Goodwill Craft- 80’s Artwork Turned Cool Subway Art


I was in Goodwill last week and I spotted this hot chick:


VERY Brady Bunch.

I loved the inlay and the frame color plus it was $3.99 and I thought I could make it into something  much better.
Let it live its best life ala Oprah.
Here’s the plan:

A little paint tape and chalkboard spray paint.

Sprayed just the center inlay part with three coats of the paint.

I got out these stencils that I bought last fall at Hobby Lobby was dying to use.

Only $1.65 on clearance.
My inspiration?
Restoration Hardware’s 500 dollar subway art that I knew I could somehow re-create.
I also wrote down the names I wanted on this piece.
To make it personal to us, I used street names that meant something.
For the number streets, I used the day we had our first date, our wedding day and the month we started dating. I just added the words ST. or AV. behind them.
Ours is very Chicago inspired and I love that because you can’t find Chicago subway art anywhere.
My partner in crime?
This baby.
I love my chalk pen.
So far, so good.
Then I took the chalk ink and drew within the stencils freehand.
And we know how bad my freehand is.

So I ended up with this kind of mess.



It wasn’t that the letters weren’t completely even that bothered me. It was that the chalk ink mistakes I was making all over the place were giving me away.

So I got out the baby wipes and erased the mistakes.
And here is the final result…..
What do we think??

Not perfect or even Restoration Hardware-ish by any means but definitely special.


Here is the cost breakdown:

1- sign from Goodwill– $3.99. You could use any old plank of wood. You probably even have one laying around your house right now. Maybe it is an old art piece that you are thinking of donating yourself. It’s fun to find new ideas for something old.


2- chalkboard paint– I already had this but this would be $6 at any home improvement store.
3- chalk ink– again, already had this but these will lay you out $12 at a craft store. I got mine at Michael’s back in April and with the two projects I created with them, they have definitely paid for themselves already.
4- stencils- I got mine back in September on the clearance shelf at Hobby Lobby for $1.65. Stencils are tricky as some places charge big bucks for these. If you have a Silhouette or Cricut machine, skip this whole process; print out the words you want to use, and stick them onto the chalkboard or black spray paint. I swear, I am starting a Silhouette fund for myself.


Total cost for me- $5.64 for personalized subway art!

Total cost for you- under 20 bucks!



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18 thoughts on “Goodwill Craft- 80’s Artwork Turned Cool Subway Art

  1. Suzanne

    Love your DIY project! I am a BIG fan of chalkboard paint and spray paint! Good job! 🙂

  2. Kari at A Grace Full Life

    Thanks Suzanne! I just visited your blog today and became a follower- love your site!!

    Kari 🙂

  3. Kari at A Grace Full Life

    Thanks Nicolette! And yes, what would we do without 80's artwork, or 70's for that matter. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by!


  4. Jen @ Bungalov

    Very craftY. I have been seeing these all over and you did yours for a steal!! I saw Grant Park from a link party pic and knew you were from Chi-town. Me too! Born and raised!

  5. Kari at A Grace Full Life

    Woo hoo…Chi Town in the house! I have lived here for over 20 years now and I love it here. My hubs was born and raised here. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  6. Six Sisters

    You are so dang cute! I love that you called it "Brady Bunch" art. Ha ha! Your project turned out fantastic . . . you are so creative to just look at something and see a vision of what you want! I am so impressed! Thank you so much for linking up to Strut Your Stuff Saturday- we would LOVE to have you come back tomorrow and link up more of your great posts!
    -The Six Sisters

  7. Kari at A Grace Full Life

    Aww. thanks so much! I love me my six sisters! 🙂

    I will be back today to link up to your awesome party!!! 🙂

  8. Kari at A Grace Full Life

    Thanks for stopping by Michelle! I love your blog so I am honored to share my ideas at your link parties. 🙂

  9. Kari at A Grace Full Life

    Yippeee!!! I love being featured! I am headin' over there right now! Thanks so much!!!

  10. Kari at A Grace Full Life

    Robin- thanks!

    Lindsay- I am glad to share it at your party! Thanks for having me. 🙂