So, the theme of the decor in our den is “Explore the World.” We have all sorts of decor from places around the world that we’ve traveled to or that family and friends have traveled to. The space over our love-seat was looking somewhat empty so I decided to create a world map pin-board where we could pin places he and I have been to separately, together, and places we want to go. So…here’s the DIY process I went through to make this one…
Things you’ll need:
- A map ($16.95 + Tax + S&H)
- Foam board (2 boards because of size = ~$16)
- Washi tape (color/pattern of your choice…I chose 2= ~$8)
- Clear tape
- Duct Tape
- Handheld paper cutting tool
- Command velcro strips
- Thumb tacks
- Large flat workspace
First, I had to order the map. I got mine through Swiftmaps.com. The one I got was the 32 x 50 paper Rand McNally Classic Edition World Map. There were all different types of maps to choose from and you can order it laminated or framed, but I didn’t because it 1) didn’t serve my purpose, and 2) was too expensive. The solo paper map was just $16.95, which isn’t bad for the size. I highly suggest this company or or others like it if you want a brand new map, plus they truly did deliver it “swiftly” as their name suggests. It arrived in beautiful condition. I chose this map for the size and also the calm colors that match the pastel/light color scheme in our den.
Once the map arrived, I had to figure out what type of backing to use. I thought about getting the cork-board squares but I felt they would be too expensive to get enough to fit the size of the map and I was also concerned I would have a lot of extra space since the map size is a little odd. I decided to go with presentation foam board. You can get many different sizes at places like Walmart or Staples. Again, because my map is rather large, I ended up having to get 2 of the tri-fold large presentation boards so that it could fit, total of which cost about $16. There was a lot of the foam board left over, but I saved it to use for future DIY projects.
Once you have your map and board, go ahead and gather your other crafting materials and get ready to DIY your heart out.
1.Duct tape the foam board together at the ends. I taped mine together at what would have been the top/bottom of each board. Duct tape them on the front and the back to ensure they’re secure and will be less likely to bend.
2. Place the map in one of the corners. Make sure to line it up carefully, and tape it down with clear tape as you do so. This will keep the map in place and prevent it from rolling up on you as you work. My map had a white border that I was planning to cover anyways, so I was able to tape it right up against the edges. Depending on the size of your Washi tape you’ll use for the border, you may want to move it further out.
3. Once the map is in place, use the handheld cutting tool to cut the foam board along the 2 sides of the map that have extra foam board sticking out beyond the border. As I said above, mine had A LOT of extra foam board, but I plan on using it for future projects. As you cut, make sure to work very slowly to keep from accidentally slicing off any edges or pieces of your map. I had to go over each side twice. The 1st cut got about halfway through the foam board, the 2nd cut all the way through. Be sure, if you’re concerned about the condition of your work surface, to try to work just off the edge to prevent slicing into your table top. Cut along both sides with extra foam board to “free” your map so it’ll be ready to apply the Washi tape border. And as always, while using a sharp utensil…be careful and don’t slice any body parts off.
4. Now that you’ve cut away your extra foam board, you’re ready to apply the Washi tape border. I used 2 Washi tape rolls- a plain navy blue and a translucent white with stamps and postmarks to match the “Explore the World” theme. Again, be very careful and work slowly on this step so that your tape border will be straight. If you want to make measurement marks using a ruler, do so. My map had a white then brown border to work with, so I used the brown border as my mark to go by. The first tape I applied was the navy blue. I started just at the corners and lined up the tape with the brown border before smoothing it down in place. You’ll want to do your Washi tape borders in 1 continuous piece of tape along each side so that it won’t look torn or be hard to match up.
5. Once I added the blue border all the way around, I added the white postmark border. This one was a little bit more difficult as I did not have a perfect line or mark to match the edge up to. Again, if you want to use a ruler to place an even mark all the way around, feel free to do so. I’m pretty good at eye-balling things, so that’s what I did. I allowed the white border to cross over the navy, covering it about 1/4 an inch all the way around. Also, this border will be essential in attaching the map more securely to the foam board. You will want it to hang over the edges of the board so you can fold it to the backside in order to secure it. Again, work slowly to prevent any major errors and keep your border looking nice and straight. Once the 2nd border is down, fold the tape over the edge all the way around and smooth it down.
6. You’ve finished the hardest part! Woohooo! Now, flip your map over to the blank side, and attach your command velcro strips. I love these things. You’ll use a total of 12 strips- 6 that will stick to the wall and 6 that will stick to the back of the map. I typically go ahead and velcro them together before I put them on the back of the map. That way, they’re together and you don’t have to worry about trying to place them correctly on the way so they line up…they’re lined up for you. These command strips have a tight grip but still allow you to move the map just a smidge once you get it on the wall. As you get ready to hang your map, you might want an extra person to help you level it on the wall so you don’t have to worry about moving it too much. When you’re ready to hang it, just remove the protective cover on each of the 2nd command strips and stick it to the wall.
7. Grab some fun thumb tacks and start pinning away. Pick colors for different categories: places you’ve been, places your spouse/roommate/etc. has been, places you’ve been together, and places you want to go someday. My sister gave me these great little thumb tacks a while back- famous land marks like Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, Easter Island Heads, etc., and also national flags, so I had a good time putting those up. Our map isn’t done, though…now we need to add where we’ve been and where we want to go.
Happy pinning and happy traveling! Be blessed!