The Gift of Words

I’m sure you have all seen the subway art that has been floating around. I have wanted to attempt this for the past year but never did. I decided that my dream present for Christmas would be a Silhouette machine which would help me make the subway art. My wonderful husband took my ever so subtle hint of leaving the website up and mentioning there was a sale going on and surprised me with one for Christmas. I was thrilled but a little nervous at the same time. I have the habit of really wanting something but once I get it I wait and wait to open it. I thought about it, studied it, pondered it some more, and eventually was ready to try the machine last week.

I decided my first project would be a birthday present for my sister Kelly, who’s birthday is today. Not sure if subway art correlates with Kelly’s taste or not but I’m pretty sure I’ll never know since she lives 800 miles away.

I asked Kelly to email me her top places, foods, holidays she thinks about when she thinks of New Orleans. It’s our hometown so I knew she would have some special places she associates with it.

Here’s her list: Commander’s Palace, street car, beignets, Jazz Fest, City Park, Mardi Gras, & 5 Happiness. I took Kelly’s ideas and added to them.

I first started by painting an 11 x 14 canvas gray.

Next I chose some of the words I wanted to use. I typed them into the Silhouette program for sizing and then printed them out on vinyl. After a few more steps I carefully peeled away the paper and attached the vinyl words to the canvas. Here’s the I don’t think I’ll ever finish shot halfway point.

partially completed subway artThe work in the beginning was tedious but I eventually got the hang of it and moved at a quicker pace. Once I finished putting on all the words I modged podged it so it would have a protective covering.

Here’s the final product:

final subway art product

Kelly, this is going into the mail today for you. Hope you enjoy it. Happy Birthday!

I think this would be so much fun to do with other cities, places you’ve visited, holiday themes, etc. I would like to do one which lists every street my husband and I have ever lived on since we were kids.

If you could have a piece of subway art, what would be on yours?

10 thoughts on “The Gift of Words

  1. That’s BEAUTIFUL! I have seen that here and there, but didn’t know it was called subway art. I love the Schwegmann’s and the K&B, and ya gotsta have the fleur de lis! Great job. 🙂

  2. This is awesome!! I’m so excited to hang it in my house. I need to find the perfect spot!! Thank you! I actually have your birthday present in the back of my car right now. Not nearly as creative, but hopefully something that will fit you guys.

  3. That looks beautiful, Jen! I love the grey color too – will go well in Kelly’s house!

  4. Jen!! I saw a bunch a Z Gallery not too long ago and fell in love with this idea…You are so crafty and talented!! I love this, and hope your sister does, too. And I love your ideas for other ones.

  5. Jen,
    I love it….someday, I may get some place with this bathroom remodel and would love to have you do something for it…..our designer seems to have fallen off the earth so it is taking more time than originally envisioned…side note..using my I pad to post this and I love it…so handy…pat becker

  6. I love the look of that, great job Jen! Modge podging it gave it a nice texture too, good thinking! If I had one, I would probably do some family/kid related words. If my husband had one, I know he would want all things Irish, done in celtic fonts!

  7. Thanks for the reminders of how much I loved New Orleans! I featured your art on

    Great imagination and creativity!

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