Where in the world have we been map

So this is yet another tale of it-was-sitting-in-the-garage-for-three-months-before-I-did-it. There are a lot of those, if you haven’t noticed. It is how I do.

I’ve mentioned like 50 times that one of the things about our basement that I LOVE is the potential for the walls – there are a ton of them. There are not in the rest of the house (open concept, few walls without windows, I’m really not complaining, it’s a great problem to have).

But I do love having a space that has expanses of wide open walls ready to be decorated in the basement. There’s this one that you see when you get down the stairs:

 Where in the world have we been map

Gloriously empty. And big.

Months ago on a trip to IKEA (I think I got this six months ago?), I picked up one of their huge wall maps. It wasn’t necessarily cheap, but for the size (more than six by four feet), it really wasn’t too bad.

I’ve known I wanted to put it that spot but wanted to change it up a bit. At first I was going to cut the map down into three equal sizes and then mount it somehow – just for something different.

But I knew I’d need something large to mount the maps to, and I didn’t feel like spending the extra cash on big sheets of particle board and all. So it stayed in the garage. (It also lived in the dining room/library and in the mud room for a while too – I like to change up the scenery you know.)

I also had an idea I wanted to implement on the map – I wanted to make it personal and interactive for us. My plan has always been to figure out a way to note where in the world we’ve been – a way to mark where we’ve each traveled. But I didn’t want to use pins that would ruin the map and I wanted it to be safe for little visitors. I mulled over the idea for months and on the flight home from Disney last week it hit me – I knew exactly what I was going to do!

So the other night I started putting the map together…finally. It was VERY easy:

 Where in the world have we been map

I didn’t get the map as taut as I wanted, but it’s fine. It was easy to put together but not so easy I was willing to do it all over again. icon smile Where in the world have we been map

I got it hung and you know my middle name is Can’t Leave Well Enough Alone, so I knew it needed a little something. I got some of the cheap, thin lattice boards at Lowe’s, stained them and then cut them down to make a huge frame around the map:

 Where in the world have we been map

I started out by trying to glue the wood around the edge of the map, but it wasn’t secure enough so I ended up just using my nail gun and installing it that way. The metal frame is so thin and lightweight I knew the nail would go through easily.

It worked great! And I was so happy I added the dark frame – it was the perfect way to finish it off!

The final step was to take a hole punch and some random vinyl colors I had around and start punching:

 Where in the world have we been map

As I mentioned, I wanted this to be something personal and fun for our family, so the little dots represent each of us (red – me, silver – hubs, yellow – Bub) and I started placing them on the map. I don’t know why it took me so long to think of vinyl instead of push pins, duh, but it worked!

Hubby has been to the coolest places by far:

  Where in the world have we been map Where in the world have we been map 

Together we’ve been to some pretty amazing spots too:

  Where in the world have we been map Where in the world have we been map

And the kiddo isn’t doing too shabby in his U.S. travels, considering he’s only six:

 Where in the world have we been map

That’s not even filled up yet — I realized quickly that the dots are going to be too big. I am on the lookout for a smaller hole punch so I can keep adding to the U.S. map. icon smile Where in the world have we been map

I love how the whole thing turned out – I stood back and realized the colors in it(blue, green and yellow with the touch of dark wood) are the exact colors I’m using throughout the basement.

 Where in the world have we been map

Haaallooooo – perfect!

And I just love that there’s a little extra something that is significant to our family:  Where in the world have we been map

You don’t really see the dots until you get up close. I think it will be fun for the kiddo to show his friends where in the world he’s been. icon smile Where in the world have we been map

If you’ve been around for awhile you know I’ve been using a lot wood tones down in the basement – I’m going for a comfy but ever so slightly industrial/funky vibe down there. I didn’t notice till I was taking pics how well the wood frame ties in with the wood planked wall on the stairs:

 Where in the world have we been map

I meant to do that. icon wink Where in the world have we been map

I’m loving maps lately, obviously – I realized after it was all done that I have two hanging right next to each other down there. OH WELL. I’ll deal. Are you digging maps lately? I’ve seen them used in all kinds of new and fun ways over the past year or so. Love it!

Thrifty Decor Chick



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