Monday, November 14, 2011

Canvas Subway Art

So a little while back when I was first introduced to the phenomenon known as, I came across a DIY Home Decor pin that I just HAD to try. It was from the blog called Brassy Apple here and it looked incredibly easy. In the long run, it was. But I also hit a few speedbumps along the way.

So, here is my version of it!

  • Pre-stretched canvas on wood frame. I bought mine at Michael's in a pack of 3 for around $12. They are 16x20, but you can use whatever size suits your needs
  • Fabric. Mine is from Wal-Mart and it came in a pack of 5 co-ordinating pieces for around $6.00
  • Spray Paint. I used Krylon, available at most hardware stores, mine is from Canadian Tire.
  • Vinyl "mack tack"/contact paper from the Dollar Store
  • Cricut Machine or a very sharp exacto knife and a steady hand
  • Staple gun and staples
  • "OK to Wash" fabric glue (at Wal-Mart)
  • Ribbon for trimming and hanging

 How To:
1. Wrap your canvas with your fabric of choice and attach it to the back of the canvas with a staple gun.

Laying out the canvas, face down on the back-side of the fabric
~~ I found it helpful to cut a 45 degree slice in the fabric at the corners to help with folding it neatly.~~
Cutting on an angle
2. Cut your words out on the vinyl using your cricut. I also used a third party software called "Make The Cut!" to use fonts that were on my computer. I don't know if it's still available because Cricut (for obvious reasons) doesn't like it when customers don't have to buy their cartridges.
(if cutting the letters out by hand, this is where you would print the letters out on your home printer, then lay the page over your vinyl and trace the letters with a ball point pen to get the imprint of your words. Then carefully cut out with scissors or an exacto knife)

Make the Cut!
 3. Peel the vinyl letters (WITH backing off the cutting mat) and start laying out your pattern. You'll want to use words of different sizes to fill in gaps and just for visual interest.

4. Once your pattern is how you like it, start peeling the backing off the vinyl letters and start sticking them to the fabric.

5. After all the words are stuck down, take a good look at it and make sure the letters are completely flat, otherwise spray paint may get underneath them. Also, congratulate yourself! You're done the hard part!

6. Spray one light coat of spray paint over the entire fabric. Make sure to cover the sides as well. Try not to rush things by spraying one heavy coat. This could make your fabric too wet and it may wrinkle.

After one coat of paint

7. Wait about 12 hrs (I waited overnight) and give it one more coat of paint. Let it dry for at least an hour.
8. Peel off the vinyl letters and start to witness the beauty of your hard work!

9. I learned the hard way with regards to fabric and paint colours being too similar. I ended up with some letters that weren't visible. So, I ended up filling some of them in with a white paint pen and some pink fabric marker. I don't reccommend this, as it doesn't give you the clean, crisp look that the vinyl does. SO, choose your colours carefully.

10. OPTIONAL: Trim the edge with ribbon. I used "OK to Wash" by Aileen (available at WalMart). Use a very thin coat of this glue along the edge of the canvas and follow the label for setting times. You'll have to wait 3-5 minutes before attaching the ribbon to the canvas.
11. OPTIONAL: Attach a wider ribbon to the back of the frame with the staple gun for hanging.

  • Try to get a fabric that doesn't have too much pattern in it.
  • Don't use a paint that is the same colour as the design in your fabric.
  • You may need a hammer to get the staples to go in all the way.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Looks great Nicole. Thanks for sharing your hard work. Man, I'm sure the recipient will love it- so personalized!-Really wish I had more time to devote to the scrapbooking right now but I'm finding it hard to keep all my balls in the air these days. Don't give up on me though, in 4 years- I'll able to devote more time to the crafting!Ha!