Friday, November 14, 2014

A wall map with a DIY frame

I have another project that I did for the boys' room and completed before baby, but am just getting around to posting it now. To see the last project, which was also for their room (window valances) click here. As much as I love sharing these projects, I love snuggling with a newborn even more!

I wanted to hang a wall map in the boys room and asked my 3rd grader if he wanted a world map or a US map. We have a globe in their room, so he chose a US map to hang on the wall. I ordered one from Swift Maps. It is a plain old fashioned paper map measuring 24 in X 36 in. This is the map I ordered.

Here it is on the wall.

Want to do this yourself (including building the frame)? Keep reading for all the supplies needed and how-to:

Wall Map
Thin plywood (to adhere the map to)
1 X 4 in choice of wood (quality you buy depends if you stain or paint it)
Stain (or paint)
Kreg jig and bit
Wood Glue
Mod Podge (I used matte)
Hammer and Nails
.....and that is it...... Keep reading for instructions.....

I started by cutting my 1X4's. I cut them 1" bigger than the map outline, because I wanted 1/2" around all the edges. That was the plan anyways. Measure Twice, Cut Once. Let me repeat; Measure Twice, Cut Once. I usually adhere to this rule, and when I don't, I mess up!

My cut was 1" too short, so I did not have the extra 1/2" I wanted, but did not have enough wood to scrap that piece, and did not have enough time or patience to drive 20 minutes to Home Depot for more wood. So if you look closely, you will notice that there is not an even 1/2" reveal of map around all edges.....

Oh, you didn't notice? Even better!!

Okay, moving on. I used my miter saw to cut the edges at 45 degrees. Once I had all 4 pieces cut, I got out my itty bitty little cheapo Kreg jig. I had never used this before and was excited to try it.

I read all the directions (highly unusual for me....), which tell you how close to the edge to place it, based on your wood dimensions. I don't have any Kreg accessories so I just used my regular clamps. The kit came with the special drill bit and I used that in my drill.

Here it is set up.

And here it is done. I am in LOVE with this little blue jig!

When I was done I dry fitted my frame and laid it by the map, just to make sure again before screwing my frame together.

Okay, so other than my poor measurement, it fits. I then used screws in the pocket holes to attach the 1 x 4's together. That was easy! Did I mention that I LOVE MY KREG JIG..... (yes, I am yelling that, that's how much I love it!)

Once it was a frame I sanded and stained it. I used a gel stain that I have used on other projects. It is American General in the color JAVA. I did not bother to stain the back. After staining, I waxed it with a clear wax.

Meanwhile.......I used Mod Podge to adhere the map to the thin plywood. Originally I was planning on going over the front surface with Mod Podge too, but changed my mind. If you look very closely, you can just see the Mod Podge jar on the right of the photo below....

Once the map was dry, I nailed the board the map was glued to, to the back of the frame. Make certain to have it aligned correctly from the front.

I used 2 eye hooks spaced about 5 inches apart on the back to hang it. I used picture wire between the two eye hooks and a nail in the wall. Here it is on the wall. Now my 3rd grader should get all his state tests correct!

I hope you liked this project. Please comment with any questions. Thank you for visiting and come back!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Window valances for 4 windows in boys' room.....finally

It has been a little while since my last post, and I have a very good -- and very cute --- reason! Our family has grown by one precious little boy. We have been blessed with another son. So, I have had other things on my mind than blog posts. But I'm feeling good - he is a good little sleeper and I have help so today is a good time to lie on the couch and do this post!

So, about today's post...... I did get several projects done before our littlest blessing arrived, and I will blog about those over the next few weeks, while I get my mojo and energy back for more projects. They are all in my mind, but not in the planning stages other than in my swirling brain! Today's post is about one of those projects that I completed about a month ago.

When we moved in our current house I simply got blackout roller shades for the boys room windows. I used them in our last house and they are just so much better for keeping out the sun (and heat) than blinds. But they are ugly. Unfortunately they are nothing special to look at. Their windows are very big, very tall and face east. They get a lot of sun and heat in the morning hours. The windows are stacked at top, with the middle window being taller than the two flanking it, so I could not put a big valance across all three. Here is an exterior picture of the windows to give you an idea. (Our home was still under construction in this photo).

I liked the valance in the room at our last house, but I only had one of them and this house has 4 windows in their room!

I decided to copy the valance from our old house and hang it with tension rods in each window (inside mount). I bought more fabric similar to the original, and bought more star material, although I could not find the exact one. I bought blackout material for the back of each valance.

I reused the original valance for the window that is separate and above a desk. It is so similar in color that you can't tell it's not exactly the same as the others. I did keep the pom pom fringe on it but have not found enough of it to put on my 3 new valances. When I find it I will add it to them.

The amount of light coming in the windows make it difficult for this non-photographer to take decent pictures....sorry....

It is sad that I feel good about getting the boys room done just a little bit more.... I mean we have only been in the house since February. Geez...... ***total sarcasm, in case you can't tell..... The good news is I don't think they care!

I feel like I have been creeping with projects. But sometimes that happens and life and family need you more than making your house pretty needs you!

Thank you for reading today.

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