Nursery Subway Art in Vinyl

My first attempt at subway art using vinyl!

I recently bought a new Cricut machine – the Cricut Explore Air. (They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse…I swear, craft product manufacturers are like the Mafia). I still have my Expression machine, but I will hold on to it for now, because I can only use the Explore Air with an internet connection, whereas with the Expression I don’t need one and can use all my cartridges, etc, right in the machine.

Now what’s the next thing you do when you buy a new machine? That’s right, you have to get the accessories and materials that you can use with it. I had actually been wanting to make some nursery subway art so when I had the opportunity to make a project I jumped on it. I purchased some adhesive-backed vinyl and scouted around the web to get some ideas. I have made subway art before, but this was my first time making it with vinyl.

I knew I wanted to use a floating frame, so that was my first step. I found the one I used for this project at Michael’s, for a very reasonable price (especially if you use a coupon).

Next step was to plan out the design. I used Cricut Design Space (online only) to lay out the letters and elements, using a font and graphic from the Cricut Access files (you pay a monthly or yearly fee to have free use of anything they have in their catalog of thousands of images and fonts).

I loaded the mat with the colored surface facing up, set the machine dial for “vinyl” and hit the “go” button.

Using transfer paper I set the vinyl onto the glass, reassembled the frame, and was done.

Now, a couple of notes here:

  • Make sure that both pieces of glass are spotless before you adhere anything. Make sure your hands are clean and use a  microfiber cloth to clean the glass so you don’t have any little dust pieces hanging around.
  • Place the glass on which you are adhering the vinyl over a piece of grid paper so you can mark the center. You have to peel the vinyl off in one go, and if it’s crooked your goose is cooked. Draw a straight line on the horizontal and vertical lines of your grid paper. Lay the glass down and center it over your grid. It makes it so much easier to center the project.
  • Burnish, burnish, burnish! I can’t stress this enough! You want to make absolutely sure that you have securely sealed the vinyl to the glass before you even attempt to remove the transfer paper. If you lift the paper before you have the vinyl stuck down it will be a nightmare to try to fill in the missing pieces. Trust me, I speak from experience!

Here’s the finished project – monochromatic per the recipient’s preference:

Nursery subway art using vinyl and my new Circut Explore Air machine

Sorry about the glare from the camera flash – it was dark that day. Kind of like in a subway. Okay, ignore that one!