Written By: Michelle Fortin @ Making our Dream
Today, I’ve got an easy and cheap DIY project for Valentine’s Day. You still have time to pull this one together. You can do this. It’s that easy!
I made this map for my husband as an anniversary gift. I’ve put pins in all of the places we have traveled together.
That’s a few pins in France, Canada and Mexico and lots of pins all across the U.S. If I included the trips we made when we were single, there would be a lot more – but I thought it would be romantic to just mark where we have memories together.
For this DIY project you need a few items:
- Foam board that measures bigger than your map
- Spray adhesive – preferably a special kind for mounting photos
- Door moulding or crown moulding for the frame
- Stain or paint for the frame
- Tape – painter’s or masking will work best
- Staple gun
- Finishing nails
- A good memory – to recall all the places you’ve traveled!
I ordered my map from Amazon and it was less than $12 plus shipping. Don’t have a passport? Check out this U.S. map, also from Amazon. Like to stick even closer to home? Maps.com has several different Nebraska maps available – some are even inexpensive downloads you can print yourself.
Once you have your map, you’ll need a foam board for the backing. My map is hugmongoginormous. Yes, that’s a word. It is 39×55. I found a 40×60 foam board at Hobby Lobby for just $9.99 (plus, I used one of their 40% off coupons. Score!). You want the board slightly larger than the map because you’ll need some extra space to attach it to the frame.
This next part is probably the trickiest. Take the spray adhesive and coat the foam board, then lay your map on top and smooth it out. I used a large, crafting ruler to smooth it out – but still ended up with some bubbles. There’s a brand new mountain range in Greenland, created by yours truly. So, take some time on this one – ask someone to help you.
Let this dry for at least three hours.
While that’s drying, you can get your frame ready. My father-in-law did mine. I recommend that method, if it’s handy. If not, you can do it yourself too! Head on over to Home Depot or another hardware/home supply store. Pick out a door or crown moulding that you like. (I went with a simple – and cheap – door moulding.) Have the staff there cut it to the right lengths for you. You could also ask them to cut 45degree angles for you too – or you can use a table saw for that.
Make sure your measurements are exact and that the angles are cut correctly on each piece.
Before you put it all together, stain or paint the wood. I used a stain. Once that is dry you can use a nail gun or just a hammer and some small finishing nails to put the frame together. You could also make it extra secure and use some wood glue at the corners.
Then, place the finished frame over the top of the map, which should already be mounted on the foam board. Use the tape to set it in place and hold the board to the frame.
Then, flip it over and get out your staple gun.
CAREFULLY, staple the edge of the foam to the frame. Make sure you trim the edge of the foam board too. You can use a razor blade for that.
Flip ‘er over and admire your work!
Now, get out your straight pins and wrack your brain to remember all the places you’ve been – and pin away!
Your Valentine will love this gift – and it will be fun to start planning your next pin!