Tutorial: How to Create Round Vinyl Monograms Using the Silhouette CAMEO

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Note: Since I wrote this post, there are literally hundreds of monogram fonts available to purse for just a few dollars; honestly, that’s probably faster than using this technique!

I love round monograms, but could never figure out how to make one using my Silhouette CAMEO.   So, here’s my “hack” using an iPhone app and my Silhouette.

Jewelry bowl with round gold monogram--great gift idea | 11 Magnolia Lane

{You can read how Amy made these darling jewelry bowls here}

I have a monogram app on my iPhone, because my daughter and I love to make fun wallpaper for our phones (if it’s your birthday I might text you a cute graphic, too)!

Round Monogram Tutorial | 11 Magnolia Lane
There are literally dozens of online monogram generators out there, too, that you can use instead.

DIY Round Monogram | 11 Magnolia Lane
First, I created the monogram on my phone.  A solid black background with white letters works best for the Silhouette to be able to read the cut lines on the imported graphic:

Round Monogram Tutorial | 11 Magnolia Lane

Then I transferred it to my desktop (you can either email it to yourself and download it, or sync your phone).

I opened Silhouette Studio and clicked “File” and “Import to My Library.”  I then started a new Untitled.studio file, opened “My Library” and “My Own Designs,” and selected the monogram file:

Round Monogram Tutorial | 11 Magnolia Lane

Next, I selected the “Trace” feature on the top right toolbar, clicked “Select Trace Area” and dragged a square over the monogram.  Then I clicked “Trace” under the “Apply Trace Method” section.

Round Monogram Tutorial | 11 Magnolia Lane

I then moved the original monogram out of the way and deleted it:

Round Monogram Tutorial | 11 Magnolia Lane

Then the graphic is ready to size and cut.  I’ve cut these as small as 0.5″ and as large as 12″ in diameter.  Once the extra pieces are weeded out, you get a beautiful clean line.

***I get asked all the time about the vinyl I use.  I buy all my vinyl from ExpressionsVinylExpressionsVinyl and I’ve mostly used  {this} gold vinyl for this monogram (select “gold metallic” as the color, but it looks great in other colors, too.  It weeds beautifully, which is HUGE, especially when you’re working on a small project! (Tip:  If you sign up for their emails, they send out coupons every week.)***

(UPDATE:  if you select “Low Pass Filter” and uncheck “High Pass Filter” under your Trace settings, and then click “Trace,” you will get a much cleaner cut outline.  To remove the red box that will appear around your monogram, just right mouse click, select “Release Compound Path,” click on the red box and delete it, and then highlight your monogram, right click, and click “Make Compound Path.”  You won’t have as much weeding to do that way!)

We’ve used these on coffee cups and Tervis tumblers, phone cases, apothecary jars, notebook binders and pencil pouches, and trays and ice buckets.  I’ve also used heat transfer material to put them on our cute tote bags that we carried to the Haven conference.  I fully intend to try the gold foil and this monogram on a few more projects.  Happy Monogramming!

I’m sure this goes without saying, but if you’re planning to create monograms to sell, then you should buy a licensed round font.  There are quite a few out there that are licensed for commercial use, some are just a few dollars like {this} one.

UPDATE:  Here’s the vines monogram, using the same tutorial.  Click here to read/pin that one!

How to create a "vines" vinyl monogram | 11 Magnolia Lane

 If you’re not a Silhouette owner yet, I’ve had mine for four years and love it.  The best prices are usually {here}.

Disclosure:  Some of the links used are affiliate links.  You don’t pay a cent more than you would otherwise.

 

Thanks for stopping by–

Christy new headshot

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Comments

  1. Love monograms!! The ones you have made are perfect. I do love that jewelry dish and the bracelet/necklace that’s there too! I don’t have a Silhouette but I appreciate your sharing!

    xo
    Pat

  2. Emily McDowell says:

    How can I purchase the black and white stripe moono tote bag?! 🙂

  3. Hi ! Thanks for sharing this incredible idea .

    I have a question. Is the vinyl last long on the dish? Or ir has a special glue , so it won’t peel off.

    Thank you,
    Maki

    • Hi, Maki–Vinyl has a sticker backing and on a project like this will last a very long time. I always hand wash my vinyl items but they last and last and last when I do that. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Kathy Farley says:

    Thanks for the info on the monogram app….it worked perfectly with my Silhouette and so easy to do this way….

    • Great, Kathy. I’m so glad to hear that it was easy to follow (sometimes it’s hard to tell when you’re writing if you’re describing things simply enough!).

  5. Do you know where I can order the gold foil heat transfer and if that is the only material I will need to apply it?

  6. This is such a cool trick. I agree with you–$20 for a monogram font is not my idea of good spending. I will try your version soon. I’m very surprised that the Silhouette store hasn’t ever added a great monogram building tool. It seems like lots of people want this type of shape!!

  7. Just tried this, using the suggested app and silhouette machine, for a small 1.5 inch monogram to put on a cell phone case. I used the exact same font/circle, but feel like it came out incredibly thin, like the line weight/width wasnt thick enough. Have you ever had this issue? Do you ever make it thicker?

    • Tonya– That hasn’t happened to me. Once you’ve traced the image, you might try right mouse-clicking and selecting “release compound path.” You can delete some of the extra cut lines and perhaps can drag your lines a bit to make them larger. Then just select the entire image and “make compound path” to make it all one design again. Hope that helps!

  8. One more question, where do you purchase the gold heat transfer vinyl that you used on the bags? Is it Silhouette brand (I clicked the link above but it didnt take me anywhere)? Thank you!

    • Silhouette doesn’t make gold heat transfer vinyl. I buy mine from ExpressionsVinyl.com and the brand is called Siser Easyweed (http://shrsl.com/?~acu5). Both their gold and Vegas gold are beautiful! PS The comment I posted on 9/14 will take you to the exact product I use–just checked the link and it’s good.

  9. I used the same monogram app and followed all the directions in this tutorial (which were super easy!) and was left with the double cut lines as you have showed. Your finished products looks much thicker than mine and I tried the release compound path trick as above, but that didn’t work. Any other ideas as to how I can get the same type monogram you were able to get? Thanks!

    • Aubrey, when you’re in Silhouette Studio, make sure that your trace area settings are set on “high pass filter” at 5.00 and nothing else is checked. I’ve started to release the compound path and delete the extra cut lines, but you shouldn’t have to do that–it just saves me time on weeding.

  10. I guess I am brain dead. There are a million different monogram apps for the iphone. Which one did you use, please.

    Thanks.

    • Jane–
      Did you click on the link that I included near the top of the post (I linked the words “monogram app”)? It will take you directly to the exact one that I used.
      Hope that helps!
      Christy

  11. God Bless You for putting up this tutorial!
    Thanks a million. I am FINALLY able to make a monogram with my silhouette. Yahoo!

  12. Thanks for this super easy tutorial. I got my Silhouette Cameo today and was able to create a perfect circle monogram on the first try!

  13. Hi, Christy, I purchased monograms for my daughters’ from you for Christmas. I placed them on the Target bowls. Both my preppy 20-something daughters LOVED them. Right now the Silhouette Portrait is on sale on Amazon. Which do you prefer the Cameo or the Portrait? I love all the adorable projects you have created. I look forward to your thoughts. Barb

    • Hey, Barb–

      I’m SO glad to hear that they loved their bowls! Yay! As for the Silhouettes, the main difference is that the Portrait cuts 8″ and the CAMEO cuts 12″, so if you’re only planning to use it for smaller projects, get the Portrait since it’s so much less. I use the CAMEO, but I sell 12″ monograms in the Etsy shop and need the larger size for that.

      Hope that helps. Happy New Year!

  14. Kim McMahon says:

    I loved your tutorial. Easy to follow as I had your site up on one side of my computer and my Silhouette app on the other to follow your directions. I do have a question. I have the initial “P” and seem to have an issue with the little piece in the middle of the “P” cutting appropriately. Is there something special I need to do with that little piece to be
    sure it cuts right?
    Also I too would like to know your opinion between the cameo and portrait. I have been using the Cameo and have a Portrait I bought on E-Bay. Haven’t gotten into it yet but wanted to know if it would be easier to just print initials rather than getting out the big cameo.

    • Hi, Kim–
      Hmm, I haven’t had any problems with the P. Maybe it’s your settings and blade. Does the red cut line look OK? If so, maybe use a slightly higher thickness than the default. I cut vinyl using speed 8, thickness 9, and my knife set on two (using the cutting mat). You might want to try another click or two over for the thickness or go up one number on the knife. Let me know if that helps!

      The Portrait will cut to 8″ wide where the CAMEO will cut 12″, so if you’re going to cut mostly smaller items then the Portrait is a better tabletop cutter that you can leave out all the time.
      Happy crafting! 🙂
      Christy

  15. Hi Christy! I’m new to the Silhouette world, but am loving it so far! I dying to make your little jewelry bowls and have everything but the vinyl. When I clicked the link in the original tutorial it took me to the Silhouette website, but not specifically to the vinyl you used, and I cannot tell for sure by looking at the pics. Can you tell me if you used the matte or glossy vinyl? Thanks so much!

    Oh, and thank you for the instructions for the round monogram using your iphone! My phone is an android, but I used the exact instructions on my ipad and it worked perfectly. My VERY FIRST project and it came out perfect! THANK YOU!!

  16. hi, this is so much easier! I was looking for days to find a circle monogram that was free! How do you get the one thick circle around the monogram? Mine after it was cut has 3 little ones! THX FOR SHARING!

    • Hey Ali-

      The easiest way is just to make sure that you’ve released the compound path and deleted the extra circle(s). I do talk you through it in the post using the low trace filter setting, although I don’t show the screen grabs (look for the paragraph that starts with the word “update”). It might also have to do with which circle you’ve chosen in the monogram app itself, so you can always play around with that.

  17. This is great! I just got a Silhouette for Christmas and am always looking for new projects to try! This one looks so fun 🙂

  18. I just treated myself to a Cameo for my birthday a few weeks ago! I’ve created lots of fun paper things. Dabbled in rhinestones. Now I’m ready to tackle vinyl. Love, love, love this post! I just downloaded the app and I can’t wait to get started!

  19. I am a beginner, but I can’t figure out how to make the background solid black. Maybe it;s an Android issue?

  20. Wow, you’ve opened my eyes to the possibilities of using vinyl cutouts and lettering. Usually I use my vinyl for my business, but now I have a few ideas to share with my wife so that she doesn’t get mad at me for having all the vinyl laying around!

  21. Thanks so much for this DIY! My daughter already had this app so now I’m off to create a cute monogram for my friends Yetti.

  22. I am following all the steps but my yellow isnt turning to red…do you know what I am doing wrong? I am sure it is something simple, but for the life of me I can’t figure it out.

    • Try this, Amy:
      In the Trace window, you’ll want to click on “Select Trace Area” and make a box around the monogram. Then click on “Low Pass Filter” (so it’s checked) and uncheck “High Pass Filter.” Then click on “Trace” and your yellow should go away.

      Let me know if that helps!
      Christy

  23. How do you make the background black in the app? I’ve tried but all I see is patterns.

    • On my phone (iPhone), when I scroll down on the select a background page, solids are third from the bottom (it’s solid aqua). Select that and then you can choose black from all of the available solid backgrounds. If that doesn’t work, I guess make sure that you have the latest version downloaded? Although I’ve always been able to access solid backgrounds…

      Hope that helps!

  24. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing! Is the vinyl you use gloss or matte, please?

  25. Cindy Stanley says:

    Does anyone know if you can use the Monogram-It App for Commercial purposes, and if so where can I find documentation on this? I’ve been told by many other people in groups that this app is for personal use only, but I can’t find information clarifying this. TIA :o)

    • Cindy–

      I believe it’s just for personal use, too. The license for commercial use for the round font isn’t exorbitantly priced, in my opinion. Maybe try to contact the folks at Yellow Lab to ask them? Twitter and Instagram are probably the best ways to track them down.

      Good luck–
      Christy

  26. I have had good luck with this until just right now. Are you still able to make these on your iPad and then email them to yourself? Each time I email the image from the app to myself on my computer it gives me the link to the app and won’t let me see the image. So sad because this was so much fun!

    • Jen, I’m making them still on my iPhone without any issues. Can you save it to your photo roll and then email it from there instead of emailing it from within the app? Give that a try and see if it works; that’s how I usually do it.
      Christy

      • Thanks, Christy! It must me something with AOL. I know, who still has AOL, right?! I sent it to my gmail and it worked just fine. Thanks for taking the time to respond to me! I appreciate it!

  27. Hi, Christy!
    This is the exact project that I’ve been looking for! However, I do not have a Silhouette. I just received a Cricut Explore Air for Christmas. What modifications would I have to make to use my Cricut Explore?

    • Hi, Ali–
      I wish I could help, but I’ve never used a Cricut and I’m afraid I have absolutely no idea how their software works. I’m sure they have a way to import photos, though, and that’s what you’d need to figure out how to do. Good luck!
      Christy

  28. I’ve been looking for a collection of monogram fonts to use, I found a few I liked but just were not cutting it. I came across the monogram app for Android $.99 in play store. Life is easier now. Thank you for this pin.

  29. THANK YOU FOR THIS! I got the monogram app and used for tons of things in the fall. but the app doesn’t seem to work anymore and all the other methods seem so much more complicated. any ideas?

    • Sara, I’ve heard that from others, although my monogram app still works when I use a solid background. Honestly, the easiest thing to do would be to buy the SVG files from Etsy. I link to them in the post; they’re only a few dollars and then you create your monogram right in the Silhouette software. Hope that helps!

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