Thursday, May 12, 2011

Subway Art - Beach Rules Tutorial

I love the beach and I wanted a theme for the babies room that is neutral and fun. I always see this great subway art but I wanted to make my own. After this process, I give a ton of credit to companies like Barn Owl Primitives. These signs are TOTALLY worth the money.

This has been a love/hate, test my patience project. I'm not sure I'm happy with the end product. I may repaint the board blue and print white vinyl to lay on top of it for a cleaner look. It's a relatively easy process, it just takes time. So don't be scared.

I used my Silhoutte to make the vinyl but there are plenty of sites online where you can purchase vinyl to use.

So...if I didn't scare you away yet, this is how you can make your own subway art.

Board {I got mine at Michaels with a 40% off coupon! The size was 12"x24".}
White Paint {You can use spray paint or acrylic paint}
Paint in the color you want the main part of your board {I bought a quart, which is more than you'll need, and had it colored at Walmart}
Sponge paint brush
Vinyl lettering
Needle & Transfer paper {if you print the vinyl letters yourself}

Paint your board white. {Sorry about the picture. I don't know what happened.} This took several coats of spray paint.

Layout your text using the Silhouette software or purchase your vinyl. Get creative. I made my first page the actual size of the board. Keep in mind that the Silhouette prints 9" wide.

Open new pages and split your text into sections. This makes it easier to use the transfer paper and to lay the text on the board.

Print your text on your vinyl.

Carefully peel off the excess vinyl {the vinyl that is surrounding your letters}.

As you can see the inside of letters was left behind. The easiest way that I've found to grab that excess vinyl is to use a needle.

Place the transfer paper, sticky side down on letters, onto your vinyl letters.

Layout the text to make sure you have enough room.

Place the vinyl onto the board and press down. You may need to go over each letter to make sure it sticks. Gently remove the transfer paper. I suggest doing this one letter at a time. I found that a credit card helped to lay the letters and a pin was great to reposition letters that were being fussy.

Paint over the letters.

After the entire board is painted {including the sides}, let it dry.

Remove the vinyl letters.
As you can see the letters are not as clear as it was with just the vinyl. If you want a clean look paint your board and place the letters on top. If you want a distressed look, like this, follow my process.

I took my NEW handy dandy electric sander and roughed up the edges and main part of the board.

I think it's growing on me. I may keep it as is. There are a few areas where I didn't know what I was doing with that new sander that I may repaint because it left weird marks.

Have fun!

Join a link party! This project was linked up on:
The Girl Creative

Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. Ok this looks amazing!! I can't begin to imagine how much time this took?? You should sell THESE on your Etsy site :) I might be your first customer!

  2. Are you kidding me about changing it? Don't change a thing! It's awesome just the way it is! Thanks for giving the little tutorial; I never thought of using the letters as stencils. I am new to my silhouette and probably would have just used the vinyl letters, but this is so much more authentic looking! I love it! PS. Best wishes on your twin pregnancy; I have 19-month old twin boys!

    All the best,

  3. It's starting to grow on me (the sign, not the kids...but they are too). Thanks for letting me know you like it. It means a lot. Twin boys...that's awesome. I'm very excited and nervous at the same time. I have twin cousins so at least I won't be totally surprised by everything. :)

  4. The sign turned out great! You certainly have TONS of patience...which if I am reading right you will need with twin babies on the way =:-O

    Congrats and thanks for sharing! Stop by and say "hi" sometime :)

  5. Thanks Ticklish Moose. I look forward to visiting your blog.

  6. I love this! I love the distressed look, the colors, the beach theme! I am featuring this over at my blog today for Three Things Thursday. Come check it out and grab a featured button if you like!

  7. I think this is so fun!! I would love for you to link up!

  8. Hi Jaime, I just linked up on your blog. Thanks for sharing your link up party!

  9. What font did you use? My parents have a house on the beach & I would love to make this for them!