Hello again, friends! I shared this project on Domestically Speaking a few months ago and I wanted to share it here in case some of you didn’t get a chance to see it. I made this map art for the living room and have been so in love with it. There’s just something about an old map that speaks to me. I love this one, especially, because of the interesting history behind it.
I scoured the internet for different types of maps, looking for something pretty basic and non colorful, and finally came across this one. It shows the routes that the principal explorers took when exploring the Unites States of America, between 1501 and 1844. Being a homeschooling mom, this was right up my alley. I just think it’s super cool. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
- Engineer print of your map/photo
- strong brewed coffee
- lauan plywood
- spray adhesive
- 2″ x 1/2″ poplar boards
- 1×2 boards
- Rustoleum Weathered Gray wood stain
- Minwax Provincial wood stain
- wood glue
- sawtooth picture hangers
I saved the picture of the map and then took it to Kinkos to get an engineered print in the 3 x 4 foot size. I had them print the map in black and white ink. It only cost me about $7! When I brought it home I thought the bright white looked a little stark so I stained it with some strong brewed coffee. I just brewed up a cup, let it cool a little bit and then gently applied thin layers of coffee over the map, letting it dry in between each layer. I probably applied about 3 or 4 layers of stain.
Like I mentioned earlier, I wanted to break the map up to provide some interest, but didn’t want to separate it into too many pieces because with all of the lines and text, I thought it might get too busy. So I settled on just cutting it in half. I had a thin sheet of lauan plywood cut to the dimensions of my two map pieces, which were 2 ft. x 3 ft. each. After those were cut, I lined them up on my map and traced a line down the center, then cut the map in half with scissors.
I used spray adhesive to apply the map to the plywood.
Next, it was time to frame out my map pieces. I used 2″ x 1/2″ poplar pine boards for the frames. I cut them to the size of the map pieces and then nailed and glued them together. I didn’t bother mitering the joints. I stained them with Rustoleum Weathered Gray first, quickly wiping the stain off after applying it. Then I went over that stain with Minwax Provincial, letting that stain sit for 5 minutes. I applied 2 coats of Provincial.
To attach the map to the frames, I nailed in some small 1×2 cleats to the sides of the frames and then glued the plywood map part onto the cleats.
To hang the maps, I carefully nailed in some of these sawtooth picture hangers on the back part of the frames.
I opted to keep the stamps from the Library of Congress because I thought it makes it more interesting and helps to tell the story.
What do you think? Do you enjoy adding decor that tells a story?
This post was originally posted at Domestically Speaking on February 18, 2015.