For our anniversary, I gave Conner two presents to represent the leather and metal aspects of the traditional anniversary gifts. I gave him a set of monogrammed cufflinks (metal) and a customized canvas (leather). This is the story of an almost craft fail turned DIY Subway Art.
My idea started when I saw Ashley from Lil Blue Boo and her New Year’s resolutions subway art. I loved it and immediately thought this would be perfect as a gift for Conner! I wanted to make this using the song that Conner played while proposing to me as well as our first dance after our wedding. It is Ben Harper’s, “Forever,” and now one of my favorite songs ever.
Ashley made the wood frame that she used but I wanted to shortcut that step and used a 30″ x 40″ canvas instead. I had a 40% off coupon to Hobby Lobby so this canvas was $46.99 but I paid $28.19! I wanted the thickest they had so it would look like her frame and wouldn’t be flimsy on the wall.
I followed all of her steps. I wrote out the song lyrics using PowerPoint, adjusting the text as necessary to fill the space from left to right evenly and then took it to Kinko’s to blow up to the size I needed. It was only $6 so I thought I was doing great for this project! I went home, used spray adhesive I already had and sprayed the paper to contact paper I also had on hand. I cut the large paper into strips and then marked off where I would need to line up the words.
In Ashley’s piece, she only had several lines with a lot less words and the letters were a lot thicker than mine. I cut only one line of text and it took me 25 minutes! I also had a nasty claw and couldn’t move my right hand for a minute because I had been gripping the scissors for so long, making such little cuts. I was exasperated and frustrated. I had 24 more lines of text to cut and then adhere to the canvas before spray painting it several times and pulling the letters back up to expose the white canvas underneath – no way was this going to be a feasible project! On to plan B…
Luckily I remembered the You Are My Sunshine painting that I had wanted to knock-off a long time ago. Perfect!! This is exactly what I needed to do with my supplies I had on hand.
I spray painted the canvas with two coats of Rustoleum’s Winter Grey spray paint.
I used a pen and with a light mark, measured down the length of the canvas and made marks to allow for each line of text. I held the yardstick on each of the lines and used my white paint pen to write each line of the song, making sure the words were straight thanks to the yardstick. The first line wasn’t my best. The last word is crowded together. I love Oprah and her ‘ah-ha’ moments…I had my own and started using my original pre-cut strips to help guide my words from left to right. It was perfect! I knew how much space I had and what I should be writing and where.
Love it! Once I was finished writing the words, I used some antiquing glaze and started just rubbing it on and rubbing it off at random. You can definitely see a line of glaze in this picture, that was not intentional at all. I think this will take some tweaking over time. Is anyone ever completely happy with how something like this turns out? Maybe I’m alone in the fact that I always go back and change ‘just one more thing.’
I had made this to put in our bedroom but after hanging it, hated it on the wall! The colors were way too similar so I went (again) to plan B and moved it to the hallway outside of our room.
So much better!! I really want to start a gallery wall of pictures, fabrics, etc so this piece will be a great starting-off point. (Please note the boob light will go, the ceilings will be painted white and crown molding will be added in due time. These three things are on my never-ending to-do list!)
Here is another close-up of our new artwork on the hallway wall. I love that we can see this as we go into our bedroom. It is so special to me and I was so happy to make it for Conner since he chose this song for us. I hope this art helps us remember how special the song is!