Saturday, March 17, 2012

DIY: Map Art

I might have a problem.

My name is Pete, and I'm a mapaholic. I can't get enough of them. Whenever Leslie and I go somewhere, and I see a map, I don't just want it--I need it. Every once in a while, my maps start to show up everywhere in the house, and I have to do a "map purge," in which I throw out my least important maps while sobbing. Well, that time has come again, but this time, I decided not to throw them out. My maps shouldn't be hidden away in drawers anymore, they need to be on display. Leslie and I have collected some of these maps together, and they all document pieces of our life together. There's a map of Wilmington (our favorite city), an old reproduction railroad map from our hometown, a map of Sanibel Island, where our favorite antique store ever is, and so many more.

I decided on a map collage. Here are the supplies:
First, I took the molding outside and cut it into four equal pieces of four feet each, then I angled the end of each piece at forty-five degrees. This will be attached to the edges of the plywood at the end, to create a picture frame look. I was going to stain the frame, but in the end I decided on some blue paint to go with the overwhelming amount of blue in the maps. Fun fact: 70% of the earth's surface is water. Even funner fact: only 3% of that is freshwater. Most funnest fact: 70% of that freshwater is frozen in ice caps, glaciers, and permafrost.

Okay, back to work. Here's the trim cut and angled, ready for some paint or finish:
Next, I looked through all the maps, picked the best ones, and started cutting and gluing. I tried to use the maps that were the most meaningful to us, that told stories and documented some important parts of our lives, geographically.

After the maps were set, I applied the Mod-Podge sealer, which flattens down loose corners and gives the whole thing a glossy finish. Then, I laid down the frame parts, flipped it over, and nailed the frame in through the back. I still need a picture hanging kit and Leslie's permission to put this up somewhere in the house, but in the meantime, here's a shot of the finished product: