Wednesday, March 30, 2011

DIY: Handmade Subway Sign

I have an awesome home decor project to share with you all. You know those trendy subway signs that are for sale for RIDICULOUS amounts of money at places like Restoration Hardware? Well, I made my own for super cheap!

DIY: Handmade Subway Sign

This one is for sale at Restoration Hardware for a meer $650. Yes, I said $650. Who has that kind of money to spend on wall decor? Certainly not this stay-at-home mama.

DIY: Handmade Subway Sign

So, a few months back when my friend Courtney at A Thoughtful Place posted a tutorial to create your own sign for less than $40, I was sold.


So pretty Courtney!

I immediately emailed Courtney gushing about how I loved her sign, asking for any tips, and declaring my intention to create my own.

Yeah, that was about 2 months ago. I wish I could say that it took me so long to create one because I lacked the motivation or time to go get the materials. Or, that I just have great intentions but not a lot of follow through. Nope. It took me 2 months to make this project because I kept messing it up (hence the frustrated failure posts). The first time I attempted it, I forgot to trim the 1/8 inch white space off of the sides and while trying to carefully pull the poster off, I ripped it. The second time I attempted it, I accidently got a 22" by 44" poster. The third time I attempted it, Office Max messed up and gave me the wrong size poster. The fourth time I attempted it...it didn't turn out well. There were tons of wrinkles and bubbles and I put the Mod Podge on too thick. The fifth (yes, FIFTH) time I attempted it, I thought it was a fail again...until I had an idea.

See, Mod Podge and I don't get along very well. Have you ever used it?


Don't. No, I'm just kidding. You will probably have great luck with Mod Podge and create amazing projects. Unfortunately, I have a bad reputation with the stuff. So, back to my fifth and final attempt. After sealing the poster on my canvas, I still have really noticable wrinkles and lines. Instead of chucking the whole thing again I decided to take some sandpaper to the wrinkles and make them look like cracks in the sign. Then I sanded the edges of the canvas and made the sign look weathered. VOILA! I had a winner. So, enough with the babbling, here is my final product:

DIY: Handmade Subway Sign

Before
DIY: Handmade Subway Sign
After
Here is a shot of the wrinkles I was talking about:

DIY: Handmade Subway Sign

And a closeup of the sanding I did to hide the wrinkles:

DIY: Handmade Subway Sign

You can see how the sign looks like it has white cracks running through it thanks to some sandpaper. So there you have it. My (frustrating) yet successful and cheap subway sign. I wish I had a tutorial for you filled with step-by-step instructions and pictures, but I was so frustrated during the process that I threw that out the window. Thankfully, Courtney did a fabulous job of detailing the process.

~Jen

10 comments:

  1. It's amazing!!! I love it even more than mine because the cracks and line make it look more authentic. WELL DONE MY FRIEND! Will post on my blog soon as well! :) Way to be persistent.

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  2. Great job- give yourself a pat on the back! I think the imperfections make it look vintage and unique! It looks amazing!

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  3. consider me impressed. Girl, I was proud of myself for applying a decal. Thats right, a vinyl decal. All of a sudden you feel better, right? lol. It looks amazing! You did a fab job. Here is my laughable DIY for the week. Don't laugh =) xoxo, Shelli
    http://www.alamodemaven.com/2011/03/rolling-toy-tubsdiy.html

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  4. came from throughtful designs - thank you for being honest about the process! I found one on etsy for $150 and considered (for a long time) doing it myself, but I knew it wouldn't come out like I wanted!

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  5. Saw your link on Courtney's blog. If anyone has a tutorial or step by step instructions or advice, email me! It looks amazing. I would love to give this a try once I finish other projects.

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  6. I'm am wanting to make one and am trying to figure out how to enlarge the poster to 24" X 48". Where did you print and how did you enlarge? Most places only print up to 24X30.

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  7. Hi there. I would suggest creating your image in Word in an increment of 24" by 48". For example, make your page size 6" by 12" and have your text go all the way to the edges. Then take it to Office Depot (or similar) and tell them to blow it up to 24" to 48". Hope this helps! :)

    Jen

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  8. I had the same experience just today with Mod Podge and the subway sign I created (my first and last attempt at using that annoying stuff, I might add...). I was considering sanding it and coffee staining it for an aged effect in an attempt to deal with the wrinkles and bubbles. Thank you for posting your final piece! It gives me hope that mine can actually be salvaged!

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  9. It looks great! The added wrinkles/sanding give it so much character :)

    Have you seen the ones at Z Gallerie? They're $300+ and they all have the wrinkled texture!

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