Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DIY Subway art for around $10

 Who's excited?  Cause I  know I am, and I don't want to be the only one at this party.  I found a fabulous tutorial a while back, and bookmarked it because I knew in the very core of who I was, that it was a craft project that might very well change my life forever.  (Does this ever happen to you?)  Customized subway art for under $10.00.  EEEKKK!  I've been a fan of subway art for a really long time which makes sense since I'm also a big fan of words, and inspiring quotes, etc.  I just love to have things that inspire me, all around the house.  Our family adopted a family verse/motto last year, and I knew there would be a time when I'd either paint it onto a canvas, or something... and then I realized... it would be perfect as subway art. 
Any questions you have, are most likely already answered on either her post, the posts she links within that post, or within the comments of her post.  I had about eight questions before I began, but they're all answered in her tutorial.  I followed her directions, and got my $2.99 blueprint copy ordered online, from Staples.  To create the jpeg file, I took her recommendation and edited a high resolution photo that I didn't want, in Picnik, blacked it out with a great big black rectangle so none of the actual photo showed, and then added text in white over the top of the black.  Beware, you only have til mid-April to do this if you're going to use Picnik.  (I know there are other ways to do this, but I didn't have time to mess with that, so I just used Picnik.  It's what I know.  And yes, you just heard me choke back a sob.  I'm going to miss you Picnik!) I'm mainly going to show you how to make the wood box for the print, since she shows you how do pretty much everything else in her tutorial. 
 I went to the hardware store (have I ever mentioned just how much I love the hardware store?  Mmm, the smell of lumber, early in the morning) and I asked the nice gentleman working in the lumber department to cut the end of my my thin board off so it would be the correct size. (24x36") I also grabbed a couple of these pine slats so I could make my "box."  Two of them were 24" and two of them were 36".  I had to trim two of them just slightly so they would fit inside the other two, forming my frame.  I used very thin nail brads to attach everything because I was afraid of splitting the wood. 
 I recommend nailing your frame together before nailing it to the slab of plywood. 
 Start with the corners, and then once those are secure, add a bunch of extra nail brads all around the edges so it becomes a sturdy wooden box.

 I forgot to mention that you might want to make sure and measure your subway art print before you have everything cut.  Oh and... um... measure twice, cut once.  You already knew that though, right?
 Paint the edges black so that it will blend in with the paper sign that you've by now, so painstakingly created and ordered.   

Cheri recommends Elmer's spray adhesive in her tutorial, and I'm one of those girls that goes with something if someone says it's good.  I'm very trusting when it comes to crafts.  This stuff is great, but make sure and use it outside.  I'm sure you knew that too.  I'm just sayin'.

I have no photographic documentation of the following process, because it gets sticky and messy from here on out, and I was just one little woman, with two hands, and two wild and crazy children trying to devour the contents of my refrigerator at this point.  (But don't worry, Cheri documented it very well on her tutorial.)  Basically here's what you want to do.  Spray the thing down with adhesive, especially the corners.  Then roll up your print, and slowly begin to attach the bottom edge of the wood "box" with the bottom edge of the print, carefully unrolling and pressing it onto the wood as you go. Savvy? Once dry, run a piece of fine sandpaper around all the edges.  It distresses beautifully.  Wipe off, hang up, and you're done! 

Are you as happy as I am about this?  Because people, I'm happy.  (Now, I just need to sell my house so I can hang it up.)

Materials used from Lowe's:
(1) 5.2mm 2x4' birch plywood slab cut down to 36" long
(2) 3/8 2x24" pine craft slats (cut ends off just a little (measure first) so they fit inside the 36" pine slats for your frame.)

(2) 3/8 2x36" pine craft slats
Materials used from Sherwin Williams: (I already had this on hand)
(1) color to go in Tricorn Black paint
Materials used from JoAnn or Michaels: (I also had this on hand)
(1) can of Elmer's spray adhesive
Materials used from Staples:
(1) Engineering Blueprint copy of my jpeg file


  1. Oh my word!!! So fantastic!!!!! Love love love it!!!! And your mugs from the previous post....outstanding!!!!!!!!!

  2. so cool girl...you are gonna run out of wall space soon!

  3. It's awesome! What can't you do! Looks just like the ones in the stores.

  4. i mean, this looks amazing. how are you so good. i know you said it's easy, but still.

  5. Very cool!!! That verse was one that my girls learned a couple of summers ago when they were at camp. Except, theirs was Luke 4:18-19 (a direct quote from Isaiah...) I do love that subway art too! Thanks for sharing your process and the link!

  6. So talented you are! This would be great for valentines day maybe lyrics to "your" song.

  7. Wow, that looks great, love the verse! You are very talented and gifted. Loved the tea party photos from the other day too, blogger wasn't cooperating. Praying you get to hang it up in your new house soon! Blessings.

  8. I wish I lived close to you so we could do crafts together, or you could adopt me as your mother... somethng...looks so fun at your house. I'm so sad about picnik closing, I have done so many neat things with it... boo hoo... Carol

  9. What a beautiful result! I am attempting some subway art as well...as always, thank you for the inspiration!

  10. Yours turned out great! You did a perfect job. Thanks for sharing the link as well. I really appreciate it!


  11. I love this, I have been looking for some new art for my wall and I said I wanted a scripture in every room of my house so you have definitely given me something to think about. Thanks for sharing, its beautiful and God Bless:)!

  12. Can I just say that I love your blog and I love this subway art. I too love having inspirational and family verses/sayings hanging in my home. I like to have my home speak what we are about. For awhile now I have wanted to hang favorite Bible verses throughout the house and this is a perfect way to do that! I am so glad I ran across your blog. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  14. OH wow! I love it! :) Trying to create my own on a budget this week! :) I'm inspired - thanks!

  15. Love this. Thanks for the inspiration... will be making my own this weekend!

  16. Love this. Thanks for the inspiration... will be making my own this weekend!