I just had a great idea: guest posts! Because all my friends are at the age where suddenly decorating and home improvement are fun weekend activities rather than video games (or, well… in addition to video games), I figured why not share the blog real estate with the other home improvers in my life? So without further ado, here’s a guest post from my pal Chelsea Schmidt, who is working on making her Boston apartment DIY-beautiful. Check out her blog Chelsea Wanders.
I am delighted that Jess has let me creep into her blog for a guest post! Thanks, Jess!
Now, I’m not an avid DIY-er by any means, but this past year has been a lovely little adventure into the world of makin’ stuff. The last time I wrote about making a thing I posted about it in my barely updated blog. You can check it out here.
So, this map.
The wall map at Christmas!
This map has been in the family for generations. And by generations I mean apartments and by family I mean just me. I’ve had this map for over seven years which is probably the longest I’ve ever had a material object in my adult life. When I moved into my first big kid apartment in college this map was my very first purchase. Probably because I had just gallivanted through Europe and I was obsessed with world travel and I wanted to be reminded of the big, glorious world every goddamn day! Hence GIANT MAP! I also had grand ambitions for everybody who came to visit to put a pin in the map (ideally in a place they wanted to go), but moving meant losing the pins and their placement… crushing that particular dream.
Back then it was completely kosher to scotch tape posters to walls because we were only one apartment removed from the dorm, and I still shared my room with another person. I’m pretty sure those two things exonerate me from any décor crimes.
But times have changed! I’m a grown ass lady now and it’s time to abandon my days of reckless poster placement. Either this map was getting a classy upgrade or it was getting a one way ticket to trash town.
For years I’ve been saying “Guys, I’m going to frame that map one day. It’s going to be great. Indiana Jones will come by and say ‘This belongs in a museum!’ People of all ages will be amazed by the frame’s ornateness!”
But did you know frames are expensive? Especially for posters that are 4×6 feet? What a shocker! Fortunately I stumbled upon this lovely idea.
This project involves Modge Podge?! I CAN MODGE PODGE! And you can, too, I bet.
Here’s what I needed for this project:
– a map
– canvas (feel free to get creative! I liked the look of three long pieces of canvas, but I’ve seen people mix and match various sizes for a funky look. I got my canvas for 50% off at Michaels!)
– modge podge (I used matte)
– some kind of brush (I used a big paint brush for modge podge and a smaller one for painting the border of the canvas)
– your choice of paint (I stumbled upon this paint at Michaels and loved it immediately)
1) Figure out your map on canvas placement! I knew my map wasn’t going to fit perfectly on the canvas because I decided to cut the border off. It was frayed and ripped and looking pretty rough! So I snipped it all away. I’m also far from a perfectionist. I just did my best to cut the poster into even thirds (spoiler: It was not even). Smart people will measure everything before cutting it, but hey, I like to live on the wild side.
2) set your map pieces to the side and paint your canvas! I painted the edges and a border around the entire thing. Make an extra wide border just in case! So you don’t have to go back and add more paint if it’s too narrow. Let it dry for about an hour. You can do another coat if you want. I didn’t!
3) now it’s time to go modge podge WILD! This was really fun because the map pieces were so BIG! It may take some finagling to get your pieces lined up right on the canvas, but I believe in you. Take it one section at a time starting at a corner. I put the modge podge on the canvas and pressed the map down. Some people may be obsessive about making it nice and flat. Again, not me! I actually really dig wrinkles for this particular project because it makes the map look older. Follow your heart!
My middle piece was too big (see? Measure things, goofballs!) so I had to modge podge the extra map parts onto the side of the canvas. It all worked out in the end.
After the map pieces were modge podged to the canvas I did another layer of modge podge on top of the map. so much podgin’.
4) Let it dry over night. Then hang it on your wall! You’re done! I’m proud of you.
The finished wall map on canvas. It’s a thing of beauty.
See how easy that was? It also doesn’t have to be a map! It can be an old poster of any kind! I think you could class up pretty much anything by putting it on some canvas!
If reading about crafting puts you in a generous mood check out my fundraiser: Leave Cancer in the Dust 2015: The Runishment. My friend Jeff and I are raising money for cancer research by running an ultramarathon this year! Jess was actually our very first donor because she IS THE BEST!* So be like Jess and be the best by tossing a few bucks our way! We’ll be eternally grateful!
*Edit from Jess: It’s true. I am the best.