Saturday, December 1, 2012

DIY Subway Art Tutorial

So you've heard of this not so little site called Pinterest, yes? Anyone else concur what a time suck it can be? You tell yourself I will just go peek for a minute and an hour later you've pinned 50 things and liked 50 more. ACK! 

I do really like that site though. I like the premise that I can pin a recipe or a pattern and when I come across a need for it, I know right where to go. Organized bookmarks if you will, only with very pretty pictures! 

After spending so much time on there I thought that if I was going to eat up so much time I should at least have something to show for it. If I am going to pin stuff, I should put some of them to use, right? Otherwise, what good are they? 

One of my favourite things to date that I've pinned is subway art. There are a ton of tutorials out there so I won't do a detailed one, just a run down of the steps I took to do mine. 


This was going to be a softball theme for my daughter and I didn't want the background to be plain. I wanted to jazz it up a bit. 

Step 1:  Paint your canvas with Gesso. (You can find this in the artist paint section. Its like white paint to prime the canvas.) Let dry completely. 

Step 2:  Grab some bubble wrap and cut it into manageable squares. 

Step 3:  Choose your paints. I just used acrylic. Squeeze a dab of each onto a plastic plate and grab some foam brushes. I used one for each color but you could wash one in between each color. 


Step 4:  Using one color at a time, paint your color onto your bubble wrap, leaving a paint free spot to hold. This way your fingers will stay fairly clean. Take care not to paint it too thick. Then press it to your canvas. Keep pressing it in different spots until you need to reload with paint. Repeat until you get the desired look. 


Step 5:  Let dry completely. This really doesn't take too long. Maybe an hour. 

Step 6:  While your canvas is drying, get out your Silhouette and cut your design from vinyl. My canvas is 20" x 24" and the Silhouette can only cut 12" wide so I cut my design sideways by setting my work area to 20" x 12". Doing so allowed me to cut my entire design from only two pieces of vinyl. (Refer to later photo showing brown and green vinyl.) I used THIS video as my original guide. 

Step 7:  After the vinyl is cut, remove all the excess vinyl from around the letters. Take care in doing this step. Go slow so you don't have to re-cut. This will leave you with your letters on the backing only. 

Step 8:  Using a piece of transfer paper (I just used clear contact paper) that is a bit bigger than your design, peel off the backing and lay it sticky side down over your letters. Using an old credit card, gift card, or anything with a stiff edge, run it over all your letters. Press firmly. Now flip it over and glide it over the back too.  Carefully lift the transfer paper minding that each of your letters are securely stuck to it as you pull it away. 



Step 9:  Place the transfer sheet onto your canvas lining everything up. Once you have it placed right where you want it, using that gift card again, start rubbing the letters. Here you have to be a bit more careful because if you push too hard you will rip your canvas. You may want to turn your canvas over on a hard surface and burnish it from the back. Then peel back the transfer paper. You may have to keep using your gift card to get those letters to stick down. Be patient and go slow. It's worth it!



Step 10: Once the transfer paper is removed, take that gift card one more time and give it a careful once over just to be sure all the edges are down onto the canvas. We don't want any leaks. 

Step 11: Grab that Mod Podge and paint a layer over the letters and on the canvas. Don't worry, you will still be able to remove the letters. We want to put this clear layer down so that when we spray paint it, the paint will not leak under the letters so we are creating a seal around each letter. This results in a very crisp letter, which is important, unless you want a different look. If you want a messy look, skip the mod podge.

Funny. I've always called it "Modge" Podge. Until I looked at the photo to realize its Mod, not Modge...lol! 



Step 12:  Let dry completely. 

Step 13:  Grab that spray paint. I only use Rust-oleum's Painters Touch. Best coverage in my opinion. 


Step 14:  Place your canvas over something you don't mind getting paint on. I used a broke down cardboard box.  Spray one coat but don't worry about covering the whole thing. Just do a light coat over the sides and tops. 



Step 15:  Let that dry according to the directions on the can and then spray it with one more coat. Let that dry once again. Make sure its good and dry. You don't want to peel stickers while the paint is wet. 

Step 16:  Now comes the fun part. The reveal! Grab a sharp tool like an exacto knife. VERY CAREFULLY stick the tip of the exacto knife into the vinyl letter. Do not puncture your canvas! Once you get the tip of the knife in the sticker you can pull it up and off the canvas. Repeat until you have removed all of your letters. You are left with a piece of Subway Art! 



I even used Pinterest inspiration to hang it on the wall....with toothpaste! :)

Note: All fonts were found at DaFont.com. Part of the fun was looking for all the fonts! :)

I did my trial run based on the video I linked above and this was the result...


Now go get your craft on! 

Much Love!!!

7 comments :

  1. Oh yes! Pinterest is indeed a time sucker :) But oh so inspirering :)

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  2. Such a cute wall hanging. I have gotten some great quilt ideas off of Pinterest.

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  3. Very cute, Karrie! I may have to "steal" my daughter's Silhouette for this one!!

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  4. Nice idea and tutorial. I am addicted to Pinterest and find myself there when I should be oh, say, working? Nice to see you back!

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  5. Awesome!!! Pinterest is very interesting people like us to share and use few important links.

    Kids Games

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  6. Great tutorial...thank you!

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  7. Great tutorial! I never would have thought to do a reverse negative! And there is no vinyl to worry about it peeling off

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Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really love hearing from you!! :)

Happy Quilting!

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