Tutorial ~ Make Your Own Printable Subway Art

by Destri on January 24, 2011

Framed Valentine's Day Subway Art

Ever since I posted the tutorial on how to make your own free printables using Picnik, I have received a dozen or so requests for a tutorial on how to make your own subway art.   I referred some of you to the original with a few tips, but it seems the problem everyone was having was in the printing :).  I had this ready for you last Monday, but decided I should have it printed to make sure all was well in that department – glad I did, because I had to make one little adjustment.   Then Cheri from I am Momma Hear Me Roar posted one last week, and I was even more enlightened, the things you learn by spending too much time on the computer I tell ya.  I almost just trashed this post and referred you to Cheri, but we do things just a little different.  Cheri’s tutorial has some fun with textures, so make sure to check it out too.  Let’s get started!

Creating Your Own Subway Art…Printables….Whatever!

I went over a few of these steps in the last tutorial, but to save you a click I will start again :).  Go to Picnic and set up an account if you don’t already have one.  It is worth getting the upgraded version if you want to have some serious fun with your printables.  Okay, now click on library and then start and then on make a collage.

Steps To Making Own Printables

Now you should be on the collage frame.  Pick a collage, any collage, so long as it is a big one.  Then click on the little colored square next to spacing and pick a color, this will be your background.  I picked white.  Now in the upper tool bar you will see a button quality options.  Click on high.  Then click done.

Now for the resizing that everyone was having issues with.  I searched the forums for some time, and finally figured it out.  Make sure you are on the edit tab at the top and then click on resizeUnclick keep proportions, and type in 1920 for the first frame, and 2400 for the second.  Then okay.  I printed 8×10 and 5×7 on these numbers and they both came out great.

Now for the funny part.  In the forums they even mentioned that having 8×10 and 5×7 options and such was on their to do list, but apparently I was reading an older thread.  Here is where Cheri comes in.  She shows if you click on crop, and then on the drop down it will have those listed!  All that time searching and they had that all along.  Sheesh.  I printed mine out at the other options because that is what I had it saved to, but there is that option as well!  They even have a twitter crop!  Let me know if you try it and how it works :).

Now for the fun part.  Click on the create tab at the top.  Now click on stickers.  If you scroll down you will find all the Valentines stickers.  Some may only be available if you have upgraded to the premium.  Now just have a party, or you could decide to add some text first…that’s what I did.

Click on the text tab, and get to typing!  You can change what color the text is, what font, and size.  This is where I had to go back and make my little adjustment.  Make sure your text is at least a half inch away from the side.  I was too close to the edge on the first print and when I framed it, some of the text was covered up.  So I had to go back in and adjust.  Oh, but that is good for you to know!  If you need to adjust an already saved item, just go to the history tab under library and you can change whatever you need :).  Then just re-save.

You can rotate text by clicking and dragging the little circle at the top too.

After I had a little text, I went and added a peace sign, cause that always goes with love, no?  You can go back and forth between the text and stickers, just click on the tabs at the top.

Okay, so now I am happy with it.  You can see this version is back off the edges, on all sides.

Now click on save and share at the top, and save where you like.  I saved to my computer, hopped on over to Walmart.com and ordered my prints.  Thirty minutes later I was down there picking them up, easy peasy.

I will have the ones I made available to print later, once I figure out how to make the huge file available….any suggestions?

If you make some fun ones, let me know and when I make mine available to print, I can link to yours!

Also, thanks to all of you who shared a recipe for our soup swap!  I decided it would make more sense to link up tomorrow on Maria’s Kitchen, so stay tuned!

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Admitted Fabricaholic January 24, 2011 at 6:38 am

thank you so much for this! I was wondering how everyone was doing that!!! Immediately Bookmarked this page for later use!! Love it!


Bonnie January 24, 2011 at 6:45 am

Thanks for the great tutorial!


Jennifer January 24, 2011 at 8:19 am

Have you noticed any glitches with picnik? It seems that once I get a couple of layers in there, things slow down and I have a hard time moving things forward and backward. Thanks for the tutorial!


Steph at Modern Parents Messy Kids January 24, 2011 at 9:31 am

Thanks for another great tutorial, I’ve used the original a bunch of times – most recently last night.

The subway art is great. I love holiday decor that looks like regular decor – prints, pillows, etc.


Sarah January 26, 2011 at 7:17 am

For sharing, can you convert the file to a .pdf file – often available as a print option on your computer. Then you can upload it to google docs and set the options to share with everyone. I’ve noticed more and more pattern pieces being done this way.


Destri January 26, 2011 at 7:20 am

You know, I tried that, but google tells me the file is to big. I think I will just upload it to a pdf file sharing site today…I will let you know! Thanks so much for your input :)


Suzanne January 26, 2011 at 7:29 am

love it and got to make one myself :)


Maria March 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial! I just posted a link to you on my blog where you can also see the one I made on http://www.lovesugarkisses.blogspot.com

I’m sharing mine and I’m using http://www.scribd.com which allows you to upload pdf’s to share. If you haven’t already, you should check out scribd!

Thanks again and I’m so happy I found your great blog!


Amy April 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I love your tutorial but I was curious how big you can acutally get them to print out? I have created subway art on Photoshop and printed it out but its poster size. I thought I would be creative using carbon paper trace and paint it but the letters are entirely way to small for that so I was curious if you had any tips on how to do poster size subway art. Thanks!


Stephanie July 10, 2011 at 7:28 am

Thank you so much! I love Picnik and I have been trying to figure out how to do subway art for a while now but I never thought to put the two together. Love this!!


Shannon July 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I used your info to help navigate picnik…..I was so lost but now I think there might be hope~! Thanks!


Destri July 21, 2011 at 4:44 am

Yay! It can be a bit confusing at first, but once you get it….
I have a bunch more editing tips and what not for picnik coming up :)


Tee August 16, 2011 at 10:10 am

Thank you so much! I just completed my first subway art. The wall in my boys bathroom was going to be bare as we just spent all the money to remodel it. I was pinching pennies to save for the art my heart desired. You just helped me make it. It reminds me of the State Farm commerical wherein the men all want to buy falcons with the money that the representative saved them!


Megan November 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm

THANK YOU THANK YOU! I love this – great tute. used it side by side to make my first subway art with picnik!!! :D very happy!


Kerry December 11, 2011 at 3:58 am

Thanks so much! I love subway art but there’s no way I’m paying for it and I don’t have a die cut machine. This is a great alternative! Just created a Christmas one.


Destri December 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm

You’re welcome! Thanks for letting me know!


Lynn January 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I went on Picnik today and saw where they will closing down in April and was wondering how you will be able to make your own subway printable art then. By any chance, have you looked what we can use after that?


Destri January 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Hi Lynn, I know it was a pretty sad day for me! I am looking into it. I use photoshop as well, but really want to find something similar to Picnik. I will update this page as soon as I figure it out. In the meantime, Picasa offers some pretty good options to create subway art, they just don’t have the stickers.


Melanie L June 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm

I would also like an update! Thanks!


Destri June 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Hi Melanie, here is a new post using picmonkey. It is for greeting cards but will work for Subway art too. I have a few recommendations included!


Kasey August 17, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Hi!! Quick question for you! Do you know if you can upload your own image or boarder on picnik? I really want to make a Carolna Gamecock subway art but I just wanted to know before I even attempted to do this!


Destri August 18, 2012 at 5:38 am

Hey there! Actually picnik closed, but picmonkey.com is even better and made by the founders of picnik. and yes you can upload your own border, you would want to use a .png file or layer on top of it. You would upload it under stickers. I need to do a post on it!


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