Crafts

DIY Subway Art with Accent Colors

Rule #2: Always let the paint dry between coats. Otherwise bad things will happen. 

I’ve seen Subway Art all over Pinterest. While I loved the look, I couldn’t think of any quote I wanted to spend that much effort immortalizing. Then I saw this on etsy, and a light bulb went off. I adored the script font and the quote, but I wanted to personalize it. So I made this!

DIY subway art in color!

How did I do it? Check out the picture filled tutorial below. I used a die cut machine, but you can also do this project with vinyl letters or you can order a custom vinyl decal on etsy. If you choose that method, then begin at step 10.

Materials:

Acrylic Paint(a dark background color, a word color, and at least one  accent color), brushes, canvas

Acrylic Paint(a dark background color, a word color, and at least one accent color), brushes, canvas

Canvas (whatever size you like, I used 11”x14”)

Acrylic Paint  (at least 3 colors) – light colors for the words and a dark color for the background

Foam brush

Mod Podge (optional)

Die cut machine (For easy alternatives see Note below)

Vinyl

The Silhouette Portrait, Vinyl Starter Kit (which includes vinyl, transfer paper, hook, and scraper), cardstock, cutting mat, and laptop

The Silhouette Portrait, Vinyl Starter Kit (which includes vinyl, transfer paper, hook, and scraper), cardstock, cutting mat, and laptop

Transfer paper

Cardstock and cutting mat

Scraper (or credit card)

Hook tool (or open paper clip)

Note: If you don’t own a die cut machine, don’t despair! You can use removeable vinyl letters(available at most craft stores) or order vinyl decals off etsy. Start at step  10 if you choose this quicker option.

Step 1. Open  a new cut file (letter size, it makes in easier to cut a template out f cardstock) and type in the desired quote. I used different fonts for emphasis, but that’s optional. Don’t worry about the exact spacing and placement, we will cut up the vinyl to fit. I suggest using a wide, large font because it is easier to weed.

Step 2: Load cardstock into the machine and cut out your file. Pull off the extra paper, then weed the little extra bits using the hook or paper clip.

Step 3: Remove the letters from the cutting mat and place them on the canvas. Fiddle around with them until you like the placement. Mark the areas where the accent color should go with a pencil.

Step 3

Place the cardstock letters and mark where the accent colors goes. This is optional and you could eyeball it. But, I’m neurotic like that.Then, mark where the accent colors should go with a pencil.

Step 4: Paint the canvas with your word color(I chose white) and accent color(s)(I used pink). Don’t worry about the edges of the canvas, only do the front. I did two coats for a uniform look.

Step 5:  Load the die cut machine and cut out your design on vinyl. (Make sure you change the settings on the machine to vinyl, using the cardstock setting will ruin the vinyl. Not that I know from experience… ahem.)

Step 6: Weed the leftover vinyl out. Then,cut your design out one word at a time.

Step 7: Cut pieces of transfer paper to match your vinyl strips.

Cut the vinyl and the transfer paper.

Cut the vinyl and the transfer paper into strips.

Step 8: Remove the paper backing from the transfer paper and adhere to the vinyl. Use the scraper to press the transfer paper down.

Step 9: Remove the paper backing from the vinyl. Apply sticky side down to the canvas. After finalizing the placement of all the words, use the scraper to attach the vinyl to the canvas. Push down really hard! I placed old magazines under the canvas to avoid stretching the canvas.

Use one hand to pull the paper up slowly, and the other to press down with the scraper.

Use one hand to pull the paper up slowly, and the other to press down with the scraper.

Then, carefully peel the transfer paper off. Use one hand to peel the transfer paper off and use the scraper in the other hand to flatten the vinyl. (see photo)

Step 10: (if you are just joining us, paint your canvas with the word color [in my case, white] and accent color[I chose pink], then attach your vinyl to the canvas) Paint over the vinyl with the accent color or word color. Now the same color should be under the vinyl and on top of it. Allow the paint to dry.

The same color should be under and on top of the vinyl. This prevents the background color from bleeding.

The same color should be under and on top of the vinyl. This prevents the background color from bleeding.

Step 11: Paint the whole canvas (including the sides) the background color. I did two coats for uniform coverage. Allow the paint to fully dry.

Step 12: Very carefully, use the hook tool to remove the vinyl.I found pressing lightly on the underside of the canvas helped the vinyl stick up a little bit. That made it easier to grab it with my hook. After pulling off all the vinyl, you may need to touch up the paint, using a toothpick or small brush.

Remove the vinyl verrrry carefully and slowly.

Remove the vinyl verrrry carefully and slowly.

Step 13: (optional) Paint the completed canvas with Mod Podge Matte. My canvas was sticky after removing the vinyl and I was worried that dust would stick to it (ewwww).

Enjoy your beautiful work of art! This set of three is a gift for my husband for our wedding anniversary. I’d love to know if you made this project! Please let me know if you have an questions. Thanks!

DIY Subway Art with a POP of color

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6 thoughts on “DIY Subway Art with Accent Colors

  1. Pingback: 2 easy, DIY Mother’s Day Cards | The Novice Crafters Rule Book

  2. Pingback: Why I Write | Eat. Play. Craft.

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