Friday, July 20, 2012

Map it! Wall Art

Do you have a blah space in your house? A space that just needs some TLC and you don’t know what to do? Well, I have had one for 3 years. It’s this little landing ledge at the top of my stairs. It’s just small enough not to have a purpose and just large enough not to ignore.

The blah:


I slapped some pictures on the ledge and the added this canvas (below) on sale at Home Goods just because it said ‘Beach’ on it and I like the beach.

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No, the canvas didn’t help much. But, three years later, the space was what it was. UNTIL…
I was cleaning out my garage and I found these Thomas Guides!

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Pause: If you’ve been driving less that 10 years or so – ahem, Thomas Guides are these archaic map-like objects made out of paper. They did not move or know your location. They could not tell you where the closest Starbucks was, but they could show you a confusing freeway matrix should you ever get lost and need to pull over to the side of the road, search through your trunk for this book and thumb through the pages until you found where you were looking for or just gave up and went back home.

I myself had to learn how to use a Thomas Guide because I got lost wherever I went. TRUE STORY: I got lost so many times, my parents punished me by making me study these Thomas Guide maps for a half hour every day for weeks.
But I digress…

Finding these map books in my garage gave me an epiphany for my blah stair space. Both books were from the county where I was born (LA) and where my kids were born (SD). So, I quickly found the pages that I wanted and tore them out.

Ready for the fun part? I also had 4 foam 8 1/2 by 11 foam core boards waiting for a project. So, a little mod podge later and I had myself some new wall art!


Here is what you’ll need to make your own map art:

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  • Old Thomas Guide books or old maps
  • 8x10x.19 inch foam board sheets (or any size you need)
  • scissors
  • mod podge
  • foam brush

I carefully cut my maps to size, put a layer of mod podge on the foam board first, smoothed out my maps and added a layer of mod podge on top of the map to seal it:

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I did this step for each foam board and map (a total of 4)– and even cut out a Map Scale (above) to add more detail to one of the maps!

Want to know another cool thing I added? WELL, the pages I tore out of each Thomas Guide included the street that I grew up on and the hospital where I was born AND the streets where both boys were born and the hospitals where THEY were born! Coincidentally all the houses we lived in were just minutes from the hospitals – so they are on the same page/picture!
Another added detail – using clippings from the Thomas Guide maps, I added all our birthdates to each map that showed where we were born:


This took a fun project and suddenly made it really personal.

I then took the four foam boards and mounted them on a canvas. (Remember that bad beachy canvas from way above?) I covered it in burlap and mounted on the four foam maps! You can mount them with push pins from behind, glue dots or a staple gun, depending on how heavy your foam boards are. Mine were very light.


The last touch was to stencil the word HOME on top of the canvas, since each map shows our HOME town:


Now, instead of a blah space:


I have a very personal “tah-dah!” space that I love!


Maybe this will make me want to climb up my stairs more! What would you do with old maps?

Sharing at Tatertots and Jellos and 504 Main



Brie Holtrop said...

Beautiful and creative! YAY for not-empty space :)

Brie @ Breezy Pink Daisies

Jileen said...

Reannah, what a great project! Very lovely.

Four Marrs and One Venus said...

OK you Clever Cute Girl! I love this fun project! Really awesome touch that you made it more personal by adding your details so cute! What a Great Ta-Da Space Now!

Kelly @ View Along the Way said...

That is so sweet! I love art that has personal meaning. But really, how did we EVER get anywhere before GPS?! It is astounding to me.

Kari at A Grace Full Life said...

This is awesome!!!! I could even do this! :)

Reannah @ {Shaped by Grace} said...

Thank you Kelly! Seriously -- I would be lost every day! (And without a Starbucks!) ;-)

Reannah @ {Shaped by Grace} said...

Thank you Jileen! :)

TimandCeri said...

oh wow, I just threw one of these in my yard sale pile... must. not. go. get. it.

Annie said...

Great idea I love it!

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