christas subway art 2

Subway art! Is the trend over?  Can I just do one last project before the end of the year that involves subway art? How about Christmas subway art!? I decided to make a little Christmas subway art screen print using the Simply Screen by Plaid to make holiday pillow covers for gift giving.

Christmas Subway Art

I was originally inspired by the $49 Holiday Stamp Pillow Covers from Pottery Barn but I wanted different words to really convey what Christmas means to our family. holiday stamp pillow covers

Simply Screen is a self contained screen printing kit that contains everything you need to make screen prints that you can use over and over again.  The Simply Screen Kit retails for $39.99 and is sold only at Hobby Lobby.

The box comes with everything you need to give it a whirl.  So what I did first is create a black and white subway art on Picnik vand printed it out on 20 lb. printer paper.

christmas subway art

Then I peeled back the paper from one of the screens and burnished the print down.  In order to allow the paper and screen a tight seal I put a piece of 8” x 10” glass over it and then put it inside the box.

It is crazy that the box you buy it in is also the exposure house for your prints.  Nifty!

simply screen

Then after 25 minutes of light exposure you remove the paper and soak your screen for 30 seconds and then scrub the screen to remove the emulsion.


I found it worked better to use my little sprayer attached to my kitchen faucet.  The pressure was just enough to clean it out with minimal scrubbing.  It takes about 3 minutes to get all the emulsion off the screen.

simply screen 2

Then you have a screen ready to apply ink to.  I applied some Scotch Blue Painters tape to the screen and grabbed the Simply Screen paint in Fire Truck Red.  I squirted a thick line of paint onto the top of my screen and then using the squeegee that came with the kit I drug the line down to the bottom with light, even pressure making sure the paint got into the screen evenly.

simply screen (2)

Immediately I removed the screen and rinsed it out with cold water so I could reuse the screen again.  Then I tried again using the Simply Screen glitters.  It is the same process but instead of adding paint you add the Simply Screen glue adhesive and then sprinkle glitter on it and let it sit overnight.

simply screen glitter

Then you shake off the excess and iron it (using a press cloth) to set the glitter. I think it is beautiful and VERY SPARKLY but I am concerned about my crazy kids around this pillow.  I have a feeling their sparkling personalities will show up a little brighter around this baby since you can still rub it and get glitter off of it.

Christmas Subway Art 3

Then I sewed up an envelope style pillow cover in x 12” x 16” lumbar pillow to change out my pillows with these fabulous seasonal ones.

christas subway art 2


1. There is a learning curve to this process.  You will probably need to try it 3-4 times before you get the hang of everything.

2. Use the test strips.  I thought I was super craftwoman and did the first two times only to then try 5 tests before I figured out my problem.  See #3 to diagnose my problem.

3.  Use a timer for exactly 25 minutes, no more, no less or you will have less than satisfactory results. 

4. Place glass over your paper and screen while exposing it to the light.  This allows the paper to get a nice seal with the screen so you have crisp lines.

5.  Do not scrub your screens too hard or you will remove parts of the design you don’t want to.

6.  Each fabric is different so test your screen on a test piece first. I used a thick cotton drop cloth so I felt I had to press harder to get the ink to get into the weave of the fabric.

Check out my Deer Family Pillow and my Monogram Pillow to see more ideas for using screen printing.

Check out some more canvas drop cloth pillows here…


Left to right: Christmas Subway Art PillowChalkboard Fabric Silhouette PillowsLucky Pillow with Domed Penny ButtonPottery Barn Nest Knock Off PillowPresidents Day Canvas PillowDefinition of Adventure PillowChristmas Glitter Ornament PillowHome Sweet Home Pillow

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  1. Oh Beckie,
    You said Hobby Lobby, right? I am going to have to print out my 40% off coupon and head right down to Hobby Lobby. This is just what I have been wanting to do for a Christmas pillow as well as a canvas hanging decoration!

    I really need to start spending more time in Picnik and Picasa learning the editing curves.

    Once again thank you for the great tutorial!

  2. Peggy yep only Hobby Lobby. There is a learning curve so make sure you do a few test strips first. Let me know if you purchase it and want my file I can send it to ya.

  3. This is so cool … just ordered one from Hobby Lobby and can’t wait to make a pillow !!!

  4. I would love to have the art file if you don’t mind sharing it. I don’t have time to do a pillow for this year but I would love to print it off and frame it!

  5. Very new to this…but very excited about giving it a try….
    Not sure how I make the template though. How did you create your template?

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