I feel like a lot of people get caught up with the most obvious case–a correspondence with a like-sounding noun–and they neglect other useful associations. I use the Ben system, but the same principles can be adapted for your case. Here are a few techniques that I used (in addition to the one I just mentioned):
Linking phonemes with adjectives which in turn are linked with characters or objects
ex: pech → petulant, adj → a child
Omitting letters while combining words
ex: lors → little seahorse
ex: skoof → school food
Omitting letters within a single word
ex: rog → frog
ex: rown → crown
Associating phonemes with like-sounding nouns
ex: skord → accordion
Associating phonemes with words or phrases which in turn are linked with nouns
ex: tAf → take flight → Rocky (the squirrel)
Contriving names based on phonetic associations relating to size or nature of an object (This is basically the lowest level of mnemonic usefulness, but I found it necessary to complete the list while still maintaining good image quality.)
ex: hEk → a fictional insect featuring a large pointed end (The sharpness of the consonant k suggests a point to me.)
ex: rir → a colo claw from Star Wars (The symmetry of the consonants suggests a creature with bilateral symmetry and hooks.)
Those are just a few techniques that I used. There are quite a few more.
edit I should add that it’s important to always consider how memorable the image is and how well it lends itself to interactions with other images. Discrete images are also preferred, as they work better with the method of loci.
last edit Damn. I just saw the date on the OP. I’m quite late. Well hopefully somebody else will find this useful.