craft: DIY Lake Tahoe subway art

Monday, May 28, 2018

Subway art was always something I saw in stores, online and magazines, and thought that it would be a fun project to try not buy. (I do that a lot, actually.) With so many blank walls at Snowpeak Retreat, this was my chance to add this fun creative project to my list of DIY challenges.
My inspiration: I found something on Amazon and wanted to swap out some of the places of interest to our favorites (it's no longer available on Amazon because I may have pointed out that one of the locations was misspelled). The size was also a little smaller than I wanted - I was thinking big like 2 feet x 4 feet.

Since it wasn't exactly what I wanted and subway art isn't groundbreaking, I decided to do it myself but couldn’t find a tutorial online for the ideal size. I was really just looking for the math. Without the exact tutorial out there, I’m on my own. Math. On my own.

Here’s how I drafted my custom subway art one night while catching up on Game of Thrones. (Note: not recommended because both require equal amounts of focus.)

  • canvas on Amazon*
  • Measuring tape
  • Long ruler
  • Pencil
  • Small rolling paint brush
  • Black paint (and white for touch ups). I used leftover black PAINT and white crafters paint for the touch ups.
  • Small paint try
  • Silhouette and vinyl. If you don’t have a Silhouette, you may need to purchase different size adhesive letters*
      1. Measure and draw the lines that the words will sit on.
      2. The letters used on this project were designed and cut on vinyl on the Silhouette. FONT. If you don’t have a Silhouette, you can purchase adhesive letters.*
      3. Place the vinyl letters on the measured lines. This will require some patience to center each word. In my image, you’ll see that I used all kinds of vinyl that created a colorful template. I almost just kept it like this.

      4. Once all of the letters are in place, press firmly on the vinyl (or stickers).

      1. When ready, lightly cover the paint roller with black paint and begin to paint the canvas, over the letters. Make sure paint is light on the brush to avoid bleeding.
      2. You may need to add 3-4 coats.
      3. Once the paint dries after the last coat (I waited 24 hours to be safe), remove the vinyl to reveal the right white letters.

      For my project, I wasn’t so lucky to reveal crisp white lines. I did have to go back through a majority of the letters and paint white on the edges where the black paint did bleed over.

      With the project complete and pride piercing through my eyes, my husband pointed out that it’s actually Kings Beach and not King Beach as my Amazon inspiration had.

      Let’s get creative. I painted back over the wrong name and contemplated for a long while about whether or not I should paint the right “Kings Beach” in the space. But ultimately, I took another approach and purchased a wooden “Welcome” sign, painted it white and hot glued it to the canvas.

      That actually looks awesome.

      Now it hangs in one of the Snowpeak Retreat bedrooms and my guests love it!

      P.S. You can see our Snowpeak Retreat announcement here and inspiration here. We just hit the one year anniversary of buying this fun vacation home, and I'll be showing you more updates in the coming weeks!

      *Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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