Sunday, March 16, 2014

I've got the whole world...

...on my wall!

Back story:  I had a great idea for a birthday present for my husband three years ago.  Yes, you read that right.  Three years.  I wanted to mount a large world map on the wall and mark each place he has been (either during his time in the Navy or during work).  So, I headed to a local store that sells teaching supplies called The Learning Shop and picked up world map and a map of the US.  They were about $10 each.  And then I...did nothing!  See, I had this grand idea to make the maps looks old.  I looked up every possible way to do this and it just didn't seem like I would be able to.  I either had to put them in the oven, which wouldn't work because my maps were BIG.  My oven was not.  Or I had to use stain, which meant outside and it was either too cold out when I remembered to do it or I was pregnant and didn't want to ask Michael to make his own gift.  So, after three years I found new maps at Costco, $10 for a set of two, larger, laminated maps.  This seemed like the better option for me.  They would hold up longer because they were laminated and they were bigger, so they would take up the large wall space we had available.  I skipped the idea of making them look old.

Fast forward six months, because I am forgetful like to mull things over, and here we are!  Guess who helped with his own birthday present?  What took me so long this time?  Well, I couldn't figure out an inexpensive way to actually hang the maps.  Here were my dilemmas  this time. A: I didn't want the pins to go into the wall in case we actually move someday and are left with approximately 10 millions holes in the wall to cover.  and 2: I wanted to be able to keep the map and pins (hopefully) in tact if we did in fact move one day!

So, I sent in a question to a site called Craftaholics Anonymous and the readers responded with some great ideas.  The one I went with was to buy foam board from the hardware store, adhere the map to that and then attach the foam board to the wall.  Here's how it went down (or up):

 I gathered our supplies: the map, the foam board, spray adhesive, double sided 
tape, a knife (not pictured) and Velcro (not pictured)

We put the double sided tape on all of the edges of the map and strips down the center

We rolled the map up so the tape was on the outside

We sprayed some of the adhesive spray onto the foam board (about 6 inches at a time) and 
then unrolled the map 

While we were unrolling it, we slid yard stick (also not pictured) along the front of the map to make sure the map was smooth and flat and we pulled the backside of the tape off as well

Here it is attached to the foam

Then my husband used a knife to cut the excess foam board off

Then we added Velcro to the back in multiple places and...

Put it on the wall! 

Here's the world map.  We followed the same exact process and it worked so well for us! 
(Don't mind the missing trim, this is our basement and it's still in the final steps of being completed)

Now, who wants to guess how long it will take me to add all the pins to the places we have been?  Yes, now we will have pins where Michael has been and where we have been as a family.  I'm lucky he isn't a picky husband who doesn't mind helping with or sharing his birthday present!

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Cost breakdown: 

Map: $5 (each)
Foam Board: $10 (I needed one for each map since mine were so large, but with smaller maps you could use one piece of foam for two maps)
Tape: already had
Velcro: already had
Adhesive Spray: already had
Yard Stick: already had
Knife: already had

So, I spent $15 per map, $30 for both.  If you didn't have most of these items on had, I'm guessing you would spend maybe $40-$50 on both maps?  

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