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"Simplify" Subway Sign Tutorial

Have you ever had that one person you always seem to be on the same page with? Well, this is how it is with my friend Heather and I. My New Year Resolution this year was to simplify my life. Come to find out, a few weeks after I had written my goals down, we were visiting and she told me that hers was to simplify too. This happens to us all of the time, we are constantly on the same path.
The center of my home, The Kitchen.
I have been wanting to make a subway sign for my kitchen. You know the kind that Joanna Gaines puts on HGTV’s Fixer Upper…but I didn’t know what I wanted it to say. Would it be Bakery? Because, well, I bake in the kitchen. Maybe I would choose Market, because I stock the kitchen with market foods. Nothing was really hitting home run with me. You see, if I put a sign in my home I want it to signify something I feel. I want it to be more than just a piece of decor, I want it to evoke a conversation. Then the answer came to me, it should say SIMPLIFY, which is my goal this year. Having a sign like this in my home will also be a constant reminder to me of my resolution, as well as positive motivator.
I showed Heather a picture of the sign I wanted to make and she said, “I want one too”. So when it came time for me to decide what to give her for her birthday the decision was pretty darn easy. This sign took two me days to make {to allow for stain to completely dry} and is an intermediate crafting level.

What you will need:

Wood cut to your desired sign dimensions. I used 6 inch and 2 inch pine. If you don’t have a saw then Home Depot or Lowes will do this for you. I cut my wood 24 inches long.
Wood Stain. I used MiniWax gel stain in Walnut.
Foam Brushes. You’ll need two (one for the stain and one for the paint)
Chalk Paint. You can use acrylic if you have that, any paint will work, this is just what I had on hand.
Nail Gun. If you don’t have a nail gun you can secure with screws.
Cricut or vinyl cutter.
1. Cut out all of your wood pieces. Make sure they fit. Sand everything down nicely. I used 300 grit sand paper and an electric sander. You can do it by hand too.
1. Sand and Stain your board. As I mentioned above I used MiniWax gel stain in Walnut. I love how the gel stain is ten times less messy. I stained mine twice to achieve a nice dark color.
2. Sand and Stain your board. As I mentioned above I used MiniWax gel stain in Walnut. I love how the gel stain is ten times less messy. I stained mine twice to achieve a nice dark color. (Sorry, this step is not pictured).
3. Paint the side pieces. I used white chalk paint and painted two coats, sanding with a fine 150 grit paper in between.
4. Using my Cricut I designed a template for letters. I chose the font Avenir Next Condensed.
5. Cut and Weed out the letters. Leave the backing, as this will be used as a stencil.
6. Trim off extra vinyl so it will fit onto your board. This allows easy and straight placement.
7. Apply transfer tape and remove white backing. Now the stencil is ready to be used.

8. Place stencil onto wood. Once you have it perfectly placed (I used a ruler to measure each side) then use a tool to press firmly in place on your stained wood.


9. Gently remove transfer tape.

10. Apply a thin, even layer of Mod Podge where over the letter part of the stencil. Let dry completely. This seals the edges so that your paint will not leak under the lettering.
11. Paint over dried glue and remove vinyl stencil. I feel it is important to carefully remove the stencil while the paint is still wet. This is because sometimes there will be a small leak that I then can easily scrape away and save my project. It is almost impossible with dry paint. To help eliminate smudging my paint I will use scissors to cut the template as I pull it off. As shown below there is a smudge where my arm hit the bottom of the letter “I”. After it is completely dry I went in with a small detail paint brush and fixed any little imperfections.

 

12. Using a nail gun or nails, or screws…attach the edges to the main board. If you decide to use screws I would recommend using a drill to make pilot holes first so the wood does not split. As shown below I hung my board off of the table to get the wood in the perfect placement while nailing it together.
13. Enjoy your new Subway Sign! Or better yet, give it to your best friend.
Heather and I on her Birthday!

 

I hope this not only inspires you to make a subway sign, but also to begin simplifying your life.
UPDATE: I made another Subway sign, this time for my own kitchen. I love how it looks above my cupboards.
Photo credit: www.shoot2sale.net
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