DIY Subway Sign Art – The Fruit of the Spirit

I’ve seen lots of cute subway style signs around and decided to make my own sign of the fruit of the Spirit fromĀ GalatiansĀ 5:22-23.

I roughly followed the steps outlined in this tutorial from Burlap and Blue.

I have to preface these instructions by saying that it was definitely a very time consuming process to make this sign. I probably spent at least 10 hours working on it. If you’re better at painting letters than I am, it’ll go much faster. Or you could just make a smaller sign with fewer words.

Starting with a piece of scrap plywood that was sitting in the garage, I had my dad cut it on his table saw to be 2′ x 3′ . He also routered the edges so that they were slightly rounded.

sign plywood before painting

I sanded the plywood then wiped all the dust off in preparation for a coat of white latex primer and two coats of black satin latex paint.

sign plywood sandingpainting sign black

While that was drying, I got on my computer and designed the layout of the words on the sign using Adobe Illustrator. My Illustrator document was sized to be the same scale as the actual sign, so that I could print the letters out on several 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper.

cutting out sign letters

Once all the letters were printed out, I painstakingly cut them all out. This took a few hours. I seriously contemplated quitting several times.

cut out sign letters

With all the letters cut out, I placed them on the sign, lightly securing them with a small piece or two of double-sided tape. This phase of the project was also very tedious, as I wanted to make sure letters were lined up well and evenly spaced.

sign letters laid out

Each of the letters was outlined with a white Sharpie paint pen that I picked up from the craft store. I removed the paper letters, leaving a white paint pen outline of everything.

sign letters outlined with paint pen

I filled in each of the letters with white latex paint and a small paintbrush. It took two or three coats of white paint to fully cover the black background. By the time I finished this, the letters were looking pretty sloppy so I did a lot of touch ups with black paint and then more repairs again with white paint.

first coat of white on sign letters

After I was finally happy with the way the letters looked, I took some 220 grit sandpaper and went over the sign a few times to give it a bit of a worn look.

sanding edges of finished sign

I’m definitely happy with the outcome of this diy subway sign project, but I’m not sure it was worth the amount of work that went into it. Next time I’m going to try this method.

diy subway sign finished

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