Friday, May 4, 2012

Big Ol' Honkin' Ginormous Freakin' Huge Oversized DIY Map {for 20 bucks}

This had been hanging in our back room for over six months.

I finally decided that the thumbtack was too classy for the rest of the house, so down it came.
Which left this. A big expanse of nothingness.

(and some jacked up molding hiding cable wires)

You know what would look brilliant? A big map.
Except I didn't have one.
So I did what any desperate housewife would do:

I went to Lowes.

I got a sheet of the thinnest, smoothest wood I could find
{"utility plywood panel"}

and some 4 inch x 8 foot "multi-purpose furring strips."

I had them cut the plywood down to size at the store, since it's free and STRAIGHT and makes it easier to shove into the van.

These itty bitty lil' nails tack the wood directly to the wall,

and if you sink them in far enough they'll disappear after the whole thing gets a coat of blue-ish paint {leftover from our kitchen table years ago}.

Then, the fun part.

Using an overhead projector (best $25 Craigslist money ever spent), I traced the image in chalk,

then painted the states, keeping just inside the lines.

{I love night photos.}

I realized after the fact that I could have painted the whole country green....THEN painted the blue state lines....which may(?) have been faster, but you know my motto: do first, think second.

The furring strips got some stain (leftover from the Christmas star), and went from cold and naked to rich and delicious in two coats.

So yummy that I nixed the mitered corners and kept the edges of the frame straight.
Wipe away the chalk lines with a wet rag and BOOM.

You could get all fancy nancy and mark the states that you've visited as a family.
Or put hearts where the grandparents and cousins live.

I kept it simple and just marked the place we call home.

Linking up with


  1. Love, love, love this!!!
    What were the measurements for your border pieces? I was hoping that I could get my Home improvement to cut those down too...

  2. Rebecca...I LOVE this. The frame, the colors, it is all awesome. I have an overhead projector...I could do this! :)

  3. I so, SO love this!!! Time to head to home depot!

  4. Rebecca: How did you get so awesome? Were you born that way or did it take you awhile to develop all of your crazy-fantastic-awesome-creative skills? I've asked it before, but I'll ask it again: Is there a class I can take that can help me think like you??? Okay, I'm done with the adoration, but really--this is just plain awesome! Tricia

  5. That is so stinkin' cool! Seriously, how do you come up with these things?

  6. I have a bare wall in my son's room that I wanted to put a big map on. This would be perfect.

  7. I love, love, love this map!! Oh if I only had an over head projector!!!

  8. Love this idea! And I love the colors you used! Do you remember what they are?
    From - a map-lovin' girl

  9. I really love it. I want to hug your projector.

  10. this is so fun! i need to remember this when i have a blank wall.

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  12. anyone told you lately that you ROCK?
    i totally adore this! you knocked it out of the park

  13. I love this idea! Your map looks absolutely fabulous. Isn't it amazing what you can do with a little creativity? I love the star on Texas!

  14. I agree with Tricia's comment....please sign me up for that class too!! :)

    Awesome idea Rebecca, it turned out great! I ♥ it!

  15. This is ridiculously awesome. I'm jealous of your overhead projector, your large expanse of wall space and your attention to detail/patience. I would have called it a day after the first state. You rock.

  16. wow...I love this! I'm gonna do it!

  17. That is awesome!! I love your brain.

  18. First of all, I love it. 2nd of all, I thought the number 1 comment girl's blogger name said "ghettojoy" What was I thinking when I made my blog?! Oh that's right, I didn't live here yet, ha!

  19. That's flippin awesome. But it totally needs a Fresno shout out.

  20. I have been wanting a huge map for our basement wall! This is so much cooler...

  21. Great job! Love it!

  22. I love that you only used the two colors! Brilliance my dear!

  23. OMG that is the most gorgeous thing I've seen in ages! I want one of Canada!

  24. The only thing missing, Dear, is a big old heart in NE Indiana to mark where your stalker/reader friend lives. You're all kinds of creative awesomeness.

  25. Pretty cool idea. I have a question, did you paint the entertainment center. In the beginning it looks like it may be oak and in the last picture, it looks black. Did you paint it or is it just a trick of lighting?

    1. Factoid #1 about me: I never wait to finish a project before I start the next one.

      Yes. It's painted. That orange-y oak color next to the walnut stained frame = yuck.

  26. This is so dang awesome! Now I want an overhead projector!

  27. I love the word ginormous!

    I love this map!

    The two together - perfect!

  28. That is the freakin coolest thing I've ever seen! I am especially in love with your frame!

  29. This is a fantastic idea!
    I just stumbled on to your blog and it's great! Keep up the good work :)

  30. This is amazing! Totally going to try this one day when I've finally settled into my own little place. Love your ideas!

  31. Hands down one of the coolest projects I've come across in blogland in months. Good job.


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