August 13, 2011

✥ Z Gallerie Subway Art Knock Off ✥


I've been longing for some subway art for awhile. I didn't want to do a stencil or paint project because I wanted it to look legit! I wanted to basically have this Z Gallerie piece that costs hundreds, but of course I'd like to pay umm, nothing 40 bucks.

One day I came across this tutorial from A Thoughtful Place. Courtney has done a smart remake for this well loved project. She uses Microsoft Publisher to create a template which she has made into a poster and then attaches it to a canvas.

I thought to myself, self, you can do that.
So I did. I have a Mac and don't have Microsoft Publisher, but if you have Word 08 you don't need it- your program has two uses, one of which is the publishing layout view.
I found it to be just as easy as the regular word program.

First, you want to format your text box into the same dimensions as your canvas will be. For example, if your canvas has a of width 3 ft and a height of 5 ft you want you text box to be in a 3/5 ratio.

Second, content, decide what you're writing on your canvas. Rather than copy Z Gallerie's canvas exactly, I choose to write the names of all the vacation spots that Z and I have LOVED. I want it to make us happy every time we look at it, especially because it will be across from the couch and next to the TV, prominently displayed you could say. 

Third, pick your fonts. For mine I used 4 fonts that I switched back and forth to create interest. I mostly picked fonts that had a typewriter/newspaper print feeling about them.
Fourth, layout, I tried to keep the overall visual flow the same as my inspiration-specifically the L.A. canvas. Z Gallerie has like 6 different posters and I found the spacing for this one to be the most visually pleasing, of course this is all personal preference. To adjust the spacing horizontally go into your tool box, then your "Fonts" and click on "W" to change it. To change the vertical spacing go into "Alignment and Spacing" and find "line spacing" to make the changes.

Fifth, matching the black background using shading effects. Before I finished I wanted to change the background to look more worn and varied. To do this, just click on the text box then go to your toolbox. Go to "Colors, Weights, and Fills" and click on Colors, then hold down the arrow to see more options. There you'll find "Fill Effects", this is where the good stuff happens. In "Gradient" you have several options to blend two colors. The variant I chose was "Diagonal Down", for "Colors" I picked two shades of grey, and for "Transparency" I put in between 0 and 20%.

OK, you're done with your poster!
I had my poster printed up at Staples and it cost $3.40. Staples was a lot cheaper than all the other places, and yes, I called everywhere.  This size poster would've cost 64 dollars if it was done in color! Crazy, right? So, you want to do black and white- which allows for grey tones as well.You may want to print it up a little larger than the canvas dimensions, so it will be able to wrap around the edges, too.

I purchased the canvas at Michael's. I planned on using a coupon, but they were on sale for 50% off. So I splurged on the  more expensive, thicker and higher quality canvas instead. I'm super happy that I did that, as it make a huge difference. It make the piece look much more expensive and substantial. My inspiration piece was 30 x 60. The canvas I purchased is 30 x 40. That's the closest I could get with the pre-made sizes.
Sixth, adhere your poster to the canvas with Mod Podge. It's easiest to begin with the poster rolled up. I painted decoupage on the canvas in 6-8 inch high sections across the entire width of the canvas. Then laid out the poster on the painted portion so that I could unroll it after I painted each section You'll get a lot of wrinkles and for this look you want them. I adhered the top first, then the sides. 
If you rub the Mod Podge when it's wet the black ink will smear over the white print. You can see the difference between where I rubbed the A and where I hadn't yet. If you want the distressed look you'll want to do this in several places, if you don't then be careful!
Seventh, distressing  to match the worn look of the inspiration piece. I worked with three different grits of sandpaper, a Dremel with a sanding bit (optional, but very helpful), and a level for a straight edge. I distressed the edges of the canvas, the tops of the wrinkles I mentioned that we wanted, and I highly distressed the two corners that were lighter gray vs the two that were darker {due to the "diagonal down" lighting gradient I chose}. Lastly, I used my straight edge so that I could create the look of worn lines using the Dremel and sandpaper.

Eighth, matching the distressed lettering using paint. I used craft paint to create the dark spots over the white lettering. I mixed white and black paint so I could match the varied background in the different poster portions exactly. 
I used a sponge brush and several techniques to match Z Gallerie's look, including tapping the brush, blotting it, and dragging it in different directions.

Ninth-Seal up your work cause you did it! Use whatever type of sealer you like, except Mod Podge! ;)  I thought I could just Mod Podge over the poster one last time to seal the sanded edges- obviously this was more action and impatience and less forethought and planning. A lot of the paint I had just applied came off. 



Do I ever get a project right the first time, come on!
So use whatever spray sealer you want, just make sure it works with paper and will not yellow over time.
All in all, I paid $35.50 for this knock off {well actually, 23.50. I made 10 bucks off of the poster because Staples first printed the wrong size, causing me to have to return to the store and then wait for 45 minutes for the right one to be printed off.} Even without that I would've saved 365 dollars!
Now go make some subway art and save yourselves some dinero!




Update: Please check out these lovely sites who've featured my Knock Off! {yay!}
Cherished Treasures”=
The Shabby Nest




 

95 comments:

  1. Great tutorial and I love the finished piece! Pinned, tweeted & stumbled! :)

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  2. Soooooooooooooooooooooo AWESOME!!!!

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  3. This is great! I'm obsessed with all of your DIY projects! :)

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  4. Love it & your tutorial is easy to follow. I would love for you to show this off at my Wickedly Crafty Saturdays! Linky is still up & running. http://wiccanmakesometoo.blogspot.com/2011/08/wickedly-crafty-saturdays-81311.html

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  5. Wow, this looks so good! And I just love your tutorials - so clear & step-by-step, pitfalls & all! Please keep 'em coming!
    Jane-Jacksonville

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  6. First of all, you crack me up!!

    Secondly, LOOOVE THIS! Thanks for sharing! I'm all about simple-to-create pop art. I've done a few that you could easily do, as well. (http://sweetishbabyboutique.blogspot.com/2011/08/pop-art-wall-decor.html)

    Yay! :)

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  7. Do you remember which fonts you used? I really like the way yours turned out. Thanks for the great tutorial!

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  8. @ Heather- you're a "no comment blogger", so people can't send you replies directly. This is easily changed in your blog settings, if it's something you care to do.
    The fonts I used were: Bordeaux Roman Bold LET, Bell MT, News Gothic MT, and Book Antiqua. I'm stoked you liked it enough to want to copy it! Good luck and I'd LOVE to see the final product!

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  9. Love your version of subway art!!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  10. It turned out better than the Z Gallery one! Great job...love it! Visiting from Between Naps on the Porch.

    Ciao!!

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  11. LOVE it! I did one for my son's room, but he wanted the clean lines. NO distressing. Boy, that was hard for me. He said "Mom, why do you always want stuff to look old." Ha!

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  12. Great tutorial! I could not tell the scale of this until I saw it on your table! Wow, it's huge! I love it!

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  13. I love this idea. Your poster idea is great. I want to try this.

    Ruth

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  14. That is awesome! I might try something like that - thanks for the inspiration!

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  15. Great project!! I just did a Subway art project too!! I am loving this style art right now!!

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  16. Thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday - you were featured today!!
    --Mandy, www.SugarBeeCrafts.com

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  17. Wow, this is a great post. I love your blog and the projects that you do.

    I am now a follower!

    I host a Bunny Hop Party every Wednesday and I would like to invite you. The linky is open until Sunday, but don't wait too long ;)

    xoxo Bunny Jean
    Bunny Jean's Decor and More (my main blog)

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  18. You did a great job teaching us how to do this! Thanks for sharing what doesn't work, and why. I'm might tackle this over the weekend!

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  19. You knocked it out of the ballpark! I love how you aged it. I still need to do that as I look over at hit hanging next to me. Well done, my friend. Thanks for the shout out!

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  20. Awesome! This is a version I would definitely try! Thanks for sharing!

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  21. This is a great tutorial! And don't feel too bad.. I never get it right on the first try, but it better that we tried at all! I have a plan to do some subway art in my Piano room! Love yours!

    Tiffany {Living Savvy}
    www.savvydesignwest.com

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  22. I featured you!!! http://typeadecorating.blogspot.com/2011/08/highlights-from-anything-goes-30.html

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  23. Featuring YOU over on my blog today. Love this! :) Feel free to drop by & grab a button. :)

    Ginger
    gingersnapcrafts.blogspot.com

    http://gingersnapcrafts.blogspot.com/2011/08/take-look-you-simple-messages.html

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  24. Totally love this!! LOVE IT!! :) Thanks for sharing at FNF :)

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  25. I REALLY want to do one of these - yours turned out just gorgeous!!!

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  26. I so love your subway art! You've got my brain thinking of a project...thanks for linking up! I'll be featuring this...I so love this!!

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  27. been wondering how i was going to afford one of these! thanks a million! great job!

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  28. Do you hang this with thumbtacks as is or do you mount it to wood and have hanging hardware?

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  29. Did you print your version at home and take it to them to blow up or save to a jump drive and have them print from that?

    I have my canvas and other supplies ready to go!! Going to make one for my parent's 50th with a history of their marriage via street names and places. We are from Atlanta and they were raised in and around the city so they have many memories from the city. She worked for Delta and he worked for Rich's in the 60s...you can't get more "Atlanta" than those two places!
    I think it will be awsesome for them to have.

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  30. Wow really nice! Love the distressing effect!

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  31. LOVE IT! you did a great tutorial--thanks

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  32. I love Subway Art, but never thought I could do it myself. Thanks for the Tips and Inspiration!

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  33. Man, I am absolutely loving your tutorials, I think I've pinned half your blog. This is great. Thank you!

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  34. I recently made a subway art as well but I wanted color. Instead of spending the above mentioned $64 for color I printed it at Staples in the black and white and then took out my color pencils. It took a bit to color 2 full pencils but it looked so professional in the end. I was able to age it just as you did above as well, just added color before I did anything else. Just a tip for your next subway art. My biggest regret was not getting a picture of it before I gave it away.

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  35. Fabulous tutorial!! I have done a few subway art signs before but always painted them. Never though to get a poster done! Thanks for linking up to The Creative Spark. I'll be featuring this on my facebook page today. Have a great day!
    jenn :)

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  36. This looks great!

    Jenny
    www.simcoestreet.blogspot.com

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  37. WOW. LOVE your poster
    I'm doing one of these for my daughter, thanks to you. It's the first "crafty" project that she's ever gotten excited about!I know NOTHING about Publisher but I am going to accomplish this, dang it.
    I'm guessing that I print it at home and have it re-sized to fit the canvas at Staples?

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  38. Awesome job! It looks amazing!
    Consider me inspired! : )

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  39. That is fantastic! I have been looking for a tutorial on how to do this..and here it is!

    please follow me at akmdesignsandelights.blogspot.com

    ~Angi

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  40. Your canvas turned out so well! I'm going to have to try that one of these days. Congratulations for your feature on The Shabby Nest!

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  41. I LOVE you knock off and your instructions are great!

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  42. I love this and have bookmarked this, so I can come back and try it when I think of what I'd like my poster to say. So awesome, thanks for sharing.

    Alida
    http://radcrafter.com

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  43. That's amazing!!! I've been wanting to tackle this project, but then I would think about stenciling for tons of hours..uh. I'm going to try your version very soon! Thanks for sharing!

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  44. Good Morning!

    Just love your tutorial! I am featuring it on my blog today { www.polkadotbungalow.blogspot.com }!! Have a very {Marvelous} Monday and a Happy Fall!

    {HUGS}

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  45. Your canvas turned out great! Great idea to use canvas. I did a similar one on MDF and it ended up really heavy.

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  46. THANK YOU for the great tutorial on this awesome project! For rookies (and DIY Dummies) like me, it was great! Your steps were very complete and easy to understand. LUV the completed sign! :)

    xoxo laurie

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  47. Wow this sounds a lot easier than I thought it would be. I'm going to have to try this. Do you remember the names of the fonts you used?

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  48. Sure!
    The fonts I used were: Bordeaux Roman Bold LET, Bell MT, News Gothic MT, and Book Antiqua.
    If you make one, I'd LOVE to see the final product!

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  49. I love this idea and the tutorial! Thanks for sharing! I am your newest follower and also featured this on my Saw it {Loved it} Sunday at www.mirrorsmetaphorsandkaleidoscopes.blogspot.com

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  50. I love these. Thanks so much for posting the instructions ---- PINNED!

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  51. I just wanted to say I LOVE this idea so very much! It looks so expensive...gotta love the power of Mod Podge! Very inspiring.
    Thanks,
    Lina @ Fancy Frugal Life

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  52. Turned out Fabulous!!! Nice job! :)

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  53. Hi Becca,
    I'm enjoying your blog. By chance, has anyone pointed out that "Grand Cayman" was spelled incorrectly?! So sorry! Hopefully it can be changed with a quick paint touch up! ;) Great tutorial (found via Pinterest)!

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  54. I love this. I was just looking at an Atlanta version of this and just could not force myself to make the purchase (on sale for $350!!!!). So glad I found this. Will try my hand at doing this myself. Wish me luck

    Beginning DIYer

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  55. Becca,

    How ever did I miss this post???? I have a Mac and have not as of yet figured out so many things!! I've been wanting to do one of this FOREVER. Actually two, one of all the places we have lived and another of all the places I've lived... plus a map with pins denoting all the places we each have been. Thank you so very much for this great tutorial and all the info for Macs!!!

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  56. What a lovely idea-thanks for sharing

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  57. That is TOTALLY fabulous. Great, great job! Thanks so much for sharing this at Shine on Fridays this week!

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  58. Love this! Great tutorial! Found it through Pinterest. I just may have to do this (although I like all of your destinations better than ours). Thanks for the step by step instructions!

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  59. LOVE your knock off version! Thanks for sharing the awesome tutorial :)

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  60. Wow, I've been working on this exact thing this weekend! Found a tapestry on the World Market Website but it was $152 OUCH! The posters aren't cheap either. Have been anguishing over the fonts. Love the tips on distressing. I think I have a program that has distressed backgrounds.

    I've made posters at Kinkos, but I may try printing on tissue paper and decopauging on canvas.

    My project will be so much better because of you!

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  61. You did such an amazing job!
    I really love this sign. Featuring it tomorrow!

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  62. I love your subway art! I have just finished a similar project, so I love seeing how you did yours. Thanks so much for linking up @ the Delectable Home!

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  63. LOVE this one! I think I actually read on it awhile ago, before I knew you. (virtually knew you lol). You are the print queen!

    Thanks for linking it up!
    --Katie

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  64. This is AWESOME! I'd LOVE to have you link up your project at my party! XO, Aimee

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  65. This is AWESOME! I'd LOVE to have you link up your project at my party! XO, Aimee

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  66. Amazing!!! Thank you for sharing! I'm in love..

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  67. What a fabulous project! We just featured it on our FB page!

    Take care,

    Trish

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  68. I am inviting you to come and be part of my blog hop:
    http://juliejewels1.blogspot.com/2012/03/seafood-crab-salad-show-your-stuff-17.html

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  69. This is fabulous. I am going to give it a try! Thanks for the major hint to use Microsoft Publisher. I never knew how to start before reading this!
    from Holly @ www.abakershouse.com

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  70. Really awesome tutorial... this is my first time working with a canvas and mod podge. As a matter of fact, it's my first foray into art of any sort!

    I was wondering if you used a black canvas or just painted the sides yourself? At one point you mentioned printing the poster a little larger to be able to wrap the paper around the canvas...how far around did you wrap it and did you wrap all 4 sides? Did you have to change your textbox dimensions in Word/Publisher?

    These are probably stupid questions but I'm brand new to this so any comments would be appreciated!

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  71. Love. Love. Love this -- and using places you and your hubby have traveled too was brilliant too. I know I'm months after the fact, but glad I stumbled upon your blog. New follower :) Cheers!

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  72. I love the artwork! Made one up myself and sent to Office Depot to enlarge. They said it may be pixely because of the size. I went from
    6 x 9 text box to 24 x 36.. Did you have this problem?

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  73. This is FAB! Just love the whole look. I will be thinking about this and hopefully making one too. Thank you!

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  74. Becca,

    We are featuring you over at Decor2Adore{able} on 5/10/2012.

    We hope you will enter many projects.

    Cheri

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  75. This turned out sooo cool. I made one but used a stencil I made on my silhouette and I wish I had thought to do this with the staples poster. Great idea & yours looks better :)
    I'd love for you to link this up on my link party this week at http://www.doodlesandstitches.com/2012/05/fabulous-friday-link-party_25.html Thanks for sharing!

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  76. I love this project and can't wait to get started on my own! I do have a question. You stated in the First step that I will need to format my text box in publish into the same dimensions as my canvas will be (ie: 3ft x 5ft canvas you would want a text box to be 3/5).

    1. I would love to do a 36 x 48 cavas for my home what would the dimensons for my text box be? I know, I know....It might be the easiest question ever, but I'm having a serious brain fart!

    2. You printed the poster a tad larger than the cavas to overlap on the sides right?

    3.How did your corners of the canvas turn out? Did you have extra paper left over and had to mod podge it down (like wraping a present?)

    4. Finally, did you distress the print right after you mod pogded it onto the canvas?

    Thank you for your help, I'm looking forward to your responses!

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  77. This is brilliant! Love it!!
    Sherry

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  78. I'm just getting around to my features now, thanks for linking up to Make the Scene Monday...you are being featured later this evening!

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  79. This is amazing!! I bought a long and narrow canvas that is 16x40...help, how do I format the document so it isn't blurry?

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  80. Is there anyway I could get detailed directions, I can pay if u sell them to me. i hate to sound desperate I am just using Mac Word for the first time and I have a 5day time line :( Photoshop was Impossible to do with my time line, I was having very little luck:(

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  81. I LOVE this and want to make one but I can't get my Mac to do what you suggested. Is there any way I can pay you to do the fonts for me? I can do the rest - just not technically savvy at all. I would use my former address.

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  82. Hello Becca, I love this project and I am in the process of creating one myself. I have never used the publisher view in word so I have a quick question. How should I save the project for the print shop to print it out. Can I save just the text box as a PDF or JPEG?
    Thanks for your help!

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  83. Nice. This is really useful tip. Thanks for sharing this.

    Wholesale Canvas Prints

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  84. Hey Becca! Not sure if you're still responding to comments on this post. But! If you are... a couple of questions for you. I want to cause the distressing over the letters like you (accidentally) did with the "A". When you said not to rub it after you've Mod Podged it, did you mean after MPing underneath or on top? I definitely want to create the distressed look but I'm TOTALLY new at this so I have no clue how to go about it. :) Thanks, I hope you're still answering comments! :D

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