how to make Subway word art.

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This article is one of our oldest…so the photos are lacking in skill (okay…they just stink!)…but we still think this project has value and people seem to really love it.  So we are keeping this article about the Subway Art up for you to see how to make it.  Please don’t judge these photos!

teen subway word art, a simple diy. This project is a great way to add more personality to a teen's room without the expense.

This Subway Word Art project was inspired by the rage of subway art a few years ago. But, I created it with a teen edge for my daughter.  Remember the collages of days gone by? Yup, this combines those with the more uniform look of Subway art. We love it!
We think this DIY subway word art is such a great project because it is so versatile.  Pretty much anyone, anywhere, can do it and not need any fancy supplies.  You’re basically just using things you already have laying around!

How to make Subway Word Art:

Gather some magazine clippings of all sorts of words and phrases. You’ll be happy to know that the Cottages and Bungalows that featured Levi’s bedroom redo was spared the dreaded fate of being cut up. Yay!
Get the kids involved and have them cut up their favorite images from magazines and newspapers!
How to make word art for teens
Or print your own phrases and words. Just use Word to print white letter on to a black background. Or vice versus.
I personally used a combo of printed words and magazine cut-out. I liked that the printed words gave the piece a bit more of a clean and organized feel.
You will need a large board or stiff cardboard to apply all of your words to. Grab some scrap wood, if you can. Your local DIY store often has inexpensive pieces.
Note: You could also use thick foam board, if you like. This would work great for attaching to the wall (I have mine set up against the wall).
I used a pot of sample paint in a funky color for the edges of the board. If you use foam board, test a bit prior to painting the entire board. Sometimes the paint doesn’t work quite well.
 Now you can start to apply your words and phrases. I used paper ModPodge first on the part of the board I was working with and then on the back of the paper itself. Paper ModPodge isn’t necessary, the traditional version will work just fine. Or…
Go old-school and mix glue and water together. Just remember that this version can yellow over time.
Put the words in some sort of order. You want it to look a bit symmetrical. When you have the board covered the way that  you like apply another coat of ModPodge over the entire front.
Until you have this…
teen subway word art, a simple diy. This project is a great way to add more personality to a teen's room without the expense.

 The final product. Isn’t this a fun way to get that teen collage kind of look in a more organized way? So fun!

Want to the see the entirety of my teen’s vintage inspired room? Check it out HERE.

Nellie is the founder of NellieBellie, and takes basically every photograph you've ever seen on this site. She also runs our web design business, the Savvy Sites Administration.


  1. ruby

    November 6, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    that is so cool!!!!!!!!!
    Can you use glue?

    • the Bellie

      November 7, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Yeah, you should be able to do that. Either thin it out with a bit of water first, or spread it really thinly.

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