For the past three years there has been an empty space on the wall behind my couch. This DIY world map project of the places we’ve traveled together and solo has been under talks for about the same amount of time. The biggest issue preventing this project was the textured, sort of pop-corny walls in the living area. I couldn’t just go online and order sticker decals because they would not stick.
One day the Mister decided to find a way to cure our boredom and this is what turned out. After going back and forth between doing cut outs from world map posters (surprisingly couldn’t find any) and buying a photo projector, I was voluntold volunteered to free hand the continents. I thought it would be a breeze because I’ve free handed America and Africa countless times in art class but after tackling South America, I decided that free handing just wasn’t going to work. Something was off and I was not about to go through the same cycle for every continent drawn.
Computer printing paper
Electric nail file
Double sided tape
Sewing pins (optional)
To get the outlines of the continents, we traced them from our MacBook screens. Just zoom in to the size you want and trace. Most likely if you want a large cut out, you will have to tape sheets together for more space. Plus, taping the sheets are easier to maneuver than using one large sheet.
Next, place cut outs on foam board and cut out with art blade. These are really sharp and will scratch your floors or table so be careful.
Once the cutouts are done, some edges will be jagged. I must have sat there for about 10 minutes thinking about how to get those edges smooth. Using my little battery powered fingernail file just popped in my head and it ended up working like a charm.Lastly, use double sided tape to secure on wall or whatever you choose to secure it. Double sided tape worked for me because the walls are not drywall, so they won’t rip or peel when removing. Nails are an option but I didn’t want them to be visible.
You can decorate your map any way you want. The foam board is durable enough for paint, glue,markers, etc.
Like everyone else, we love to talk about the places we’ve been and our experiences so we chose to go with pins to mark our destinations. It’s great to be reminded every now and then of the places you thought you’d never get to see but ended up seeing.
I never expected this but the map has really been a great icebreaker for that awkward moment when someone new is at your house and it gets quiet. Believe it or not, I never talk about any of my artwork or DIYs in my house (which is sorta contradictory considering my blog) unless asked but when I am asked, I’m glad to chatter away.