Kinda Like Paint by Numbers: Subway Art

The other thought we had for the title of this blog post was “How to home-make a few presents this year and stay up until obscene hours of the night to do it.” But then I’d be admitting that procrastination played a larger part of Christmas than I’d care to admit.
The Rooster and The Hen
Last year we used a Cricut to create subway art for Dustin’s family. Maybe we’ll show you what they looked like one day when we we’re desperate for some content to post. Despite the colossal mess it created and the length of time it took to complete, it was a big hit at the annual gift exchange. I think everyone liked how personal of a gift it was since we had carefully selected words that described each family.  This year, it was my sibling’s turn and we figured that perhaps the process would go faster if we painted them instead of cutting out each word.
Um, wrongo.

While it wasn’t a quick project, I think that the finished product turned out exactly as I had imagined. Here’s how I did it:
paint canvas
I started off by painting the base color on my canvas. In this case, a bluish grey color. Then I typed up my selected words in various fonts and sizes, and printed them out. I then cut them down to size and arranged the words on my canvas.
subway art
Once arranged, I used tracing paper to transfer the words onto the canvas. Surprisingly, this took a chunk of time as I wanted to try and make the words as straight as possible.
transfer paper
Once traced, I started painting using a small brush and some white paint. This type of painting is therapeutic for me and I often do it at night when the kids are in bed and I can listen to a movie or a show.
paint canvas
It took a few coats of white to get the coverage I wanted, but I’m pleased to report that the project that I started just 4 days before Christmas finally was finished at about 1:00 am Christmas day – mere minutes before Santa unloaded his haul.
Whew, that was close!  (oh, and never mind the spaces, we had to edit out some personal info stuff before posting this).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. We were the lucky recipients of the first one, and we LOVE it! Thank you again for such a wonderful, personal gift!

  2. Wow! Such and amazing gift.

    Whitney you have such a steady hand. I would abandon ship about two words … okay, make that two letters … in!

  3. It turned out great. I always say I’m going to make one of these and then keep putting it off.

  4. I love that picture Whit!

  5. Nice job! I love the blue!

    The Not So Functional Housewife

  6. I’m a tracing paper idiot. Can you tell me what brand you used?

  7. I love what you did. But I was wondering what paint you used? Thank you for your time :)

  8. Hi, I’m trying to make this, but I guess I did’t use the right tracing paper. Can you tell me what you used?