Over the holidays, Scott and I were so lucky to receive a handmade cork board map from one of my best pals, Kalli (you might remember her colorful closet right here). Of course we love a DIY sentiment as much as the next guy, but I swear you could hear my squeals through the walls – sorry, neighbors! We applied the magnet strips she sent along and snapped it to our fridge in a hot second. The green pins mark where each of us have lived, and the white pins show the shared places we’ve traveled together. We thought it was such a fun, yet simple project, that we asked if she could share her process.
I came across this link on Pinterest and decided to make an unframed one as a gift for Kim and Scott since we all share a love of travel. I Googled “US map” until I found a simple outline of the contiguous forty-eight and printed it out, scaling it to fit an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. I did that partly so it would print on regular copy paper, and because I knew I’d be shipping everything in a flat-rate envelope, which put constraints on the overall size. Also, I knew Kim and Scott already have a lot of art on their walls, and I didn’t want to send them anything that would demand a large area for hanging.
I took a Sharpie to the printed map outline, and smoothed the outline slightly in a few jagged areas to simplify the cutting process. Then I double-stick taped it to a rectangle (cut out from a roll) of cork so it wouldn’t wiggle around while I used a sharp X-acto blade to carefully cut through the outline. Afterward, I peeled off the double-stick and reused the paper map to cut a backing shape from cardboard. This time (using new, sharp blades) I cut inside the US outline just a bit, so when I sandwiched together the layers with hot glue, the cardboard didn’t stick out over the edge since it was slightly smaller than the cork layer.
I made the little yellow banner (printed on cardstock and glued to a scrap piece of cork or cardboard) and sent it along with an assortment of colored map pins and optional magnet stripping, in case they wanted to display it on the fridge rather than hang it on a wall.
I didn’t include Hawaii and Alaska because I wasn’t sure if those states would look good floating around on their own, but they could easily be cut out from scrap pieces of cork. Now that I have a few feet of cork left over, I may cut out a big California shape and pin photos to the location in which they were taken. Here’s to more traveling and more pinning!
Thank you, Kalli!
PS… Any guesses on those pin locations? (Disclaimer: we totally eyeballed that shizz. Still, who wants to try?)