Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How-To Tuesday: Canvas Maps

How-To Tuesday is back, baby!

And today's post comes to you courtesy of Creative Juices Decor. I saw this idea featured on Remodelaholic and knew it was exactly what I had been looking for. We have been wanting to put a map up in the basement and keep tabs on the Husband's travels, as well as our own, for quite some time now. In fact, we've had the map waiting for almost a year, with just no ideas of how to hang it. When I saw this post, it was perfect.

(Note: If you do decide to post your own tutorial, please link back to Creative Juices. This idea is all hers and she should get the credit for it. I am nothing, if not vigilant, when it comes to crediting others for their brilliant ideas. Please do the same.)

All right. Here we go. Our multi-canvased map:


I started by tasking the Husband with designing the layout. He created the masterpiece in our living room, and I knew this would be perfect for his spatial brain. My brain? Pretty much full of a combination of People Magazine, puppies, and diet coke. Not much room in there for the math. Lucky for me, he is really good at the math.

We measured our map, then bought the canvases to fit per his design. I spray painted the edges black, not worrying about the fronts at all (since they will be covered by the map).


Once dry, I brought the canvases inside and laid the map over the top. I measured each canvas, and cut the map to fit each piece.


I then started to adhere the map pieces to the canvas with Mod Podge, and found a very eager little girl by my side. I silenced my inner Martha and let her help. After all, we were going to be sticking pins all over these maps. What damage could a child helper do?

She actually did great. She's much more craftily talented than her mother.


After the pieces were all attached with the Mod Podge, we left them to dry.


Once dried, we came back and applied another layer of Mod Podge. Then let it dry. And applied another.


[Not pictured: Since I knew we were going to be putting pins in these, I also cut a square of foam board and stuck it in the back of each canvas. I wanted the pins to have something to stick to, and this worked great. I simply hot glued the foam board in.]

Then the unhappy task fell to the Husband of getting the many pieces hung. This required a lot more of the math, plus a level, tape measure, and nails. He's slightly obsessed with never having any extra nail holes in the wall when he hangs things, and that makes it much more difficult (though efficient). It was a pain.

He's a good man. I'm totally keeping him.


Once hung, we started to put in pins for all the places we've been. Everyone got their own colored pin. The Husband's is red -- suffice to say, there are A LOT of red pins. The kids had fun helping and reliving vacation destinations. By the way, we only count a city/state if we've spent the night or had a purposeful meal there. Airports and drive-thru's do not count. Even still, we have been to a good number of states between the five of us.


And that's it! Super easy, visually interesting, and a fun way to keep tabs on our family travels.

Your turn. What can you teach me today?

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Julianna said...

I love this idea!

I love canvas on the walls so much better than frames, I just think it has so much more of an upscale look.

I re-linked last week's post, and once I figure out what happened to Monday, I'll post this week's for ya.

Totally unrelated... I booked our PROFESSIONAL photographer for the wedding last night... just for your sake :)

Linsey said...

I love this. It's totally beyond my skill level, but I think it's fabulous!

Cares and Mimi said...

I really love this! We have a cruddy little map in our basement that we've 'pinned' - it is nothing like this beautiful masterpiece you have. Thanks for the gorgeous inspiration!

Karey said...

This is fantastic! I love the look of it and the purpose of it. I'm inspired!

Julie said...

This is the first time I've linked up to "How-To Tuesdays". There are already so many great ideas. Thanks!

Celia Fae said...

I love how your house thing is great and my house thing is silly. So typical.

brooke said...

Love the map. It is so classy like every thing else in your house.

This is my first time posting a how-to as well. Thanks for letting me hang out with the cool kids.

Suzanne said...

Totally amazing idea!! Wowzers. Now I just need to figure out where to buy the canvases. I guess I could try clicking the link back to the idea originator...this is great stuff. My life is better because of your blog. I've already made those little cakes (the ones you posted years ago) and I'm getting ready to do your chore charts. Seriously--I will be doing canvases sonner than later! =)

Donna said...

Canvasing is a great idea! Adaptable too! So fun to have a workable map like this!

Annemarie said...

I absolutely love this. I have HUGE walls in my basement and wasn't about to fork out thousands of dollars for the map at Restoration Hardware. My husband thanks you, too...:)

Thelma said...

This is a great idea. I have been looking for something like this. I will need to rope Adam into helping me though. There's no way I'm doing all that math.

Lizzy said...

Oh, my goodness, gracious, sakes, alive--what a beautiful project. I love it. :) e

Erin said...

You are SO creative. I love the idea of wall art as a function - keeping track of dad - and memory maker - keeping track of vacations! Such a great idea - and it looks so good! Amazing-ness!

Tristan said...

That is seriously so cool!! I love it!

kara jayne said...

you must have known that my boys room is currently being redecorated in a 'map' theme!!! Right?!! what i want to know is where you got your map?! it's the perfect colors for my project. please let me in!! thanks so much. great step by step too. your good at this tutorial thing.

Lauren in GA said...

I love, love, LOVE it, Stie!!!!! The map looks great and I love that it showcases your family's travels.

Good job silencing your inner Martha. Sometimes I just can't let things go...but letting the kids help really is so important.

Rebecca said...

love. it.

I like these: http://www.amazon.com/Command-17204-Medium-Picture-Hanging/dp/B000M3YGOQ/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1302035540&sr=8-6

instead of nails. so easy! I buy them at Target. :)

calibosmom said...

Me likey!!!

crystal said...

Please come to my house and spread your awesomeness around.

(next week, the pin board with the initials...pleasssse? the one in your kitchen, in the mayo donut picture's background?)


crystal said...

I am already thinking of all the different applications for this project.

Scrapbook paper? Oh, yeah.

Kids' art? Mmm-hmmm.

Enlarged photos of Mr. Darcy? Yes, please.

Yes. Yes, I will.

Heidiram said...

One of these days when you head south for your beach vacays, I will contract you to do some serious decorating of my house. Or at least, I will hire you to take some photos of my family.

Heidiram said...

And I still can't figure out how do to the link. I am technologically challenged.

Maria said...

Ok, this is awesome! Looks like something out of Pottery Barn!!

Amanda D said...

That is very cool! I've seen similar type maps but you pay a LOT of money for them. I like your idea best!

Travelin'Oma said...

I have a map ready for your expertise! Fabulous, fabulous idea.

Hannah said...

it was so fun to do! I loved it Mommy!

Laura said...

Thank You! Thank You! I was looking for something EXACTLY like this! This post just made my weekend!!

jessica said...

I love this! But I need another project like I need another hole in my head! My entire house has thrown up on itself since we started installing our floors. We are almost done but in the middle of the chaos I decided to add another project to the mix...I'm painting my piano. I've been documenting the process so that I can to a how to post for you!