Fall Subway Art

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve seen them everywhere, and it was finally time to give it a try myself. I wanted a large orange piece of subway art for my family room, with fall words on it.

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

I researched the steps involved -there’s lots of ways to make one of these babies, but I decided to use my Cricut to cut vinyl letters. I was inspired by Shelley’s version at House of Smiths, see it here, and did something similar. First things first. I thought about trying it with pallet wood, but thought the vinyl letters would stick way better to a good old piece of plywood. I went rummaging in my sister-in-law’s basement and struck gold a perfect piece, even the right dimensions, and free for the taking -thanks Keers! I gave it a couple of coats of white paint, just some I found in the basement.

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

The next step was the lettering. Pretty much every time I use my Cricut cutting machine I have some issues -maybe because I don’t use it all that often, maybe because the machines are tricky. I started out using the Cricut software to create my words. This program is always a little frustrating to use too, but through trail and error I got it figured out. I used my 12 x 24 mat, and did two, to create a 24 x 24 piece of art. The materials for this project were already a little pricey, so I worked really carefully since I didn’t have extra vinyl to waste. After researching the blade depth and pressure (depth 6, pressure 3 -if you happen to be trying to make one too) I got everything ready and hit cut!

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

I couldn’t believe it didn’t actually cut…blade in upside down! Seriously. No harm done, attempt number two was successful -mostly. As usual I did have a little trouble. On the text that was smaller, the vinyl came away from the backing in a few spots and didn’t cut properly. I fixed it up with an exacto knife. Next attempt, I made sure to burnish it all really carefully with a credit card…still didn’t work perfectly. Good enough though, and again I fixed it up with an exacto knife.

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

Next step was weeding the letters. Nothing really worked like it did in other people’s youtube video’s for me. As I weeded, some of the letters came off, the vinyl just didn’t seem sticky enough to stay attached to the backing. I rearranged and eventually got everything lined up on the backing where it was supposed to be.

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

The next step was applying the transfer tape. Relatively easy, and I am glad I used it, it did mean all the words were perfectly lined up when I applied them to the plywood. I drew a few straight guidelines with pencil, and used the transfer tape grid to line things up. Next I was supposed to burnish, then peel off the transfer tape. The tape came off with the letters. It was really fiddly getting them off of the tape and onto the plywood board.

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

Finally it was time to paint! I found some miss-tinted paint in the clearance section at the hardware store for $1.50 -score! I tried to make sure the letters were down on the board really securely before painting over them in the orange. I did three coats of paint.

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

When the paint was still tacky, and not quite dry I used a little tool to pull off the vinyl letters. (People who do crafts everyday have bad fingernails -job hazard.)

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

When the letters were all off, it was magic time! It looked amazing, and was worth all the fiddly steps to get there. I heart it.

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

I did get some seepage under some of the letters, but we’ll call it rustic. šŸ˜‰

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

I thought about sanding it a little to make it more rustic, but then went with the old, less is more, leave well enough alone, and decided to leave it.

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

I put it in my family room. I really love it, especially the personal touch of being able to use words that are special to our family, like the near-by fair I’ve been going to since I was a kid.

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

Would I do it again? Not anytime soon, but I have to say I do really like how it turned out, so give me time to forget how many steps were involved and I just might…or just order one at etsy. šŸ˜‰

DIY Fall Subway Art -tutorial on how to make your own subway art, with custom words and phrases, any size, any colour

With fun orange personalized subway art, life is a party!

This post is linked up at Centsational Girl, The 36th Avenue, Somewhat Simple, Craftberry Bush, French Country Cottage, Tatertots and Jello, Tidy Mom, 52 Mantels, The Inspired Room, and the Thrifty Decor Chick.

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Comments

  1. Markham fair sounds like fun times

  2. Clean and beautiful…I don’t usually go for orange but this is really pretty and it looks very classy…thank you so much for sharing…xo Lucy

  3. It looks great! I just did my first attempt at a painted subway art sign too, so I know all too well the millions of steps it really takes. But it’s worth it in the end!

  4. Love it! I am featuring you tomorrow… Thank you for sharing!

  5. Yours turned out beautifully and looks so great on your mantel. I’m getting ready to start my first subway art project soon and I really enjoyed your tutorial, thank you so much for posting it. šŸ™‚

  6. So glad you persevered because the sign looks fantastic! I spotted the word Markham in The 36th Avenue’s features and then looked up to see the blog address. I knew I had commented here before!

    Vinyl lettering can be very frustrating to transfer. I always have better luck with Contact paper because I find vinyl kind of greasy so it slides around a lot. Lately I’ve been using Scotch Blue Delicate Surfaces tape instead of transfer tape and it works pretty well. I haven’t seen it in many Canadian stores yet but I found it at Home Depot.

    Happy Fall!

  7. Love this Fall Subway art, well thought out and the color is perfect!

  8. Love this! I love how you showed the process, love, love. Thank you for sharing. Hopping by from The 36th Ave.

  9. This is awesome. Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Oooh, I love this! Great color, great words, and it looks gorgeous on your mantle! I’d be thrilled if you’d share it at my party {I have a Michaels gift card giveaway there too}! http://www.oneartsymama.com/2012/09/shine-on-fridays-47-and-michaels-gift.html

  11. Your subway art looks fantastic! You did such a great job!!! šŸ™‚
    Thank you for the mention, I’m honored.
    xoxo

  12. Love that sign!

Trackbacks

  1. […] ‘Life is a Party’, this fall subway art tutorial is a perfect project to lean on the mantel or a shelf, the top of kitchen cabinets, hung on a wall, […]

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