July 12, 2013

Guest Post - Creative Idea to Display Free Printables!

I love to make Subway art for each holiday, but my little cheap black frame from the dollar store for the subway art just wasn't cuttin' it any more. Not to mention it was falling apart and the prints were getting all bent up moving them in and out and storing them. I love a project that can be interchangeable, so I LOVE, LOVE this idea from Poppy Seed Projects! This plaque is made with one of the Christmas printables which is PERFECT for a Christmas in July project! 

This would be a perfect Super Saturday project!

Its so easy to make and it can stay up all year round because I have included subway art prints that are quotes too. You can paint it to match your d├ęcor and each square plaque can be painted to match the print you are attaching it to. So easy to switch for a different season because the square plaque is attached using 3M Velcro Strips!

Here is a little peek at just SOME of the printables you can download for FREE over on my blog: TipsFrom a Typical Mom!

I used the Elenaor Plaque from Poppy Seed Projects. It's only $9.95 and it comes unfinished. The square interchangeable piece is their “scrap wood”about 7x9”. You will need one piece of scrap wood for each sign you want to make. Today I am making a Christmas plaque.


I painted my plaque to look a little like stainless steel. I used Krylon Metallic Matte Aluminum indoor spray paint.

I went outside and spray painted it using a poster board to catch the mess.

It took about 4 coats to make it look really like a metal plaque. After it was dry, I sanded it in straight lines sideways and up and down to give it a textures stainless steel look.

  Wipe with a damp paper towel to remove the extra dust after sanding.

Now for the polka dots. I used a round sponge brush (normally used for stencils) to make mine so they looked a little more sloppy. I didn't want perfect dots :)
I dipped the brush in white paint and dabbed off the excess. Just as you would for stenciling.
I randomly placed the dots, using light pressure and twisting around then lifting straight up. After those were dry I added another coat.

After the dots were dry, I lightly sanded them to give them a distressed look. Then I was done with the plaque. You can spray the plaque with a finishing spray if desired.

Next I painted the edges of the square plaque a color to match the subway art. I chose red.

  After it was dry I added a thick coat of Modge Podge, carefully placed the subway art and smoothed out any bubbles. You just paint the Modge Podge on like a thick layer of paint all over the plaque, even over the red. It dries clear and shiny.

After that was dry, I added another coat of Modge Podge over the subway art and plaque to seal the print. I also used the sponge brush across and up and down to give the print a linen look. Let dry!

Now it's time to put the subway art plaque on the shaped plaque.

I cut the 3M Strips in half lengthwise (you can find the ones I used at any Home Improvement or most grocery stores).

I put the two Velcro pieces together then take the sticky part off one side and stick it to the short side of the square plaque. I measured 1” down and 2” from the side to place the strips like so:

Repeat for the bottom. (So you will only use 2 total strips because you cut it in half).

Now it's time to add the art to the plaque. This is where I don't stay very technical ;)
I left the command wax paper on the strips as you can see in the picture above so that I could measure and make sure it was exactly on center. I measured from all four sides to make sure it was centered.
My measurements were 1 ¾” from each side.

Then I pressed down on the left side of the square plaque to keep it from shifting and lifted the board up so I could remove the sticker backing.

 Remove the sticker backing...

  Carefully place the plaque back down pressing on the left side again to keep it in place...

 Press down on the strips to secure in place... 

 And you're done!

You can download 21 Subway art designs made just for this project, *made just the right size, by visiting my blog Tips From a Typical Mom HERE.

**Note: These are designed to be printed on an 8x10 print. I have sized them to be cut to the correct measurements of the plaque. You will not have to resize them when ordering. You will need to either cut them or sand the excess off the plaque when finishing the project. I used my craft paper cutter to get a straight line and cut it just a bit smaller than the plaque so I could see the red border.

Enjoy your seasons!

Annette~ Tips From a Typical Mom



  1. Do you just send these to a kinkos type place and have them printed on cardstock?

  2. These are gorgeous! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Mine bled all over. Do you print on cardstock?

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