I hand drew the letter 'B' on a piece of cardstock until I was happy with it. I cut it out and made a template, then traced it on to two pieces of cardstock. With my handy E-6000 glue carefully in hand, I began filling the letter in with buttons, starting with the largest and placing them in nearly identical positions. Notice I used very little blue in one and very little pink in the other (my 11-year-old, big B, is compromising with me by allowing "a little" pink as an accent color in her room now that little B is moving in), but otherwise the colors coordinate. I realize at this point they look like the letter 'S', but I don't have a fancy camera, sorry!
I then began adding the smaller buttons. Aaahhh, now they look like 'B's'. In the picture, you can see the 'B' on the right (blue) is almost done after adding even smaller buttons, beads and the brads.
A closer view of the "blue" 'B' just before the final step of adding the seed beads.
And that's about it! I will post the finished product soon (as soon as my 17 month old gives up the location of the USB cable). I continued to add still smaller beads until I couldn't fill-in the white anymore. The 8.5x11 cardstock fit the matted 8x10 frames from IKEA perfectly and because I didn't use too many layers of buttons I was able to place the letters in the frames with the glass left in. In comparison, the monogram from American Crafts looks
Hers has no white showing at all, however, I decided to stick with the beads because I had so many to choose from (from my beading supplies) and the brads were a little pricey. Although I got the idea from another source, the monograms I made turned out unique to me! The girls love them. Big B was very surprised and little B blows kisses to her 'B' every night before bed.
One thing I got out of this whole thing that I never expected was the way big B "got" the fact that "they match but don't match". She also noticed I took my time with this and worked hard to make it look nice. I also have a great feeling of satisfaction every time I look at the 'B's'. It's been a while since I have been able to make something with my own hands other than cleaning supplies.
As you can see, I still have some work to do on the room as a whole, but I think it's coming together nicely.