I chose one that is 15" x 30". They had a larger one, but I knew that I was going to use my Silhouette Digital Cutter to create the words, and I wanted to stick with the existing size templates I had (which only go up to 12") so I thought that the 15" width would be perfect - allowing me 1 1/2" margins on both sides.
To create Subway Art the way I did, you will need:
- Pre-stretched Painter's Canvas (available at most craft stores) or Wood cut to size
- Black Paint
- Fine-grit Sand Paper
- Adhesive Vinyl
- A Craft Cutting Machine (Silhouette or Cricut etc.) - Or there are many vinyl shops out there that can cut custom words for you
1. I made a list of a bunch of places that have personal significance to us as a family.
2. I typed each place into my Silhouette software using the Arial Narrow font in Bold. Then I resized each word so that they were all 12" long. NOTE: by making the words all 12" long, some will be larger than others. This is normal and actually helps your sign look more authentic. ANOTHER NOTE: Because you can't be sure exactly how tall the words will end up being once they are all the same length, it is wise to cut out more places than you think you will need...I learned this the hard way.
3. Here I taped the words to the canvas (still wrapped in plastic) so that I could get a rough idea of the order I wanted them in. This is where I figured out that I needed more places...so I ended up cutting out 3 more.
4. Then I painted the canvas black and gave it a light sanding to give it a little character.
5. After I decided what order I wanted the places to go, I started by measuring down from the top of the canvas approximately 2 1/2", and in from the sides 1 1/2" and put light guide marks with my pencil. Then I adhered the vinyl lettering the way I normally do.
6. For the next place name, I measured down from the bottom of the previous name 1/2" and in from the sides 1 1/2" just as I did for the first and put guide marks. Then I adhered the vinyl lettering.
7. I followed this same procedure 12 more times until I had all the places adhered to the canvas. I found that the vinyl stuck very well to the painted canvas - I had been a little worried about that initially, but I was pleasantly surprised. (Because someone is bound to notice, if you look at the photo above where I had taped the words to get an idea of placement, you'll see that I misspelled Niagara...oops! Didn't even notice until I had put it on the canvas. But you'll be happy to know, that it only took a bit of elbow grease - and by that I mean fingernails - to pull the incorrect version off and replace it with the right one.)
8. Then I hung the canvas on the wall and admired it...just like I do everyday when I come into my dining room!!
The whole process was actually quite easy...just a bit time consuming. But I love the result, and I'd do it again...in fact, maybe I will!