In my last post about crafting souvenirs I had mentioned that I wanted to try the map idea for photographs. And so I have. I've always been crazy about maps in school, I loved map days where I could just see what was close to which location and pretend I was actually leaving for something worthwhile. It's not nerdy. Maps are cool. And at least with this map it shows where I've been as well as where I have yet to go. So, it's hopeful!
This project got me thinking about a few things. It got me thinking about how much fun it would be for family photos and something to do with the kids (and how I wish I could find my family photos from my youth), and it got me thinking about my boss, who RVs all over the US with his wife and three boys. They probably have way more photos to cut into state shapes than I do. Hi, Yum Fam! You should do this project with the kiddos since you can fill more than a tri-state area to start. Plus, it makes a physical reminder- yes, we saw Charleston and here's a photo, but now we can remember which state it's in, kids.
What you'll need:
- Regular tape
- Glue or double stick tape
- Photographs or something alike for memory making
Well, I got pretty excited about this craft, which is sad considering I've only really been to about 7 states and have photos to show for it! (still on the fence- DO airports count? What if you purchased something whilst in one and paid their state sales tax? Yes? No? I never know. Alas...) I ordered two US maps from Ebay for $5 each- one for cutting each state out of and one for, well, mapping, and they're a little larger than I thought they'd be. Let's just say Texas is most of my face. Non-affiliated Amazon link above.
Finally a real use for a fancy box- of which I have many!
I had a lot of fun (psyche!) cutting out each state as best as I could. My scissor skills aside, though, I'm pumped to begin! I ordered a few prints from Shutterfly and off I went. Eventually. It's kind of a slow process if you need to wait for things like the US post office and actually traveling to other states to take photos in.....
Wedding Day in Detroit
It's easier to buy two maps than trying to trace each state shape in a shadow like I saw someone else try to do. Who has a projector to trace with anyhow? And why? Then I taped each state over the photos like so and got back to cutting. Some are much more difficult than others but I'm not too worried about every line being perfect. Your choice.
Pro Tip: Also I saw someone try to cut their map shapes out but then piece it together like a puzzle without a second map. Seems less fun and more work because with this map I can decorate the water or Canada or add more things or even just safely roll it up like a poster if I need to move it.
Getting it on the wall was fun. Come to find out, our new house's walls are thinly plastered and we have a few cracks already, but for some reason, putting four thumbtacks into the library wall was NOT easy- get a stud finder, too, if you go the tack route! Chris and I needed a hammer because the thin ass wall was bending the cheap ass tacks! So I'm not sure if it was us over-exhausted or the dollar store products, but either way, four corners took seven tacks! But we got there! Perseverance, y'all!
It really is the easiest thing if you have the space for it. Once that was hung I started to put up my states. I opted for double stick tape because it's easier and because I already had some. Some people enjoy waiting for glue to dry, but I'm not one of them. For a craft that will take me years to decades to complete I am incredibly impatient about it.
Still waiting on a fiend to send over a WI photo but I've been there, too! Twice!
Once I get the rest of my library in order with the new book shelf I plan on spending time actually decorating the outside of the map so that it doesn't look so 3rd grade classroom. I'm not positive how yet, but it will get done. I can't decide between just fun stickers and color blocks to fill the space or adding more pictures and usable souvenirs like map pieces and looted goods. Or all of it. What do you think you would do to yours?
I haven't been to a lot of states, mostly just the same few on repeat- but that's what happens when your brother moves to Florida and your favorite band only comes as close as Chicago! I have a stop in Rhode Island before I head to Ireland in May and a trip already booked for a weekend in DC directly after that, so, those teeny tiny places will make it look .05% more filled in.
I think this is a great craft idea for families on the go. I bet my neighbors would have done it when they used to pack up their gray minivan and head to cool places as a family if they'd thought of it (M-m-m-mammoth Cavesssss). Eric LOVED his maps and roadtrips. I hope to take in some weird views around towns like the biggest ball of yarn tour, a house of cheese, the Devil's Tree or haunted graveyards and use those photos to help tell the tales. World's best pie, mystery spots, things like that, too. America!
I'll definitely have to go to a few places again- Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee, because I don't have photos from my stops there. I look forward to that! Until then, this is my sad map. It's a cool idea and it will only get cooler the more I add to it, I think!
Here's to crafting with your memories to make them last forever! Be kind to one another.