weekend diy project: fun with maps

Repurposed Frame Fun with Maps

I’ve been obsessively ‘nesting’ on Pinterest lately where I’ve been curating a board (among others) on all kinds of things you can do with maps. A little while ago, I started keeping maps collected on our travels. I wish I had thought to do this sooner as I find maps intrinsically beautiful and perfect as keepsakes from a trip or vacation. The problem is that I then don’t know what to do with them other than stick them in a drawer, letting them languish there with no plans for a project.

But that’s the beauty of Pinterest. You can search a term like ‘maps’ and find a plethora of fun ideas and useful images to get your imagination going. So I decided to work on a little photo collage with a map as background to commemorate a trip T. and I took two summers ago, right after we got married. Two friends of mine visited from Austria and we spent ten days driving from the Midwest to Yellowstone, camping along the way, seeing the beautiful Western part of the US, and being completely disconnected from work, technology, or any sort of regular schedule. It was my first real introduction to camping and I loved it. And I had been wanting to do something to capture that trip (our pseudo-honeymoon) for some time now.

Green Frame

Incidentally, T. had just refurbished this frame (originally a brown Goodwill find) using the leftover green paint from our front door.

Fun with Maps

I then pulled out some of those saved maps from the national parks we visited and where we had camped. I settled on one of Yellowstone for my background piece. I then printed a bunch of photos from that vacation and arranged them around the edges of the frame to form a collage still allowing enough of the map to peak through.

Fun with Maps

And voilà – with the help of a little double sided tape, my art work was finished. I’m thinking that this would be a fun way to commemorate future trips too, perhaps using multiple smaller frames, or just opting for framed maps without any photography. Or even by embroidering something around a meaningful spot on a map?

Do you save maps from your travels? If so, what do you end up doing with them? Have you developed a meaningful way to commemorate special vacations or events using inexpensive souvenirs such as maps, photographs, dinner menus, ticket stubs, etc?

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{Bikes, a new baby, and the story of us.}
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6 Responses to weekend diy project: fun with maps

  1. Julie says:

    I can’t believe no baby yet! Girl, craft your way to the hospital. Maybe some glue fumes will set it off.

  2. Laura says:

    I LOVE this! I always keep maps from places I go, but never thought to frame them. I also habitually collect old frames in part because I give drawings or paintings as gifts a lot and it’s nice to have cool frames on hand.

    I definitely want to play with this! I have some really amazing pictures from camping in the Southwest, and I kept maps from each place we went. I’m thinking collages like these would make great gifts for my nature buddies.

  3. Alisha says:

    I love this idea. I recently did a little map artwork, too. My husband and I moved from Texas (the state in which we grew up) to Raleigh, NC about a month and a half ago for me to attend vet school here. I was cleaning out my car and found our old paper Texas map (the days before GPS, lol, are we’re young, too, just 23). Instead of tossing it in the recycling bin, I decided to cut the map into four small square sections to Mod Podge onto 4 6×6″ canvases. We arranged the canvas squares into a square shape on the wall, and spaced out the squares from each other a little bit, so the highways are imagined to extend into the space, if that makes any sense. Anyway, it’s really cool, and it feels like with that art we were able to bring a little bit of something familiar into our new space.

  4. Kara says:

    What a great idea! It is a perfect keepsake.

  5. aem2 says:

    This is a great idea. I have city maps from every place I’ve lived, and campus maps from each school I’ve attended. I used them to cover some ugly magazine files. There was a lot of Mod Podge involved.

    I hope the little one doesn’t keep you waiting for too much longer.

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