Sunday, January 30, 2011

Subway Wall Art Tutorial

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First, I want to thank CSN Stores for graciously offering me another opportunity to review another one of their products. I have been browsing their website and checking out the large selection of modern rugs. I am really in need of a new outdoor rug for my screen porch - I loved the one I had but after several years of use it had really worn out and I threw it out in the Fall. Hmmm, so many choices!
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On to the tutorial...
I made this sign as a Christmas gift for my sister who lives in Chicago.  The inspiration for this project comes from a tutorial posted on Lil Blue Boo.  I followed her tutorial pretty closely.
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Supplies:
- 2' x 4' piece of plywood or MDF
- 1/2" x 1-1/2" moulding strips (total length of 12')
- wood glue
- finishing nails
- wood filler
- sandpaper
- paint
- contact paper
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1.  Use a saw and miter box to cut your wood moulding strips to size.  The goal is to crate a frame with the wood strips to add depth to the sign.
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Remember to "measure twice and cut once!"
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2.  Use wood glue to attach the moulding strips to the back of the board.
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3. For added strength, use finishing nails every 6" or so around the board.  Use a hammer and counter sink to recess the nails.
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4. You will want the front of the board to have a nice, smooth finish, so use paintable wood filler at every location where there is a nail.
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The front of the board now looks like this:
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And the back of the board looks like this:
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{ Please excuse my messy garage! }
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And the side:
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4.  Use sandpaper to sand the front and sides of the board.
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5.  Paint the front and sides of the board.  I used Olympic paint, color: Winter Mood, in an eggshell finish.  I choose not to purchase a separate primer so my board required several coats of paint.
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6.  I used AutoCAD to design the layout of the words I wanted on my sign.  There are lots of computer programs you could use for this - Photoshop or maybe even MS Word.  Once you are happy with the way your layout looks, take it to a Kinko's or copy center and have it printed out to the actual size of your board.
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7.  Draw guidelines.  Tape your paper to the board with a small opening at the edge.  Use a ruler or triangle to draw a dash at the edge of your board for each line of words on your sign.  Take off the sheet of paper and use a level to draw the guidelines all the way across the board.  Having these guidelines will make it much easier to line up your letter after you have cut them.
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8.  Cut your paper into sheets that will fit on the width of your contact paper.  Use spray adhesive to attach the back side of the paper to the front side of the contact paper.  My favorite spray adhesive is Super 77 by 3M.  Make sure to spray on the front of the contact paper, not the side with the peel-off adhesive.
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9.  Now grab a glass of wine or hot chocolate and get ready to cut out all of the letters.  This took me a few nights in front of the TV watching Christmas movies!  It's not hard - just time consuming.  It helps to use a small pair or craft scissors - it's easier to get into the smaller spaces of the letters.
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As you cut out the letters, place on your board.
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10.  After all the letters are cut, peel the contact paper off the back and attach to the board.  Use a scraper to make sure the letters are firmly attached. 
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11.  Paint the front and sides of board.  I used Martha Stewart Paint, color: Crevecoeur in an eggshell finish.  It took me a few coats to get the finish and coverage I wanted.
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12.  Once paint is dry, peel off letters.  I had to touch up areas of my letters where the paint had seeped through.
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I had planned on making this sign for my sister for almost a year, but of course, I didn't finish it until December 23rd - just in time!
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Here are a few shots of the finished project:
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I'm sharing this project @ Tatertots and Jello's Subway Art Party and at Funky Junk Interiors.
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Also linking to:
The DIY Show Off: DIY Project Parade

The DIY Show Off

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I hope you enjoyed your weekend!
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13 comments:

Amy Grace said...

Awesome!!! Love it Ali! :)

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

I absolutely love it. I have seen a few different Subway Wall art projects, but I loved this tutorial! You make me want to try it now!

Lori@KitchenFunk said...

This is terrific. I have always wanted something like this, but they cost big bucks! Then I saw someone do something similar with one of those new Silhouettes, but they are pricey, too! Thanks for showing how to create this with basic materials I have at home! Gorgeous. ~Lori

Sarah @ The Bird's Papaya said...

oh my gosh!! I'm so impressed. I didn't think one of these was possible without a cricut or silhouette machine. well done!

PaisleyJade said...

Amazing! Did she love it?

We've just bought a bus blind for our toilet - not as clever as you making one! http://www.paisleyjade.com/2011/01/bathroom-renovations-take-2.html

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Your sign is amazing and the tutorial is wonderful. Hugs, Marty

Brandi said...

Oh Alissa, Your sign is wonderful! I bet your sister loved it!

Michelle @Shellsshabbyshack said...

Wow, your hard work really paid off! This is the best subway art I've seen! Helps that I grew up around Chicago :)

Love it!
~Michelle

Carla Marie said...

You had me at the wall art tutorial, then I saw the glass of wine... I'm totally a follower now :) HA! I think it does take doses of wine to get through some projects though, it made me laugh! Okay, I am going to cruise through your blog now, glad I found you!

barbara@hodge:podge said...

Love this! One day I will try it, when I have the patience to cut out all the letters{I might have to have a whole bottle of wine!! You are such a sweet sister!

melismama said...

WOW That looks great! Nice job.

homepodge said...

Thanks for sharing the fantastic tutorial! It sounds like a TON of work, but the results are stunning. I love it!

nikki d said...

looks great but could this work with canvas too?

 

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