Saturday, February 2, 2013

Redecorating 2013 - Subway Art

Because I am between jobs right now, I'm using this time to do some projects around my house.  Things I never seem to make time for when I'm working.  So this series will include a variety of DIY projects that I completed for my Master Bedroom, Dining Room, Living Room & Kitchen.  The house is really starting to come together!

Up first is two different DIY Subway Art projects I did, one for the Master Bedroom, one for the Living Room.  The first one, for the Master Bedroom, was surprisingly easy and designed at 3 am one night when I inadvertently drank coffee too late in the day!  The idea came from Withywindle.

Traditional Subway Art is usually a list of places, often ones that have some meaning for you.  I decided to take the concept and use a Bible verse that has a lot of meaning for me.  I did the formatting in Microsoft Word, which limits the design capability, but because I'm familiar with the program and already have it, it was the best option for me.  I made a custom size page that was 12 x 18, so that it would easily expand to a 24 x 36 when I sent it to Staples.

Staples charges about $25-30 for poster prints, but black and white "engineering prints" are about $4 for a 24x36 sheet!  It's a simple process to upload a pdf to the staples copy & print site and send it to them for printing.  After I picked it up, I spray glued it to a piece of foam core.  Simple. Easy. Cheap!

Cost of Project.
Print from Staples             $4
Foam Core                      $8 (7 for the board, 1 for them to cut it)
Total                                $12

Project #2 was for my living room and was a little more involved.  The idea came from A Beautiful Mess.

The suggestion was to use an old painting from a thrift store as the background.  So I set off to a couple of thrift stores, but couldn't find a painting.  I found a few on craigslist, but they were upwards of $50...a lot to pay for something you're going to paint over.  So my twist on the idea was to use a jigsaw puzzle!  Puzzles are one of our favorite family activities, especially in the winter, so I had a lot to choose from.

I forgot to take pictures of the first steps, but I think you can figure out how to put the puzzle together, and then glue it together (I used mod podge).  I glued it directly to the back piece of cardboard from the frame I planned to use.

Then I cut out letters from vinyl using my Cricut and laid them out on top of the puzzle.  Go ahead and draw some lines to make sure the words go across straight...they won't be visible when you're done.

When you have it laid out, make sure the vinyl letters are sealed on the edges to prevent bleeding - it won't be 100% effective, but you want to prevent as much as possible.  Then paint over the the entire surface.  I used spray paint, but acrylic would probably work better.  The letters curled and the spray paint bled.

Once the paint is dry, peel off the vinyl letters.  You may need to use an exacto knife or razor blade to keep the paint from coming off where you don't want it to, or to get the letters up off the picture.

Frame and hang!  (I decided that the paint color I spray painted was too dark, there wasn't enough contrast between the puzzle and the paint, making it hard to read.  So I actually went over it again with some latex paint and a was a pain, but the result was pretty good.  The moral of the story is to choose your paint color carefully....)

Cost of Project
Puzzle                      FREE (already had it)
Frame                      $23 (Clearance at Michael's!)
Vinyl for letters        FREE (already had it - it'll run you about $10 at Hobby Lobby)
Spray Paint              $4
Total Cost               $27

Comment and let me know what you think or if you try one of these for yourself!

Grace and love,

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