So I’ve been wanting to make a travel map for Al for about two years, and I never got around to it. This year was the year. I was debating between doing a US travel map and a global travel map and wasn’t quite sure, and about a week before I bought the map Al and I were talking, and he said, “There are so many places in America that we haven’t been to. I’d rather take our kids all over the US before we take them everywhere else.” So the decision was an easy one.
Anytime I have the option to buy something or make something, I will likely choose to make it. What if I need to make another one in the future? What if a friend wants me to make one for them? What if my kids throw water all over mine? I mean, travel maps are expensive. lol. Plus, I just enjoy being crafty. In every situation, this was the better solution.
Here are a few disclaimers before I get into what I bought. You can get a travel map on Amazon anywhere between $6 and $18, and push-pins are like $5. I got a digital map on Etsy so that I could add to it and so that I could reprint it when I hated the one I made and if I needed to remake it in the future. I got extra push-pins to differentiate between family travels, couple travels and kid travels. There are also heart push pins for where Al and I met, where we got married, where we started a family and where our home is (DC- woot woot!!).
- Gray Belmont Frame By Studio Décor® (Michael’s $21.20)
- Krylon® Super Quick Grip Spray Adhesive (Michael’s $7.31)
- 24 x 36 Elmer’s® Cork Foam Board (Michael’s $11.44)
- Mod Podge® Antique Matte (Michael’s $8.47)
- 80-piece Tri-Color Push-Pins (Amazon $9.98)
- 50-Piece Heart Push Pins (Amazon $6.98)
- Digital Travel Map- (Happy Place Art- Etsy $29.68)
Note: Michael’s always has coupons on their website that offer between 30% and 50% off either one regular priced item or the entire purchase. And you don’t have to print them. You can pull them up on your phone to be scanned. Joann’s too! That is why everything is so cheap 😬
To start, I aligned the map with the cork board and sprayed the cork board with adhesive. I read that you are supposed to use a credit card or something firm to press the bubbles out. I used my hand on the first map and a credit card on the second. (Actually found that the credit card made the ink spread and I had way more bubbles.)
After getting the map on the board, I put the Mod Podge on. I got the Antique Matte, and this one is self-sealing so it’s all that’s required. You apply one layer, and wait about 15 minutes for it to dry before applying another. You can use a blow dryer if you are feeling rushed (I used one on the second one I made). The more layers you use, the more rustic/vintage your map will look. I used three layers on our map. Mine looked fine initially, but after about ten minutes I saw bubbles. GAH!!
So this is the map after I placed it in the frame:
Now, in retrospect, I really don’t know why I hated this so much. lol. But for whatever reason, I was disgusted with this map after I made it and I made another one that came out much worse, which I will show you in a moment. I will summarize for you briefly the ridiculous reasons that I came up with:
- the white line that showed at the bottom
- the bubbles (yes, the ones that are not visible when the map is upright, and the bubbles that several articles said would inevitably appear, so really I shouldn’t have been that upset)
- I could see the visible lines from Mod Podge (which actually looked amazing after settling over a day or two)
- I didn’t like the color of the frame
It was all very silly. And after a couple of days, it looked even better. I think I just wanted it to look great because it was a present for Al and I wanted him to like it. Anyway, let me show you the really trashy second one that I made.
Needless to say, the second map was complete trash. After I added one layer of Mod Podge, there were bubbles everywhere and I threw the towel in and realized the first map was a work of art. lol. And now that work is hanging in our living room. Al really liked it, and it was a great Father’s Day gift 🙂
Tomorrow we’ll be adding a “Richburg Travels” pin. We’re taking the kids to Sesame Place in Philadelphia to celebrate Alvin finishing his first year in school (PreK-3). More on that later! Oh, and the line by Jay-Z is “I can touch down and take off the same night.” Hopefully we’ll be doing more of that now that our kids are old enough to take road trips and enjoy themselves and whatnot. But we have to start small, like 2 hour trips to Philadelphia. lol. Biyeeeee!!