Getting Crafty: North America Travel Map

I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then I’m gonna put pins into all the locations that I’ve traveled to. But first, I’m gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so that it will not fall off the wall. – Mitch Hedberg

One of my favorite features of WordPress is their Freshly Pressed feature, which pointed me Liz’s wonderful Making Life Pretty blog. WordPress had featured her version of a travel map, inspired by another blogger. She created the map, colorful pins and all, for her and her fiancé. I became so excited by this simple yet intimate project that I immediately sent my boyfriend (who is quite the traveler himself) the blog post link and told him that I was ordering a map for us to do our own project. I didn’t stop with just one map. I ordered a 43X40 map of the United States, a smaller map of North America, and another map of Ireland and the UK to pin up my own travels and places that I have lived abroad.

The boyfriend and I started with the North American Map, as he and I have been outside the US within the same continent. We were both dead-set on finding a rustic, antique looking map that was also up-to-date. Turns out, National Geographic had exactly what we were looking for at very cheap prices. (If there was a Steam-punk map, I would have bought that instead. I looked. For a week. I’m still looking and if I happen to find one, we’re pinning a new map.)

At this point, I was ready to start pining the map to the table – easily excitable.

I originally wanted to mount the map on foam core, but for whatever reason finding foam core bigger than 30X20 proved to be a very annoying task, so we bought a frame with a backing from Michael’s for about 20 bucks and a role of cork from Staples. We spray glued the cork to the board and then the map to the cork. (Note: If you do not spray the materials enough, they will detach from one another, and hot climates makes that process happen faster.)

I would have inevitably sliced my finger open, so the boyfriend fought the box cutter. He won.

To get out any air pockets between the map and cork, roll it out with a rolling-pin or something similar. We opted for a round glass, but a rolling-pin would have smoothed it out so much better, without creasing it.

I know it looks like he is doing all the work, but I swear I helped. I just needed “breaks” to document our vom-tastic cuteness.

Ta-da! Just put the pins in and you are done. I chose the large, round-headed ones because they stand out more. However, they take up more space, so we had to sacrifice putting a pin or two on the map.

It really isn’t a travel map. We’re strategically plotting a series of flash-mobs.

Key:

Red – Places I’ve been

Green – Places he’s been

Yellow – Places I’ve lived

Blue – Places he’s lived

White – Places we’ve been

He may have the west-coast, but I have the east coast and a bit of the south pretty much covered.

California is our home state.

We have only one white pin now, but we’ll have to trade these out for smaller pins once the time comes – so many places to visit, so many road trips to be had, hence the need for a really huge USA map.

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