Awesome Subway Art DIY

by Johnnie Collier

 

Photoshop Beginner Tutorials

Don’t you just love the subway are that is so big in the blog decor world these days?  I ran into an example on a Pinterest board  that inspired me to create my own.  Here is the original.  This quote is a line from “How I Met Your Mother” – Neil Patrick Harris’s character coined it.  I cracked up when I heard it and loved the idea of it hanging in my stepdaughter’s college dorm room.  It is created in Photoshop, which is wonderful, because you can easily change colors and fonts to suite your needs.  Follow along step by step as I guide your through the CS4 Photoshop process, a rare event here at SBLC!

UPDATE:  Get free printables of all 3 colors at Printable Decor.

Subway art tutorial

Instructions:

  • In the Photoshop toolbar, click  “New” to open a new document

Photoshop Subway art tutorial

  • Set your document size.  I chose 11×17.  Set your resolution to 300 ppi…

Photoshop Tutorials

  • Select your background color by clicking the adjustment layer icon in the layers palatte (labeled below), and choosing “solid color”.  A color picker window will appear, where you can pic your color.  Click on your desired color, or enter the hex code.  This will leave you with a color fill layer that you can easily change  (see second pic below).

Photoshop Subway art tutorial
Photoshop Subway art tutorial

  • Grab the text tool (shortcut is “T” on the keyboard) and select your font.  You want it to be a blocky font if your are going for the subway art feel.  I used 2 fonts here; Myriad Pro Condensed and Trebuchet MS Regular.  You want to keep each line of text a different layer, so that you can adjust each line individually without affecting the font settings on the other lines.  To make your words fit, adjust the font size, as well as the space between the letters.  This requires opening the character panel (pictured below) and changing the AV setting.  A smaller number means the letters are closer together…

Photoshop Subway art tutorial

  • When you are happy with the letters, grab a grunge paintbrush (keyboard shortcut B, then choose your desired brush)  and in a new layer, paint over the letters in the same color as the background.  I downloaded this awesome high res grunge brush set for free, here.  BIG thank you to digitalrevolution.  This gives a nice distressed look to the piece.

Photoshop Subway art tutorial

Beginner Photoshop Tutorials

Photoshop Tutorials

Remember the adjustable color layer I had you make for your background?  Perfect for if you have 2 stepdaughters both in college, that have different color preferences.  I changed the bright pink to blue for the print you saw in the teaser.  Love how they look.  I have seen several tutorials for these done with paint and stencils on canvas, but this is literally a 5 minute Photoshop endeavor.  No mess, $0.80 per print, frames I had on hand from my obsessive garage sale frame purchasing.

I got an extra print in with a black background that I have in mind for a gift.  It would be really cute made into a faux canvas print by mod podging it onto painted mdf board, like I showed you here.  What do you think?  I would love to hear your feedback on this tutorial.  I know it assumes some comfort with Photoshop.  Did you find it helpful, easy to follow, or did it give you a headache?  I rarely do these and am always looking to see what you all want more or less of here at SBLC.  Thanks!

Photoshop Tutorials

Photoshop Subway Art Tutorials

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 john August 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Johnnie – I really enjoyed this post. It was particularly informative and easy to follow thanks to the screen shots. I also liked the reminder that you had showed us about modpodging on mdf in another post and you actually gave me the link !
I know two girls that are going to love the results of todays love creation !

Reply

2 Laurie@TheBakingBookworm August 9, 2011 at 4:33 pm

What a great idea! I was going to do something similar using my Silhouette but may give this a try instead. I love the saying (and Barney Stinson from “How I Met Your Mother”)! I can see it in one of my boys’ rooms. Thanks for the idea and nicely detailed instructions! :)

Reply

3 SavedByLoveCreations August 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Thanks, Laurie! I was going to do it with my cricut, but then I realized how easy and cheap it would be to just make a print in photoshop. Now I have it to print off in any color, for all of time, and no paint on my face :)

Reply

4 nicolette @ momnivore's dilemma August 11, 2011 at 7:26 am

I love HIMYM. Neil Patrick Harris is a god of comedy. I really needed this printable this week. It’s been a SAD week here…

I bestow upon you a feature at CJ next week. Thank you for linking up…

Reply

5 JanniCake August 12, 2011 at 7:47 am

This is great – Thanks for the tip :).

A friend of mine (who coincidentally loves HIMYM) is going through a rough time so I will definitely make one for him.

Reply

6 Melissa Nuttall August 12, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I love this! I love the tutorial too! I’ve done a lot of subway are, but never even thought of adding a grunge look to it. I love it! Thanks for the tutorial!

Reply

7 Lish August 13, 2011 at 9:03 am

You should totally add this to my new linky party…
http://imprintalish.blogspot.com/2011/08/first-ever-frivolous-friday.html
What mom wouldn’t want this staring at her to remind them of how awesome we are! :)

Reply

8 Meg August 14, 2011 at 10:32 am

Ha! I love this saying. I definitely need it around my house. I thought your instructions were great! I even understood them and I’m definitely Photoshop-dumb. Thanks for taking the time to do that!

Reply

9 Anna@DirectionsNotIncluded August 15, 2011 at 7:17 am

I made one from the same inspiration picture! Isn’t it a great saying?! I love the PhotoShop tutorial. It will definitely come in handy and is very detailed.

http://directionsnotincluded.blogspot.com/2011/08/start-being-awesome.html

Reply

10 Anna@DirectionsNotIncluded August 15, 2011 at 7:18 am

Following you from the party at Craft-o-Maniac :)

Reply

11 karen August 24, 2011 at 1:37 am

I think i am going to make a sign that says “I am awesome” and hang it in my bathroom mirror since no one else in my household but myself is going to let me know how awesome I am! thanks for the idea!

Reply

12 Cami September 12, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I love this tutorial, soooo helpful for me. Where did you print it at?

Reply

13 Vivienne @ The V Spot September 13, 2011 at 11:40 am

This is a great tutorial. Love it! pinned and stumbled

Reply

14 janmary, N Ireland September 14, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Great tutorial – need to remind myself how to load brushes though!

I am planning to make one for a baby gift, with name, weight, time, date etc

Thanks

Reply

15 Mrs_Duncan September 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Love this idea but where do u get the art printed? Do u download it and take it to a print shop? Thanks for the step-by-step tutorial!!:)

Reply

16 Stephanie Hill October 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm

This is so great! I really need to get photoshop! Thanks for sharing this! You did a great job! :)
Stephanie @ Ladywiththeredrocker.wordpress.com

Reply

17 Peyton October 16, 2011 at 1:31 am

I’d love to know where you got this printed! Thanks!

Reply

18 kate November 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

Where do you get your images printed! This is great and I made one but wondering suggestions on where to print!

Reply

19 Aymie November 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Thanks SO much! Great tutorial and super easy to follow…just made a Christmas gift for my bro. It is a quote from the holiday movie “Elf”, which we find hilarious :).

“THE BEST WAY TO SPREAD HOLIDAY CHEER IS SINGING LOUD FOR ALL TO HEAR”

Found your tutorial on Pinterest and found the framed Elf quote on Etsy being sold for $16 plus shipping…saved me some $$!

Thanks again,
Aymie

Reply

20 Teri November 17, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Thanks alot! I found this to be a huge help. Too many other sites were just confusing me more. Now I have some gifts in mind too!

Reply

21 Barbara Noland December 4, 2011 at 8:36 am

love your tutorial…which Photoshop should a novice buy? I really need Santa to bring it to me!

Reply

22 Bruna December 6, 2011 at 2:28 am

OMG I love Photoshop! And this is a great tutorial, so simple and easy! It gave me a couple tips that I hadn’t thought of before, making things so much easier (like the AV setting? Why the hack haven’t I been doing that?! You live, you learn… :P ).
Thank you for sharing, I’m so looking forward to making some cool posters for my 10yo son’s bedroom. No more spending $10-20 for a poster that might not even be the perfect one! ;)

Reply

23 Chantel February 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm

YAY! thanks a ton. I knew how to make one, but dind’t know how to make it look distressed. Thanks a ton I will be using this a lot.

Reply

24 Jacklyn February 15, 2012 at 12:38 am

Yay! I’ve been looking for something like this. Thank you.

Reply

25 Misha February 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I love both this Awesome art and the music art with notes – can you tell me how to download these so I can upload them to be printed? They have to be an image (not pdf) file to pload for printing. Thanks for the great prints!!

Reply

26 SavedByLoveCreations February 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Hi Misha. Thanks for your comment. I have updated the Awesome Subway art post with a link to jpg free printables at Printable Decor (my printable website); http://savedbylovecreations.com/2011/08/awesome-subway-art-diy.html

The music art with notes is already jpg form in the post, here. Just open the full res file by clicking on the link in the post, then right click to save to your computer as jpg.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you are still having problems. Have a great weekend!

Reply

27 Emme March 8, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Hi, just stumbled on your blog , now i have found a use for photoshop horray and it looks real easy thanks

Reply

28 SavedByLoveCreations March 8, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Hi Emme! Glad you introduced yourself. Photoshop rocks!!

Reply

29 julie March 26, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Where was this printed and on what type of paper? I am checking out Staples but not sure what paper to print on. Thanks for the tutorial

Reply

30 SavedByLoveCreations March 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Office Depot on regular paper is what I went with. It was less than $1. For a buck or so more, you can have it printed on cardstock if you want something sturdier. I think it looks great framed on regular printer paper though. Thanks for the questions.

Reply

31 Denise April 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm

thank you for this subway tutorial. I have wanted to learn how to use photoshop for non photo things for a while now and this is the first tutorial I found that I was able to do. Thank you for the pictures to help me find my way around photoshop.

Reply

32 Trish August 15, 2012 at 11:15 am

Thanks for the tutorial, and the printable! I’m totally printing and framing to put in our new baby’s room. He won’t get it, but I’ll giggle whenever I have to go feed at him 3 in the morning ;-)

Reply

33 SavedByLoveCreations August 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm

I am so glad you like it. Laughter is essential!

Reply

34 Annlyle November 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm

where is the toolbar at and is it free?

Reply

35 Lena @ WhatMommyDoes January 6, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Thanks so much for this tutorial! I’ve been wanting to try my hand at Photoshop, and I love the look of subway art.

Reply

36 Linda had a little Lamb February 12, 2014 at 11:01 am

Great tutorial. I love fiddling around with Photoshop.

Reply

37 Sandy S. June 5, 2014 at 1:22 am

Thank you for taking the time to do this. It is awesome and I must do it for my kids!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 6 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: