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Directions for a Monogrammed Display Tray/ January 2003

(This project utilizes letters from our Bookplate Monogram Set.)

This project utilizesa finely crafted, solid wood display tray. It has cutout handles on two sides, and is designed so that the handle ends are removable, allowing an embroidered panel to be inserted between a sheet of glass and a masonite backing board - both supplied with the tray.

Step 1. Print the instructions.

These are .pdf files, and require Adobe Acrobat Reader software in order to view and print.
To insure printing in exact size, be sure that FIT TO PAGE (see Properties under the Print Menu) is not selected.

Step 2.Merge the three letters of your choice.

Using your embroidery software program, combine three letters of you choice. Following the standard practice for creating a three-letter monogram, we used one of the larger scaled letters for the last initial and placed it in the center, flanked by two smaller scaled letters.

Carefully place the three letters so that the result is as wide as it is tall.

Save the new monogram under a new filename.

Step 3. Prepare the fabric.

We chose white felt as the fabric for this project. It is easily available, adds a plush depth to embroidery, and has a softer look, which is appropriate for the sophisticated informality of the letters from this style.

In order to add some extra stability to the felt, we adhered a layer of medium weight tear-away backing to the back of the felt with a heat fusible pellon ("Wonder Under" or similar product.) This also makes it easier to trim the completed embroidery without distorting or stretching it.

Fuse the pellon to the felt with a hot iron. Once the surface has cooled, remove the paper surface, place the tear-away backing against the pellon surface, and fuse the materials together with a hot iron.

Step 4. Sew out the monogram.

Sew out the design with the thread colors of your choice. We used the same basic color scheme for all three letters, but chose a slightly darker color for the letter in the middle, so that it would have a little more emphasis.

Step 5. Remove one side of the tray.

The tray is designed so that either end can be removed by unscrewing four brass screws with a small Phillips head screw driver.

Removing one end only is sufficient to allow the glass, masonite backing board, and cardboard padding layer to be removed.

Step 6. Cut the mat.

Use the masonite backing board as a template to cut a sheet of matboard to the same size. We decided to use not only a layer of cream-colored mat board, but also a top sheet of green fine art paper.

Work with the topsheet first. On the back side, use a ruler and a pencil to mark the center of the square, then measure to mark out a square opening area. We wanted the opening in the mat to be fairly close to the outside of the design, so marked an opening that was 4 3/8" (110mm) square.

Cut out this window with a sharp mat knife. Align the topsheet with the cream-colored mat board, then put a small pencil mark approximately 1/8" (2.5mm) in from each corner. This will mark the corners of the slightly smaller window to be cut in the mat board.

Using a sharp mat knife, cut the opening in the mat board. It will look best if the edges of the opening are angled in slightly, with sharp beveled corners.

Step 7. Assemble the embroidery insert.

Trim the embroidered panel so that it is 3/4" (20mm) smaller on all sides than the masonite backing board.

Using two small tabs of double-sided transparent tape, lightly attach the topsheet to the mat board at the upper corners, insuring that the outside edges are aligned, and that the inside windows are also aligned.

Once attached, turn the mat over, and position the embroidered panel so that it is straight and centered in the mat window. Once you are satisfied with the placement, the embroidered panel can be attached to the rear surface of the mat board with acid-free drafting tape, or with acid-free glue for a more permanent bond.

We cut an additional piece of mat board the same size as the masonite backing panel to insure that the monogram, mat, and backing panel, once slid back into the tray, would be snug.

Step 8. Reassemble the tray

Carefully slide the insert layers back into the slot in the tray. Be sure to clean the glass before inserting it.

Reattach the forth tray side with the four brass screws.

Congratulations! Your project is complete.

(NOTE: The joint between the wood of the tray and the glass will not create a waterproof seal, so be aware that liquids spilled on the tray will likely creep around the class and stain the mat.)

.Congratulations! Your project is complete.

Felt, Heat Fusible Pelon:

Widely available from fabric stores

Mat Board and Art Paper:

Widely available from art supply and craft stores

Small Square Tray:

Manufactured for Sudberry House, the tray is available at many gift and craft shops, online from the companyís website at:


Also available online from Embroider This:


(The small tray, in oak finish, is # 6564X. It has an 8 3/4"(22.2 cm) square design area.)

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