Monday, December 12

This weekend: DIY Subway Art

I love canvas subway art...the modern look of it, the fact that it's black and white and works with almost any color scheme.  I am not sure when it became such a must have item but if you google canvas subway art, you will turn up with a lot of links.  So, I am sure you have seen canvas art somewhere recently.

Z Gallerie has this one on sale right now for $199, normally $249 and Etsy has them for sale too, for around the same price, this one is $189.  Restoration Hardware has this one for $850!

A couple weekends ago as I was looking around online for a deal on one better than those 3 above  found a link to make my own DIY subway art.  The steps were fairly easy and since I already had canvas, it would cost me under $12!  Here is what I did:

We had these outdated canvas picture hangings in the basement storage area so there was no reason for my to buy new canvas.  But if you dont have ugly canvas sitting around to re-purpose, you can pick some up at Michael's arts and crafts(or any art store) for under $15 (depending on the size).

Since I wanted a wider sign, I decided to attach the two using a staple gun.  Together they  measure 24 x 36. 

Then using  Adobe PDF I designed my sign.  I decided to make my sign about Atlanta (my new hometown).  You can do anything really though...a quote, places you like to visit, vacation spots, sports, wine, music etc.

  1. Open a new document page and type out your words.  Play around with fonts and spacing until you get a design you like.  I ended up using the font Symphony Black in font sizes 48 & 28.  And I changed my background color to black (important to do otherwise, will charge you for a color copy as oppossed to B&W)
2.   Upload your document to

Make sure you indicate the size you want your sign printed and that it is a poster print and that you want it in black and white. No mounting. No lamination. Just a plain poster print.  It will cost you $4.50.

3.   Once you pick up your poster, apply the Mod Podge (get the matte Mod Podge) to the front of the entire canvas. I picked my Mod Podge up from Michael's for $6.85 and two foam paint brushes for 49 cents a piece.

It should look like this.

5.  Very carefully lay your poster over the canvas and smooth it out as much as you can.  I used a wooden school ruler to help smooth my poster out. 

6.  After drying for about 30 minutes, apply another layer of Mod Podge on top of the poster.

There will be some wrinkling in the paper but once it dries it will get a little better.

That's just my blog photo watermark - its not part of the actual subway art

After drying for another 30 or so minutes your done!  

We hung ours in the basement family room above the pub table.

Overall, I am very happy with it, I think it looks just as good as the versions you can find in your local home decor stores.  Plus, it costs way less to DIY and it took me less than 2 hours to put it all together.   On a scale of 1-10, 1 being easy and 10 being hard, this would be a 3.  The trickiest part was getting the poster exact when laying it on the canvas.  You may want to ask Fedex to print it an inch or so more than your measurements so that you have room to play around with it.  Then just trim the excess once applied.

What do you think?


  1. Love the subway art!! I want to make one but need a few more instructions for printing via FedEx. Can you help?

  2. Hi Missy! sure I can help...what's your question re: printing?

  3. I didn't know fedex had that feature! I HAVE to do this for our guest bedroom!! Thank you so much for inspiring me!


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