Military Subway Art - Tutorial

Last week my Aunt threw a homecoming party for my cousin, who has been in the Air Force for the past 4 years.  He has completed his service and is finally back home!  I wanted to give him a gift... something that he could always look at and be reminded of the service he provided to our country.
Subway Art was my first thought!  My husband and I compiled a list of words that we thought suited him (and someone in the military), next we got a list of all the places that he was stationed in the past 4 years, along with his first and last date of service.

I created the template on my Silhouette Cameo.  I played with the fonts, sizes and direction until I had the layout exactly how I wanted it.
I like filling in the words with colors, instead of just looking at stencils/outlines.  It give me a better idea of how the finished product will look :)

The fonts I used were: 1) Stencil  2) Braggadocio  3) American Typewriter  4) LW Headline  5) SNF Petite Hand  (#1-3 are fonts provided in the Silhouette and # 4-5 were purchase from the Silhouette online store)

Next, I got my wood, paint and brush and got to work.

After the paint dried, I took some sand paper and sanded the whole thing a bit, especially around the edges.  Sand it as little or as much as you think looks right for your project (sorry, I forgot to take a picture after sanding it).
While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I cut my template out and got it all ready to transfer.  Since I was using 2 different colors, I cut 2 separate templates

1) the whole pattern in black vinyl
2) just the 5 words in tan vinyl

Since I didn't want some of the words (in black) to transfer, I laid some paper over them, so I could transfer all the other letters.

This was how it looked after the 1st layer was done.
Next, I placed the tan layer right on top and lined up the letters with the blank spaces and transferred them next.
All done.  
Time to make the next one
Yes, I made two 
I thought that my Aunt would like one (probably more) than my cousin would.  haha

Additional Info: To be honest, I had some trouble getting the vinyl to stick to the wood, I think it was because I tried to place the vinyl too soon after sanding the wood - there must have been a thin layer of dust that was preventing the transfer.  Anyhow, my remedy was this:  After sanding it, I applied a thin layer or Mod Podge, let it dry, then applied the vinyl.  After the vinyl was placed, I then put another thin layer of Mod Podge down over all the letters.  Once all the letters were placed, I applied another 2 coats of Mod Podge over the whole project to ensure that none of the letters would fall off, plus it gave it a nice finished look that I really liked.

I'd love to hear any troubles & remedies you'd have when trying to apply vinyl too!
(to see where I've linked up - click here!)


  1. I love this idea! I must say though, the font on this page is beautiful, but it's so tiny with the cursive that I could not read it. Please consider enlarging it.

    1. The font is is cursive? That's so strange, on my end it's not... I'm going to have to look into that. Thank you so much for letting me know. I'll be changing that right away!

      Thanks for checking out the site!


  3. What a darling idea! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks JeNae - stop by again soon!

      Angela :)

  4. This looks great! Perfect colours for the theme!
    I've never used vinyl myself so can't help you with any tips I'm afraid!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

    1. Thanks for the comment Jill! Your site is great and I loved the top 10 blogging tips!
      Angela :)

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the comment - stop by again soon - or follow via Facebook :)

      Angela :)

  6. Love this so much...hubs and I are in our 3rd year at Hurlburt Field. We appreciate your cousin's service!


  7. what machine did you use to make this?

  8. What size did you make this? It's beautiful


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