SHE’S CRAFTY! Alana Jones-Mann is back with another inspired project…we think it’s got your name written all over it! Fossil2_lead_web_LOGO

The monogram is one of the simplest and oldest forms of personalization, but unfortunately the add-on of this personalized detail can cost a pretty penny. So, how about you just create your own monogram? Below you’ll find a tutorial with instructions on how to personalize your own bag, like my Fossil Sydney shopper. The best part is, once you have the method down you’ll be able to add your monogram to just about anything—jewelry, notebooks, purses, even dog bags…there are just so many options!



- Monogram stencil, printed out on paper

- Small scissors

- Leather tote

- Rubbing alcohol

- Clean cloth

- Tape: Double-sided + masking tape

- White colored pencil

- Fine tip paint brush

- Two acrylic paint colors (*see note on paint below)

- For Additional Color: White acrylic paint




Note: When working with leather, acrylic paint will do the trick— just make sure you have a textile acrylic (like the Jacquard Textile Acrylic), as these acrylics have more bend to them to accommodate stiffer materials such as leather.


Step #1: Using any text program on your computer, choose a font for your monogram and print it out on paper. Using small scissors, cut out the monogram to create your stencil.


Step #2: If you’re using a new bag, wet a clean cloth with water and wipe down the area where you’ll be applying the stencil. If your bag has had some use, mix a solution of one part rubbing alcohol to one part water and use this solution to clean the surface.


Step #3: Apply double-sided tape to the back of your stencil and secure the stencil to your bag.  Using a white colored pencil, trace the stencil onto the bag. Once you’ve finished tracing, take off the stencil and make sure you’re happy with the placement of your monogram.


Step #4: Using your first color, apply paint to your paintbrush and carefully trace the colored pencil. Make sure to go slow, applying a small amount of paint at one time to your brush. Let dry and repeat for two to three coats.


Once you’ve obtained your desired shade and have allowed for dry time, continue on to your second color to apply the shadowed text. You can use your hand for this part, as your initial stencil serves as the guide— just shift over each line in your letters. Once finished, let dry.


And that’s it—now you can initial anything!


But wait! I was feeling especially crafty and decided to add in a couple accents of magenta for a nice pop of color. If you’re feeling adventurous too, continue on.




Step #1: When adding a significant splash of color onto a darker-colored tote, it’s important to prime the area first. For the primer, mix one part water to one part acrylic paint.


Step #2: Tape off the area you’ll be painting and paint on the primer. Use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process of your primer coat.


Step #3: Using a fine tip paintbrush, apply your paint to the desired area. For my tote, I applied two coats, but three may be necessary if you’re using a darker-colored leather. Make sure to allow dry time in between coats.


Step #4: Remove the masking tape. Let dry before use.


Now that you know how to paint leather, think of how many potential paint-jobs are sitting in your closet…shoes, purses, wallets…this is going to be fun!


(All images were taken by Alana Jones-Mann)