Friday, February 18, 2011

Bedtime Routine Subway Art - Really easy with no hand letter painting or vinyl cutting required

Oh I am so excited to share this with you. I spent most of today trying to figure this out and could not be happier. Well, except for the fact today was suppose to be my house cleaning day and that wasn't even touched. The sacrifices I am willing to make to craft :)

I have loved the subway art that so many bloggers are creating but I do not have a vinyl cutter and I cannot paint. So, I thought there was no way I could create one of these pieces of art for myself. That was until I was introduced to Mod Podge transfers. Visit The Cre8tive Outlet for an amazing PB knockoff using this technique!

I had always wanted to create something with my kid's bedtime routine on it for their bathroom and I thought this would work perfectly.

Materials needed:
Paint (for the canvas)
Printer paper to print the text or image (be sure to mirror the image)

I created the Subway Art I wanted in Microsoft Publisher (you can do it in Word too) and then saved the image as a JPEG. Take the saved JPEG and flip it by 90 degrees/mirror it so the words will print backwards. Print the  text on your home printer (I have a laser jet) on regular printer paper. I have heard (through google searches) that photocopying works great but I don't have a photocopier :)

This is how my printed image looked.

I painted the entire canvas with two or three coats of white craft paint. If you want the background to be another color, paint it with that color. Just be sure not to use a dark color otherwise the black image or text will not show clearly.

After the paint on the canvas is completely dry (be patient because it will peel off if you aren't...I attempted this 3 times before it actually worked) cover the entire surface with a good layer of Mod Podge. Carefully place the printer paper (text side down) onto the Mod Podged canvas. Be sure you place it exactly where you want it because it will NOT come off after it is placed down.

So this is how it looked. See how you see that the text is now the correct way.
 Wait a few minutes and then start carefully wiping off the back of the paper with a damp cloth. I used a dish cloth that was wet but not sopping to gently rub off the back of the paper. The paper will almost dissolve and the text will be stuck in the Mod Podge. Don't rub too hard because you can scrub off the text too.
I removed the first layer and then let it dry a bit and then repeated the process again. If the letters seem to peel off, don't worry too much.As I said this was my third attempt so I kept going and this is what I ended up with. You can see many of the letters are off.
Let it dry and then take a black Sharpie to fill in the letters. If you want the text to be rustic, don't fill in cracks or missing pieces. If you are like me and want a solid letter, draw in the missing pieces with your Sharpie.
You can do a few thing now. You can do a glaze with a stain or white wash. I loved the look of this so I put a layer of Mod Podge on it and left it alone.
I love how it looks on the shelf in my kids bathroom and I could not be happier!

Total cost for this was $2 for the canvas. I had the paint, printer paper and Mod Podge on hand.


  1. Super cute! What a great way to keep them on task!

  2. So was this transfer paper? Special paper? And you can print RIGHT on to it? Do share! I'm unclear on that.

  3. Sorry for the confusion. I printed the mirrored image on my laser printer on plain printer paper (the cheap stuff :) ). Nothing fancy.


  4. Ok, I am confused..So how did the lettering get off the regular paper onto the cavas? And the back of the paper with a wet rag, just wipes away clean? I'm sorry.. I know too many questions :)

  5. Super cute and awesome! But, I am with Pink Daisys... Do you peel the copy paper up or simply start wiping ontop of the copy paper? And, the copy paper kinda magically disappears? Love it!

  6. so great! thanks for sharing

  7. This is too cute! I would love for you to link up to my Ten Buck Tuesday link party!

  8. Thanks for linking up to New Nostalgia's Anti-Procrastination Tuesday!
    Hope to see you again!!

  9. I love this idea!! Maybe it would actually make our bedtime routine go smoother! :)

  10. Mine didn't work either.....very difficult to get the paper off without destroying the letters.

  11. How long do you leave the mod podge on before putting the paper on? should you do it right away or wait a bit? Should it be wet or dry?

    1. Hi Marlyssa,

      Put the paper on immediately. If it dries too much the paper will not stick properly. Mod podge dries pretty quickly so you will find as soon as you finish covering the canvas you can put the paper on.
      Good luck!

  12. The key is using laser jet or zerox jet doesn't work.

  13. I tried and mine didn't work either. :( very disappointed was really looking forward to doing this for my mother's day project. So now I am just printing it off on cardstock paper and putting it on the canvas that way!

  14. Can you do this without painting the canvas first? Asking if the letters will stick to the canvas material?

  15. Does it work for images??

  16. Do you know if this would work on fabric?

  17. PEOPLE! This will make things so much easier:

    WAIT for the mod podge to dry BEFORE you remove the paper with water. This will give the letters a much better chance of staying in tact.

    ALSO: the author states that you can paint the canvas any color you want but doesn't mention the fact that the type of mod podge pictured IS NOT TRANSPARENT. If you use a color other than white, buy GLOSSY mod podge instead of the matte pictured.

  18. I painted my canvass several different colors and let it dry really well attempted the mod podge and it looks as if running my colors together!! Is there a way I can do this with more then one color without running them together??

  19. Great idea! You actually flipped it 180 degrees, not 90.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips