Victorian Craft Series: Monograms and Cyphers

Welcome to the first installment of my Victorian Crafting Series working with Cassell’s Compendium of Victorian Crafts.

Morag and I decided to start off with the Monograms and Cyphers because we anticipated that it would be a relatively quick one and also because it would give us something to use as a cohesive image throughout the posts.

Inorder to avoid any copyright infringement and also because I would like to encourage you to borrow the book from your library, I am not going to go step by step through the instructions and guidance. However I did take photos of my work throughout the process and I will gladly share those with you.

Morag and I set up a skype call, got our art supplies ready and spent the morning together virtually and made some Monograms.

It is really nice to be able to discuss ideas and swap tips even if it is done via computer.


Here are the supplies I gathered although in the end I didn’t land up using all of them and I used one extra thing.

  • Printer paper
  • Watercolour paper
  • graph paper (not used)
  • colourful fineliners (not used)
  • kneadable eraser and normal eraser
  • clutch pencil
  • variety of fine liners in different sizes
  • painbrush
  • ruler
  • watercolour
  • Not pictured:  I also landed up using india ink

First I had to give some good though to what monogram I wanted to use. As I am not using my real name for my blog or instagram I wanted something that I could still use. I started with E for Elliementalist but I felt that it was too lonely and not really a monogram. So I decided to use some creative liscence and add an M. Ellie/Mentalist.

Here I have added the M.

Sorry that the pencil sketches are so light, pencil doesn’t photograph well.

Inked Sketch


I was worried that the bottom of the E was too empty so I played with the idea of adding some decoration but in the end it seemed too arbritary so I just left it out of the final piece.

Inked Design
Fineliner lines

I landed up using india ink to fill in the large black spaces as using a pen would land up less neat. After finishing it I decided that it might be a bit heavy with all the black so I re did it in a lighter version. Obviousbly I have kept both and I still don’t know which I prefer!


Here are Morag’s designs. She also landed up doing two. I love both of them too. They are too different to be compared I think. They each have their own unique qualities. I especially like the way that she used colour to differenciate the foreground from the filligree.


I hope that you enjoyed coming along with us on this little journey.

Peace and Love,

3 thoughts on “Victorian Craft Series: Monograms and Cyphers

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