Sunday, April 17, 2011

All Aboard!

Even though the only subways we have on the Iron Range are of the sandwich variety, I do love the look of a vintage subway sign. 

(Above images courtesy of Google Images.)

I admired the print Julie has hanging in her dining room with Minneapolis streets, but doubt it is available for our neck of the woods.  So, I created my own version and here are some general instructions so you can make yours, too.

Once again, I bought a piece of birch plywood that I painted with black acrylic craft paint for a nice flat finish.  I used our greeting card computer program to make a mock-up of the pattern using various fonts for the streets and locations in town that are part of our family history.  Alice Park, to which we made daily treks when the girls were little, has been plowed over to make room for an assisted living facility, and the fairgrounds has moved out of town, but I still incorporated them into my design.

I transferred the design to my board with white tracing paper and gave all the letters 2 to 3 coats of antique white paint.  I then sanded the piece with large grit sandpaper, and gave it a quick spray coating of matte acrylic sealer.

Next, I antiqued my sign with artist oil paint which I lightly rubbed on with a soft cloth until it looked properly aged.  I then sprayed it with a one more coat of sealer followed by several coats of water-based matte finish varnish applied with a sponge brush to give it a smooth surface that won't attract dust.

Because I like the finished look of a simple wood frame, I stained a few pieces of pine molding and glued and nailed them to the plywood.  I added screw eyes and picture wire to the back for hanging, and that's it!

My personalized "subway" sign.


  1. Wow!!!! So cool, mom!!! Holy crap! You could sell those on Etsy for SO much! If you knew what I paid for my unframed PRINT, you would die. ;)

    So, so cool!!!

  2. Wow Vickie, this is fabulous! Love the antiquing... it's perfect! :)


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