How to make your own Street Art

Art, Contemporary Art, Decorating, DIY, gallery wall, recycling, Street Art, Upcycling



I have been preparing for a gallery wall, and wanted to make some of my own artwork for it as well as using existing pieces.

I had started to hunt around for original prints, and found some images I really liked, but the artists’ works are REALLY expensive, and then they would need framing and so on.  So I thought I would pay homage instead and get creative for next to nothing.

I found this very cheeky artwork by Dave Buonaguidi.  He has worked in advertising for over 30 years, founding St. Luke’s, the world’s first Co-operative ad agency and most recently Karmarama in 2000. In 2003 he created the iconic MAKE TEA NOT WAR poster for the anti-war march. It now is part of the collection at the V&A and hangs in the Trento museum of modern art. He loves to make work that creates a reaction.  And this one really is a bit full on, but I like the text over a map.


Obviously I needed to tone down the wording on my homage to this, I can just imagine the looks of horror from people visiting with kids if I copied the above verbatim!  So this is how I made my own version by changing the working to ‘I bloody love this place’, far less brutal text than the original but still a bit cheeky and a bit ‘English’.  I also have older teenage daughters who would not be offended than younger ones would be, so I think I can get away with it…. maybe… just!?


I had a vintage framed map of Milan lying around in storage.  It has fond memories for me as I lived there for a few months many years ago, and had a blast whilst there.  So I thought it was a personal piece that I could adapt.  This was going to be the base of the artwork.  I carefully opened it up, and cleaned up the glass on both sides. I measured how much space I had free on the part of the print which would be visible when re-framed.


Download the free font ‘Marigold’ from, and then you can make any text you want and it is a lovely curly handwritten font.  If you don’t want the bother of making your own document I enclose a pdf you can use but it does have my wording on it, be warned!

I then printed out my wording, in my case on A3 paper as my print is quite big.  Print with black ink.


Using a soft pencil (2B-6B), on the reverse of the paper shade in the areas where the printed text is, you can see it through the paper easily as you have printed with black.  You can go quite heavily on the shading.


Then turn the paper over and place it onto the print, working out where you want the text placed (ie, top, middle, bottom etc).  Gently use some masking tape on each corner to fix the paper to the print below.  This stops it sliding about on the next step.

With your pencil, trace over the words, pushing quite firmly.  This will transfer the graphite on the back onto the original print.  Then when this is done, very carefully peel off the masking tape so you don’t damage the print.  You will be left with a lightly shaded, perfect text.


Now fill in the text with whatever you feel comfortable using, I used a sharpie pen, but you could use paint, crayons or anything that you fancy.  Gouache would be good if you like paints as it is very opaque.


Reframe, and voila… your very own piece of street urban art.


I also then painted my frame black to make it a bit less retro:


This took all of a couple of hours to do, whilst reusing an languishing print and making it into a much more personal piece of art, and it cost nothing unlike the hundreds of pounds I would have spent buying an original framed version.  Bonus!



One thought on “How to make your own Street Art

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.