Friday, September 12, 2014

Decorating with Maps - Serving My Kids the World Under Their Not So Silver Platter

I have always loved to travel and I have always loved maps and globes.  As a kid I used to stand at the globe in my classroom, put my finger lightly on it, close my eyes, spin the globe, and then when it would stop open them to see places I wanted to visit someday.  For a long time I wanted a globe in my house, but the kid I like are expensive but every time I thought about buying one it occurred to me I really didn't have a great place to display it.  They aren't exactly the most unobtrusive thing. Then last month I was walking through Costco and saw these maps that they had over by the books.  They had a world map and a US map for $15.   There were three different styles to pic from, the classic bright blue school type maps, a more muted color, and then one that had more cartoon figures on it for children.  I picked the muted map because I knew I wanted to display it in my home.  It was my one impulse buy of trip and when I brought it home I threw the maps in the closet not quite sure what I wanted to do with them.  I remembered two friends on facebook had probably a year ago mentioned displaying maps in their homes.  One said he had them on his table, the other mentioned she hung her in the dinning room.  I knew I wanted one in the dinning room.  I decided to go with putting it on the dinning room table.  Here is our table as it stood two weeks ago.  We got it for $70 at a garage sale six years ago and it has severed us well.  It is covered in fork holes where two of my daughters have decided poking the table is more fun then eating food, the legs are a little chewed up by the former owners puppy and there are some permanent marker stains but for the most part it does what is is suppose to, is a nice big table for the family to sit and eat at.  I wanted to punch it up a little though and add some interest to our family meals.  I decided to put the US table on the map.  I used tiny heart stickers to mark all the places we'd lived.  I bought a piece of clear plastic at Hobby Lobby that I found in the home decorating rolls of fabric using a 40% off coupon on their app.  The 70 or so inches I needed cost me $6.00.  I brought the plastic home put the map on the table, stuck the plastic on and thought the sides where the map didn't cover looked super boring.  I went upstairs and grabbed a bunch of post it self stick picture paper that I'd bought years ago when I was using coupons.
photo I have no idea if they still sell this stuff but it worked amazing for this project.  I measured out how many pictures I'd need to cover up the edges of the table then got on my computers and started printing off favorite pics of the kids and our family.  When I had enough pictures I laid the map back on the table and taped down the edges.  Then I pulled the backs off the post it pictures and stuck them down.  Finally I put the plastic back on, folded the edges and secured it under the table using push pins.  I love my table so much.  We've had it like this for two weeks.  The downside is I have to remember to put hot pads down before I put anything hot on the plastic.  I am thinking about doing some cute airplane or car ones though that would match with the motif.  The upside is the table stimulates so much conversation.  The kids love looking at pictures of themselves.  They love looking at the map.  They love talking about places we've been, places they want to go, or places our family lives.  I'm really enjoy it.

Cost Break Down
map - 7.50
plastic - 6.00
post it paper, ink, push pins on hand
If you had to order them, I used 43 pictures.  If you ordered them from walmart and then just taped them on you are looking at under $4.  Pushpin are $1 at the dollar store.

So total project cost for me 13.50...if you didn't have pictures and push pins on hand 18.50. 

With the second map I decided I wanted to hang it.  I'd seen this cool map on Brave New Home and I knew I wanted to pretty much just follow her lead.  I went to home depot to get the wood.  I had a huge debate over what to get.  I finally settled on filler pieces.  They are like 50 cents a piece or something like that, and I got three.  I've read some people use lattice and I've seen some people use thing molding, I just wanted the wood to be really thin so the filler pieces worked perfect.  I brought them home and measured them to the map and cut them to sizes.  We have a miter saw but I was too lazy to pull it out so I literally just used a hand saw that Dr. J uses to cut tree branches.  It was hanging on the garage wall and easy to get to.  I then sanded the pieces because filler pieces are pretty rough and stained them with the same stain I used on our height ruler.  Originally I was just going to go exactly with what she had but about halfway through the project I got the brilliant/not so brilliant idea to add a strip of cork board so I add pictures from our overseas travels to the map and then hopefully someday if I get my act together add string from those pictures to the places we've been (that day has not come yet).  I had this huge roll of cork I bought for another project at hobby lobby (cost was something like $11 but I always use my 40% off coupons on my phone) and I just used my rottary cutter to cut a long enough strip.  The problem was the cork was really thin and I was worried it was going to break so I cut a second strip and then glued the two strips together with spray glue I had from that same first project.  Then it was time to glue it all together.  This was the worst part of the whole project.  Brave New Home had used her glue gun and that's what I wanted to do because it is fast, easy, I already had it and it holds pretty well.  Unfortunately it just wasn't as easy as I hoped.  This was a long map and by the time I got the glue all down and the wood in place more than once the glue had dried, I had to pull it all off and start over.  The first piece was easy because I could because I could just roll the map out onto it and the top part of the cork board was the same but that piece in the middle was a beast.  Finally I got it all down and relatively even but if I had to do it again I'd probably pick a glue that took longer to dry.  Sure it would be a pain to wait but it would be nice to have an extra minute to readjust if there was a problem.  I then screwed in two eye hooks I got from home depot (1.50 for 5), and added a piece of string.  The map is hanging in my family room right now and I love it.  I've added a few pictures from our recent trip and need to put up some from some of other trips.  I also want to add some string going from the pictures to the places we've visited.  Totally love looking at this map everyday and love that at book group on Tuesday my friends were up looking at it trying to figure out where Ukraine and Liberia were.  It is nice to be able to see where current events are happening.  I hope this map increases my children's curiosity about the world around them.  By the way just to keep my life in perspective this is what the past what my camera was showing picture looks like of that map.  Just keeping it real folks, just keeping it real.  Also what do you think of my 60's cane back chairs?  I picked them up for a steal from a woman in town. I was planning on painting them and doing new fabric.  Dr. J who for reasons I don't understand is in love with light wood is begging me not to paint them so now I need to find fabric that matches that wood.  I'm a little hesitant about the whole project but also super excited!

Cost Break Down
map - 7.50
wood - 1.50
eye hooks - 1.50
stain, string, glue, and cork board roll on hand.  

Total cost to me $10.50

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...