Monday, November 18, 2013

DIY Travel Map.

Donny and I love to travel.  We don't get to go nearly as far or as often as we like, but we love going to new places.  This year being our paper anniversary, I came up with a genius idea to commemorate our journeys (both together and separate) with a travel map!
It was super easy, not expensive, and a lot of fun!  I did this project at my parents' house on a Sunday afternoon, and my mom was a huge help.  I'm sure one person could probably do this on their own, but it was SO much easier with two.  Here's what you'll need:

~ A map.  This one came from the National Geographic website.
~ Foam or cork board.  I used a foam board from Office Depot.
~ Utility knife
~ Spray glue
~ Straight pins
~ Spray paint in various colors

The map had been unrolled and left to flatten for at least a week before we got started on the project, and that helped SO much.  We started from the bottom, spraying the foam board with the adhesive and lining up the map flush with the edge of the foam board.  We slowly unrolled the map up to the top, spraying the board as we went, and using a yard stick to help eliminate bubbles and bumps.
The hardest part was cutting the foam board down to the size of the map (to get one big enough for my map, we had to get a fairly large foam board).  But soon the map was cut and mounted!

For the pins, I used straight pins that I had at home along with three different colors of spray paint-- red for places Donny had been, blue for places I had been, and purple for places we've been together.
I stuck them in a box on top of newspaper in the yard to paint them, and it worked great.  I gave them three coats to completely cover their original colors.
The final result!

The beautiful part of this project was that it was a gift within a gift. Not only did Donny love the map, but it also gave him a woodworking project, which he loves.  For something like this, you obviously need to hang it somehow, and a map on a foam board isn't super pretty.  So, he got to work in the garage to make a glass-less shadowbox for it this weekend.  That man was in heaven!

And now our map is in a beautiful frame!  This is what I call great teamwork.  


  1. The finished product looks great! Love the way it turned out.

  2. I love that he was pumped to make a frame for it. You're a great team and what a fun idea!! Totally impressed.

  3. Totally awesome! I love that idea.

  4. Great gift idea. I love the frame too. I didn't know Donny was so handy. Make sure you show up a pic once it is hanging up on the wall!

  5. I love this. Let me know when you want to put a pin in Iowa. :)

  6. This looks SOOO good!! I have been searching for MONTHS for a paper gift for our anniversary and this popped up on a couple of websites, but no good DIY. I've had it in the back of my head wondering how in the heck I could do it, and just yesterday I found an awesome DIY plus now yours so I think I'm set on making this for John too! I found a website with a map for less than $3. I think I am going to do a world map instead and pin places that we dream about going too :) I also plan on including the book "1000 places to see before you die" I hope John loves it as much as Donny! John will absolutely not be making a frame for it though ;) haha, he's not that handy!
    Great job!!!!

  7. That is awesome! I think I will have to save this so we can DIY it later. I love the shadowbox idea, too... Though don't think we have the skills required for that!!

  8. I love that you made it together. Great idea, I would love something like this.