I adore Subway Art! I see it everywhere now, too. It’s nice when you can make it yourself, don’t you think? That way you can customize the size and colors used in the project.
What’s that? You say you are a little intimidated by creating Subway Art with more than one color? I was, too! Until I decided to figure out the easiest way for me to accomplish this technique. And I’m about to show you what that is!
There are all kinds of great Subway Art files available on the internet these days–some for free and some for a small fee. For my examples today, I am going to be using some files from Burton Avenue (http://www.burtonavenue.com) with permission, of course!
I like Burton Avenue because the owner, Angie, has weekly freebies available, but also has Bundled Specials for a very low price. These bundled graphics are usually available seasonally. For example, Burton Avenue currently has a wonderful bundle of 10 Valentine’s Day images for just $1 for each graphic. This is a phenomenal deal even if you aren’t going to use all 10 files right away. Once you pay for a graphic (they conveniently take PayPal!), you will download the file(s) to your computer in a zip file. Unzip your file and then you can upload the files to Design Space (I cover this process in this post: Up Your Christmas Ornament Game)
When you upload one of the multicolored graphics, you will want to make some adjustments to the original file to make it easier for you to cut and align your multi-colored vinyl project. It’s not very hard to do, but you do need to concentrate when working with very complex files.
To do this, pull one of the files into Design Space and resize it to your completed size first. Once the file is the size you want, go to the top right nav bar and choose Ungroup.
Here is the project I have chosen to work with on this tutorial:
You can see that the image comes “grouped”. Before you Ungroup the image and work with each color, determine the total size you want the completed project to be. Perhaps you have a blank sign or area of your wall and you will want to resize it before preparing it for cutting. Once the entire image is the size you want, you can go ahead and isolate each of the colors and then attach them.
The following screen shots show how I have isolated each of the colors and attached them to each other. Once you have done this with each color, you are ready to cut them out:
When you go to cut, you will notice that each color cuts out separately and in exactly the same way they appear in the finished project:
Once you cut out all your colors, weed them and then place them together.
Important note: Some people advise using transfer tape to layer your colors together. For me, this is too difficult. I weed the words and then cut the backing (substrate) and piece them all together before applying transfer tape. I realize this method may require a bit more vinyl, but I have unsteady hands and I simply can’t do all that layering. For this I often use tape to hold some of the pieces in place, but most of the time I just cut around the words and save the smaller vinyl pieces for a future project. Obviously if this method doesn’t work for you, you can use the transfer tape method…whatever works for you!