DIY Subway Art with Silhouette

I wanted to incorporate a favorite quote into some art for the new laundry room.  I had seen some similar art over at Pinterest and knew I wanted to make some chunky letters on a canvas in grey/yellow/white color scheme, like so:

 (source here, herehere and here)
I really liked that last one, so I set out to make my own with a 22″x 28″canvas, some left over shelving contact paper and my trusty silhouette machine!
I downloaded a new cursive font (blackjack) and set to work making each individual text box and made a pretty good rendition of my inspiration.  The silhouette software is fairly straight forward…or SO I THOUGHT!
After I made this, I thought it would be no thang to divide the words into three groups (the printer only cuts13″ wide), cut out the letters, remove the negative space and slap on my canvas.  Oh, I don’t think I’ve been more wrong!
The first half dozen tries the paper kept slipping around, and the blade would eat my paper up, cutting all wonky.  I would stop, adjust the rollers to keep the paper in place and go again.  By the 4th mess up, I had run out of wide sheets of the contact paper, now I’m using the narrower leftover scraps.  After hours of searching the internet, using the cutting mat, cursing at the machine, reading more blogs of people with similar issues…I finally realized one of my rollers was too far over and not holding anything down.  It has been this way since I took this machine out of the box…like months ago…(!!!!!)  I thought that roller was fixed in place, never to be adjusted.  No worries that I had ruined other projects before..I am so glad I figure that out.
Fast forward to using even smaller scraps of paper, meaning each word was being cut out individually and then transferred over with the sticky contact paper.  At this point I have been working for 4 hours and have 5 words on the canvas.  Oh my good gosh.  Custom art miiiight not be worth it…
Last problem I found was the machine would randomly not connect a cut line.  It would cut, pick up the blade, then cut the rest of the word.  This happened so much that I had to use my exacto knife and fix almost. every. letter. Good grief!  After more cursing and more time, I found a fix, this little “Make” button.  When all the words are separate, sometimes the machine skips over those invisible text box lines.

To fix, select all your words and hit “make” to group them as one object.  Hit “release” to get them back to individual words and hit “divide” to break up into individual letters.

Luckily I figured this out after I ran out of big sheets of contact paper, so I was stuck doing one word and sometimes one letter at a time!  After two nights of working on just CUTTING OUT THE LETTERS, I was done!  I should have picked a smaller project or less words for my first time cutting out the contact paper. Oh well, lessons learned! Fingers crossed, I’m a little nervous about painting..all this work I better not screw it up!!
Update: I painted it and it didn’t turn out horrible!  There are a couple places where the paint bled through but overall it came out looking good.
I used wayyyy too much craft paint, somehow I thought I was covering a much larger area.  I also bought this small roller to apply the paint but didn’t like how splotchy it was.  I ended up making long horizontal strokes with a regular old craft sponge brush.

Applying such a thin layer, the paint dried very quickly and I used the point of my exacto knife to peel up the letters while the paint was still damp.  Welp, she’s done and I had fun doing it, I’ll have to show you where I hang it 🙂

sunshine art
Hung in the laundry room:
laundryroom
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One response to “DIY Subway Art with Silhouette

  1. Pingback: Mud Room Renovations-Part I | seestephdostuff·

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