cleveland (see all)


  1. Love the thumbtacks!

  2. That is so great. I just love taking inspiration from the catalogs!

  3. Awesome tutorial!!

  4. JaneEllen says:

    I am really loving this project. You did great job wrapping leather around letter. Not sure I can do it that nicely but I’ll sure try. Think I’ll get some of those embellished tacks wherever can find them or maybe not, depends on price of leather and tacks. Great tutorial, helps to see how it should be done for best effect. Happy days