Sunday, March 25, 2012



I traveled to Australia and New Zealand recently to visit some of my American friends that are currently living there - and isn't that really the best way to travel? You get to live for free and experience the country as a "native" does. I have recently got the travel bug and it made me think of all the places I want to go to, and all of the places I've been to so far. I don't want to forget how fortunate I've been to travel, but I felt it is pretty tacky to just buy an ugly map and pin it to the wall, and push tacks into places you've been. So I decided to make my own version of that, but in a cute and girly way.

I started off by searching for the perfect map. I thought it would be relatively easy to find a simplistic version the world...but it really wasn't. I ended up ordering this map which ships from the UK. Turns out, there is also one here that ships from the US, but is currently out of stock. So I ordered the poster and patiently (read: not patiently at all) waited for it to arrive.

Once it did, I was presently surprised to find out that the grey that is shown online is actually a metallic gray. I then went to the craft store and purchased cork board. The diminsions of my poster are 91 cm x 62 cm, and I was lucky to find a roll of cork board that was 91 cm x 100 cm. Perfect. I laid them both out, and placed books on them over night to try to flatten them out.

Hans supervising. I knew those chemistry books would come in handy!
The next morning, I removed the books and started the process of gluing the poster to the cork board. I used an all purpose glue to do this. I wanted something that could be spread on with a brush. When I first started this, I started to freak out a bit because the poster paper is very thin, so instead of staying smooth, there started to be bumps. The more I glued though, the more I enjoyed the texture the poster was taking on. The glue has to cover the entire board, or else you'll have spots that stay smooth. After each section was glued, I used bobby pins to secure them together. I felt this was better than using clamps because the clamps would leave marks from the pressure. I let this sit over night, and then cut off the remaining unused cork board.

This was my first time doing any sort of wood working, so feel free to give me tips/ways of doing this easier. I went to the Home Depot and walked around aimlessly until I conned some poor man into helping me pick out and cut molding. I made sure to get the pieces extra long in case I screwed up with the sawing of the edges. Using a miter box, I cut pieces so that the edges around the poster were about 1.5 inches shorter than the poster. This step took the better part of an hour, since I was hand sawing. 

the finished cut product

My original plan was to wood glue the pieces together, and once they were dried I was going to hammer in staples to secure.

nice try, noob

Turns out, not clamping the wood means the glue doesn't really do anything, and trying to hammer in those stamples split the wood. So I made my 3rd trip to the Home Depot in 24 hours to buy some brackets. These were screwed onto the sides of the corners, holding the wood together. I was in panic mode so there are no pictures to document.

I then used a satin spray paint in a bright baby blue. I sprayed 4 coats on and let sit over night. The next morning I nailed on saw tooth hanger.

I placed the corkboard map onto the back of the frame to place it. I used small wire nails and nailed in a nail every couple of inches.

And then I hung it up! Since the cork board is thin I used a wire cutter to cut the straight pins I planned on using shorter. Then I pinned all the places I've been. I love the way this turned out, and its really making me excited to continue to explore.

1 comment:

Soccer Mom Style said...

I love your new framed map! The color of your spray-painted frame is very cute too with that dark color of the map.
Wow, you do have a travel bug. I assume you've marked all the states and countries you've traveled to. Maybe next you can visit my home-country of Georgia (I see it on your map :)
It's in the Eastern Europe on the eastern coast of the Black Sea.

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