Thursday, August 2, 2012

DIY Map Art

A few weeks ago I saw a great idea on Pinterest. You would think with the convenience and ease of clicking the popular "repin" button that I would have done just that. Nope. I didn't pin it. *Sigh*, life's little regrets, huh? Fortunately, I took a mental snapshot of the DIY idea and decided to try to make my own version of the awesome map art I had seen.

A quick trip to Lowe's got me 4 pieces of pre-cut wood for $8. I chose thin wood so it wouldn't be heavy to hang on the wall. 

Since the wood was so thin, I actually just got a few free painters sticks and used heavy duty wood glue to piece it all together. The wood is so lightweight, the wood glue should be just fine.

I made sure glue was on all the seams and then used a plastic sandwich bag over my finger so I wouldn't get glue on them and spread the glue evenly over all the seams.

I covered it with wax paper and then piled heavy books on top of the painters sticks.

I knew those old college textbooks would come in handy someday. 

I forgot to take pictures of this next step, but I stained the wood with one coat of Rustoleum American Walnut and then let it dry outside for a few hours.

I found a large clip art map just by searching Google Images, printed it out across 3 pieces of regular sized printer paper and then used a sharp scissor to cut out the countries from paper. I didn't worry about making it very precise since I just wanted a general outline of the world map. I used spray adhesive to make the DIY paper stencil stick to the wood.

I had a leftover sample size of flat pale yellow paint from a past project that I carefully painted over the stencil with a foam brush. The spray adhesive kept the stencil firmly in place which kept the paint from running under the stencil. I let this dry for a few minutes and then slowly pulled the stencil off. I used a flat head screwdriver to scrap away some of the paint bloopers. I also found that this technique worked very well and got a little carried away making some "islands" out of the once "whole" countries LoL. Ah well, I guess it makes the map unique haha. I may actually go back and touch up the paint in some of the areas I overdid the paint scrapping lol. 
I let this dry for awhile and wah-la, here's the final project! 

I'm surprised at how well it turned out. The pale yellow works great against the dark wood surface. It turned out much better than I expected, was SUPER cheap ($8!) and will be a nice upgrade from my current wall decor shown here:

The photo quality is awful, I know, but as I was sitting here on the couch writing this blog post, I realized I could just snap a quick photo of this wall space with my phone without moving an inch =)  I've had this picture since college. I got it at Target for $12 so I don't feel so bad about replacing it. I think the map art will go well right on that wall space. What do you think? Have you done any creative DIY projects lately?

Happy Thursday!


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