Thanks to modern technology, we're now able to monogram just about anything, cheaply and easily.
Teens can initial their water bottles, kids can get their names on lunchboxes, dads have their own golf balls, and moms ... well, let's take a look at some fun, personalized gift ideas for her.
Pottery Barn offers lofty and light faux-mohair throws in a palette of soft hues, embroidered with an initial -- perfect for summer's air-conditioned rooms. If Mom's lucky enough to have a quiet space of her own, consider giving her a lettered linen pillow or a pretty art piece with a monogrammed initial on linen, framed in alder wood. Simple, paperwhite-scented soaps etched with Mom's initial would make a nice-smelling gift for her bathroom.
Or consider an initialed acacia-wood bath caddy, with spots for a beverage, phone, and an e-reader or book. A luxurious linen throw can be embroidered with either hot-pink or lime-green thread. Or get really creative: Come up with everybody's favorite things about the family matriarch, then order a personalized love letter on canvas for her that's titled "Dear Mom" from RedEnvelope.
Jonathan Adler loves a monogram. His chic, initialed Lucite trays in Acapulco and Bargello prints kick up the modern vibe. Adler's also carrying New York artist Trey Speegle's customized vintage pop alphabet collages, which incorporate whimsical elements like vintage paint-by-number art.
Lily Pulitzer-print acrylic trays with Mom's initials in the center would make pretty yet practical gifts for entertaining or to hold fragrances or trinkets. For her home office, consider a magnetic note board covered in an elegant black-and-white damask print.
Girly Twirly's got a wide range of fun gifts that can be monogrammed. Chinoiserie and preppy-print cutting boards, umbrellas and unscented candles are part of the product mix. Also here: laser-cut monograms in unfinished wood that you can paint or decorate yourself and hang with ribbon on doors, windows or anywhere Mom wants to make her mark.
For the gardening mom, check out Williams-Sonoma's monogram-able gardening tools, including Sophie Conran's potting scoop, and a chic copper trowel.
San Francisco designer Jennifer Morla offers her signed typographic giclee prints exclusively through personalized gift retailer Mark & Graham. She composes her pieces using a variety of fonts and midcentury elements.
Also at Mark & Graham are linen shower curtains, chambray pillow shams, and a selection of totes for Mom to take to work, tennis or weekends at the cottage.
Company spokesman Michelle Bowler says the newest monograms have a fresh, refined look. "Our library's top sellers are balanced between modern and classic designs. Sans-serif fonts like Neutra, and single letter initials are popular," she says.
People are also adding their own elements like dashes, dots, lines, circles and parentheses.
If you're craft-savvy, there are online tutorials on creating your own monogram using Photoshop or Word programs, and then affixing them to all sorts of things.