This all started with an empty corner. I have plans on a little reading corner complete with a West Elm tulip chair, small side table and lamp. But the wall had me stumped. See it...to the right of the shelving?
So I ventured around the blogosphere and it didn't take me long to decide on a large piece of subway art. But with the least expensive customized option around the $250 mark, I knew I was going to have to roll up my sleeves. That's when I found a DIY distressed subway art at House of Smiths. This was perfect for a few reasons.
1. I needed a 4' x 2 1/2' piece of art . I searched high and low (well, from Google to Bing) and I couldn't find stretched canvas that didn't break the bank, so plywood was a great option.
2. I have some other shabby chic items on my Wall-o-Shelves and Gallery Wall, so the distressed look would be a perfect fit.
3. How hard could it be? Shelley made it look so easy-peasy! This is something I should have taken some time to think over since she had a few items at her disposal that would have made this project much less of a headache (specifically the negative space vinyl stencil, gah, I wish I had one of those).
After absorbing a few tutorials, I had the confidence to get her started.
First, I didn't have a fancy shmancy program to create my poster. So I typed it up in Word and knew the size I needed my final project to be. I gave the Kinkos girl my measurements and let her do her thang. This is what I took home for $10 (I think I may have been able to get it cheaper somewhere else but I didn't shop around, darn it):
I attached my poster to contact paper using spray adhesive.
Then, I cut each address into strips so I could set up the layout. It was pretty much in the order I had originally typed it, but I moved a few things around. Make sure your large font lines are spread evenly throughout.
I spent the next three nights catching up on Keeping Up With the Kardashians and cutting letters to my little heart's content. Yep, I cut every single letter out. I kept them organized with sandwich baggies and I labelled them with the address and the line number so I could keep them in order. I nearly developed carpal tunnel syndrome, but no pain no gain. Then, I was off to Lowe's where I picked up a sheet of plywood and had them cut it into a few 4' x 2 1/2' sheets. I had a sliver leftover, so, yay for another DIY! FYI, they cut it fo' free y'all. Take advantage. Once I got home, I got my sand on including rounding the edges a bit.
Tip: I got a relatively raw plywood. However, I suggest getting a smoother version that could eliminate a lot of the sanding as well as possibly help the letters stick better. They didn't want to stick to my splintery wood.
I knew I wanted my art to be off white with black letters to match my wall-o-shelves. So I spray painted my entire sheet black with a satin finish.
Remember when we laid out our strips for a layout mockup? I spaced my lines 1 1/2" apart in order to make the layout reach my 4 ft. goal. So I laid my words out one more time for letter spacing as well as to make sure the piece as a whole was evenly spaced and filled the entire sheet. I drew a line to keep everything straight.
Time to stick! I peeled the contact paper backing off and stuck each letter in it's place. Then, I took a regular cheapo fine bristled brush and painted over the entire piece, using the letters as stencils.
Tip: Be sure to clean your surface thoroughly before sticking. Otherwise, you end up with runaway letters like you see below. See how the letters aren't stuck to the wood surface. pain. in. the. rear.
In the midst of my frustration, I looked over at Miss B enjoying her Dingo bone. She gave me the "c'mon mom, you can do it" look and I was rejuvenated. Time to press on.
After two, that's right TWO, coats of off-white paint, I was ready to reveal my letters. I used tweezers on the ones that actually stuck like Shelley suggested. Unfortunately, I had several that were not stuck and I just pulled those right up.
Since I was going for the distressed, a.k.a. not perfect, look, some of the bleeding paint on the letters just added to the piece. I think it's a great addition to our living room and it makes the corner much less of an eyesore.
Time to break it down:
roll of contact paper $4
Kinkos print $10
Black spray paint $4
Off white paint FREE! Already on-hand from My Big Fat Chevron Wall project
TOTAL $25! Told ya it was worth it!
I'll be linking up to these great parties:
The DIY Showoff
At the Picket Fence
The Shabby Nest
Shabby Creek Cottage
Just a Girl
Thrifty Decor Chick
Home Stories A to Z
Tatertots and Jello
The Lettered Cottage