Dollar Store Subway Art (without a Cricut)

Subway Art has been popping up EVERYWHERE!! I tried finding the actual definition of the name. Some people collect the actual signs from subways. Usually these are directions, names of towns. They are super pricey but very beautiful in a living room. If you google 'subway art' you will find hundreds of pictures of beautiful pictures made by hand, and on the computer, that people have designed. Usually it is made on a canvas and the board has a central theme. A lot of the times the same font is used. I've been wanting to make one myself but I don't have a cricut yet, and the majority are made with one.
While wandering down the aisles of Dollar Tree I came upon the perfect canvas for my subway art. As soon as I saw it I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
Before I begin the tutorial, let me apologize and explain. This particular sign is for my husband. He is from Louisiana and misses it A LOT. After joining the Marines, he was moved around and finally landed in Oklahoma...where he met me. He has chosen to stay here but he is proud of where he came from and is Louisiana through and through. I apologize for the word 'Coonass' but it is a slang term which some cajun folk dislike greatly and others wear with a sign of pride. Hubby is the latter.

Here is the sign I found. They are the perfect size and are ready for hanging!

the ink is kind of blurry and raised, so I took a fine sandpaper and sanded it down so the paint wouldn't flake or show underneath. I put a huge piece of wax paper down before I began...I'm messy!

Now it's time to paint! For this particular board I would not recommend the AppleBarrel brand (from Walmart). I use it on a lot of products but this board just soaked it up and the black kept coming out. So I pulled out the big guns.

The AMSTERDAM brand works great, it's thick and goes on really well. It's a little more expensive but worth it. This tube came from Hobby Lobby. Paint on at least two coats and allow to dry overnight. (this is the hard part!)

After the sign has dried, turn it over and trace it onto a piece of wax paper.

Add the wording that you want with stickers. The stickers can be found at the dollar store, Walmart, Target, just about anywhere. Usually in the scrapbooking section. At Lowe's they have some by the mailboxes. Stick the stickers onto the wax paper so that you can change the layout if you need to and don't have to worry about pulling up paint. The stickers easily come off of the wax paper so you can move it all around until you like it. When you are satisfied, move the stickers to the painted board. I used a ruler to make sure the words were straight. Once you are happy with it all, use your finger to push down each and every letter making sure they are all on tight.

Next, take it outside and spray paint! I used three coats and made sure each coat was dry in between. If your letters are not pressed down well, the paint will bleed inside. (if this happens, just go over it with a tiny paintbrush).

The Krylon textured shimmer is my favorite! It kind of looks glittery. It says it's for plastic but I've used it for everything and it works swell.
After drying, remove each letter carefully. I used an X-acto knife. I then sanded the entire picture down using fine sandpaper to give it a vintage look. I rubbed harder in some places and around the edges.

When it's all sanded and complete, spray a couple of layers of clear coat on. I had so much fun with this and am now One gift down for Christmas! I hope I explained everything clearly, always let me know if you need help!


1 comment:

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