Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DIY: Map Silhouette Wall Art Tutorial

I love maps. Maybe it's because my degree's in Geography or because I love to travel, or maybe it's because my grandpa was a cartographer for the army... whatever the reason- I can never seem to get enough of them. I wrap gifts in them, I hang them on my walls, I have stacks! So around 10 o'clock the other night, when I'd had 3 hours of sleep the night before- I thought I'd try a project I'd been thinking about in my head. 

My sleep deprived brain was obviously not thinking clearly- but the project ended up being pretty easy. And although I definitely now recommend doing this project when you've had plenty of sleep (the detailed east coast was not my favorite thing in the world), I got it done pretty quickly. And I absolutely love how it turned out.


I got the idea for this project when I saw Kate's awesome fabric map. But since I knew I didn't have her patience to cut out and sew together each individual state, I veered off into a different direction for my own project.

What you'll need:

When I originally was going to make Kate's project, I had followed her direction by copying & pasting this map in Paint, and then printing it out poster size. You'll get lots of random papers. Cut where they say "cut" and connect the states together with tape. Once they're all taped together, I cut out the entire outline of the United States into 2 sections.


Once your entire outline is cut out, measure out and cut the amount of Kraft wrapping paper you'll need to cover the poster board. I covered mine all the way to the back and temporarily taped the back down (you'll be taking the paper off later).


Once the Kraft brown paper has been temporarily taped down, center your map on the board and attach with spray adhesive. You don't have to spray the entire back, just make sure it's not going to move around.


Trace the entire outline onto the paper. After tracing, detach the tape on the back of the poster board to take the Kraft paper off of the poster board. Begin carefully cutting out your outline. I used scissors for  most of the western states and an X-Acto knife for much of the south and east coast.

Once completely cut out, use the spray adhesive to attach the brown paper back onto the poster board. You can either hang your wall art up by itself or use ribbon like I did.

What's funny is that I ended up finding a large (and incredibly awesome!) map of the US from the 50's the next day at a garage sale. It was a $1 and there was no way I could pass it up. I've been looking for a vintage, giant map for years so... now we have two pictures of the US in our tiny family room. We apparently really, really, really love America.


Let me know if you have any questions and I hope you enjoyed the tutorial!

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