DIY Subway Art with Vinyl

DIY Subway Art with Vinyl

Hi everyone! Today on the blog guest poster Jia is combining her love for crafts with her love for her pooch Trigger. She has a clever tutorial to show you- how to create your own subway art with vinyl. If you're wondering what subway art is- it is also known as typography art and it's the technique of arranging words in different fonts on a canvas. The words always circle around a theme and today's theme is Jia's dog Trigger! In this post we'll also show you how to apply adhesive vinyl to paper with transfer tape. Read on for how to create your own dog-themed subway art!

Dog Rules Poster Project

Time: 2.5 hours

Difficulty: medium


  • 20 inch width x 30 inch height poster frame

  • White poster board at least 20x30 inches

  • Silhouette Cameo

  • 12x12 inch adhesive craft vinyl in the colors bronze (x1), red (x1), black (x2) and grey (x1)

  • Transfer tape (five 12x12 inch sheets)

  • Pencil (HB preferred) and eraser

  • Scissors

  • Silhouette scraper tool

  • Large grid type ruler

  • Weeding tools

  • Optional: 6x Large Command hanging strips


Recommended poster frame size: 20 inch width x 30 inch height.

Note: the design is for a frame of this size, if other sized poster frames are used, resizing of the design will be needed.

Step 1

Cut a thick poster board to size so that it fits in your frame. Poster boards can be purchased from Michaels in the framing department.

Tip: use the insert that comes when you purchase the frame as a template and just trace around it!

Make sure that the poster board fits and that the backing of the frame can go on even with the added thickness of the poster board.

Step 2

Measure 2.5 inches from the top and the bottom and sides of the poster board, draw a line horizontally across the top of the poster. Make small notches periodically along the long end of the poster at the 2.5 mark. Draw a line through the notches using the grid ruler.

The area within these bounds will be your working area.

Use the Silhouette cameo to cut out the letters for each color.

Step 3

Weed off the excess craft vinyl using the pick tool.

Step 4

Apply transfer tape carefully to the vinyl making sure to avoid air bubbles. Then use the scraper tool to adhere the transfer tape

Step 5

Cut the words out one by one, try to cut away excess transfer tape from around the words. The transfer tape has a tendency to stick to the poster board and rip away pieces when transferring the vinyl pieces.

NOTE: Do not use the scraper tool when transferring the letters to the poster board as this will adhere the transfer tape to the poster board. We want to avoid a strong adhesion to prevent ripping the poster board when lifting the transfer tape off. Instead, use your nail to scrape only the top of the vinyl pieces.

Step 6

Assemble the top and bottom words first. Ensure that the top of “Dog Rules” is flush with the 2.5 inch line across the top of the poster. The bottom of the letter “f” of “Be a best friend” should be flush with the bottom 2.5 inch horizontal line.

To make it easier to place the “be a best friend” draw a horizontal pencil line 7/8 of an inch above the lower 2.5 inch line. The bottom of most of the letters except for the “f” will be flush with that line.

To make it easier to assemble, place words that are on the horizontal and vertical middle lines and the vertical horizontal lines. Then fill in everything in between.

Tip: draw horizontal pencil lines across the poster where the letters should go to make it easier to align the letters.

Here’s Trigger helping!

Step 7

Erase the pencil marks once all the vinyl pieces are in place!

Step 8

Hang the poster frame! I used 6x Command hanging strips.

And there you have it- dog themed subway art!

Do you craft for your pets? Keep crafting and check out this bandana Mia made for her pooch Lucille for an HTV pet craft!

About the Author


Jia created Scrapaperdoll Designs in memory of her love for paper dolls as a kid. Scrapaperdoll Designs aims to freely share creativity and learning to empower the imagination of other crafters so that they can fill their communities with beautiful handiwork. Jia is a scientist by day and an avid crafter by night. She currently lives on the East coast with her exotic lover and their pampered pooch.

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