Morning, everyone! Claire here, and I’ve got to hand it to you all for your super creative and valuable input when it came to brainstorming this project. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, Camille and Adam came across a piece of subway-inspired graphic artwork on their Santa Barbara babymoon that they absolutely loved. So when they came to me with the challenge of creating a similar piece for Adam’s office space, I knew I could turn to y’all for ideas. After much consideration, here is what I came up with: a simple yet personalized piece of artwork to add some graphic interest to Adam’s workspace. I’m so please with the outcome, that I’ve already decided to make another one for myself! Want to see how I did it? Follow the jump for the easy instructions.

  • MDF board (I bought size 1/4″thick x 2′ x 4′)
  • spray adhesive
  • command damage free picture hanging strips
  • acrylic paint
  • paint brush
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • sand paper
  • computer
  1. Design your signage. Adam is from San Diego, so he wanted beaches of California. I kept it simple and masculine with block white fonts on a black background.
  2. Lay out the design in your preferred computer program. I used Adobe Illustrator, but you can use a program like Paint if you don’t have Illustrator.  Make sure you create your print to the size you actual want it, (I did 24″ x 36″) so that it printed in a high enough resolution.
  3. Spell check! then take the file to a local print shop to have it printed.
  4. Once printed, I marked the edge of the print onto the 2′ x 4′ MDF panel, then went to Home Depot and had them cut accordingly. Cutting the board after the sign is printed allows for them to be the exact same size. Sand if needed.
  5. Paint the exposed edges in your preferred color. I painted mine white to match the border of the sign.
  6. Lay the board outside on a flat surface and spray the top 4 or 5 inches of the MDF board. Slowly lay down the top of the print and smooth.
  7. Moving down the board, repeat step 6 until you have adhered the entire poster to the MDF. Spraying and gluing in small portions allows it to glue down smoothly. It’s especially helpful to have a partner during these steps.
  8. Once dry, use the Command strips to hang on the wall and enjoy!

*photos by Camille

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Comments (16)
  1. 1
    Carrie Z June 14, 2012 at 8:04 am

    This looks great. I’ve been wanting to make something like this, but have always been too scared of messing it up! Love it.

  2. 2
    Julia @ life on churchill June 14, 2012 at 8:21 am

    it looks great! what weight paper did you print with?

    • clairezinnecker June 14, 2012 at 8:50 am

      Hi Julia! I used the photo matte poster size paper. It was a nice medium weight. The matte is still glossy but not too much (so you don’t see every finger print!) Hope this helps! -Claire

  3. 3
    Michelle Sereno June 14, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Love how it’s simple yet bold, great work Claire!

  4. 4
    Kelly June 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Claire- I’ve been wanting to make of these, LOVE the way it turned out!!! Such a great job! xo

  5. 5
    Rachel June 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Not to rain on your creative parade…but type should NEVER be scaled horizontally or vertically. It’s the difference between good and bad typography.

    • Camille Styles June 14, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Rachel. I have to say that we don’t really believe in applying the words “always” or “never” when it comes to design…strict rules about what makes “good” design can feel so old-school and get in the way of real creativity! Especially when it comes to interiors, it is really all in the eye of the beholder, and fortunately, we love how this one turned out for our space. But we totally welcome differing thoughts and appreciate you weighing in!

      • Rozi September 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm

        Hi Claire, I’m completely new to the printmaking process. I was wondering where would I be able to buy the MDF Board? Also what font sizes did you use for the words in the print?

  6. 6
    Danielle June 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Love this! Also love seeing San Clemente on there!!

  7. 7
    Kate June 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I LOVE it! I want one.

  8. 8
    Jessica Ellingsworth June 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Really neat, Claire! I would love to do one of So Ca. places we went my wedding week (Zuma, Malibu, etc..) Inspiring!! 🙂

  9. 9
    Debra Kapellakis June 19, 2012 at 1:39 am

    I like it!

  10. 10
    Welovelinen June 21, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Three words FAB U Lous!!!

  11. 11
    Kat June 23, 2012 at 8:28 am

    This would be great to do in my friend’s new apartment on the flat sliding closet doors, or even under the kitchen counter.

  12. 12
    Raluca July 17, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I did it and messed it up when I tried to glue it to the panel 🙁 How do I do that without trapping air in the process? Yours looks so nice!

    • Claire Zinnecker July 19, 2012 at 8:51 am

      It was definitely the most difficult part! I had someone standing with me, they would lay down the glue in a strip across the board, about a 2″ wide band of glue. They would then hold the the part of the poster I wasn’t gluing while I laid down the paper onto the board along that one strip of glue. If you apply in strips it allows you to really focus on each part you are gluing, smoothing from top down and all the way across. Does that make sense? Hope this helps and let me know if you need any more explanation! Good luck!