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Pin It. No, Really.

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?)

  • Lindsey d. - January 18, 2012 - 8:44 AM

    Which one of you lived in Tallahassee?ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - January 18, 2012 - 8:46 AM

    i was just thinking yesterday about doing something similar to this – how cool!ReplyCancel

  • Jenna - January 18, 2012 - 9:01 AM

    For the 3 Mid-West pins, I’m going to guess you’ve lived in Chicago, Indy (my city!) and Fort Wayne.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 18, 2012 - 9:44 AM

      Jenna, that’s proof of our bad pin placement! Chicago is right, but we’ve never lived in Indiana… You’d think so by looking at our map! Let’s pretend those “Indiana” pins were located 100 miles to the east…

      Lindsey, not Tallahassee, but the right state! I was born in the Eglin AFB, Florida.ReplyCancel

      • Danielle - November 13, 2014 - 3:22 PM

        Dayton / Cincy?ReplyCancel

  • Voyage-On - January 18, 2012 - 9:36 AM

    I love map decor! Check out more here:http://voyage-on.blogspot.com/2011/12/all-around-world.html

    Thanks for posting!!ReplyCancel

  • Elise - January 18, 2012 - 10:50 AM

    This is great!

    I made an Illinois-shaped pinboard for a friend leaving Chicago (grabbed a free map from AAA and mounted it on a few layers of corrugated cardboard because I couldn’t find a big enough piece of cork), but I like this even more. I really love the suggestion of mounting the thinner layer of cork on a piece of cardboard to give it some extra support / make sure your pins aren’t going all the way through. And the plain cork (rather than map) classes up the appearance. I will definitely keep this in mind (i.e. pin it)!

    Design*Sponge also had a great map project that I’m too lazy to track down at the moment, but it showed a similar state-shaped map using Michigan (extra aesthetically-pleasing because of the upper / lower peninsula feature).ReplyCancel

  • Tara Joy - January 18, 2012 - 11:10 AM

    I’d recognize that Coudersport, PA pin anywhere! ;-)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 18, 2012 - 11:28 AM

      Tara, I love you. Oh, Coudersport! What a summer that was!

      Elise, that sounds awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Alexis - January 18, 2012 - 11:58 AM

    For the west coast I’m guessing San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland?
    Am I close?ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - January 18, 2012 - 12:01 PM

    Great job Kalli! Just a cute idea!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - January 18, 2012 - 2:25 PM

    I’m so going to do this. I love anything and everything to do with maps. Pinning it for later rightthisveryminute! (Pun pun pun!)ReplyCancel

  • kat - January 18, 2012 - 8:14 PM

    I see the Cincy & Yellow Springs pins on there… but where’s the Baltimore & Washington DC pins from your trip out East?? Very cute gift, Kalli :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 18, 2012 - 10:30 PM

    Kat, WOW! Good eye – you’re so right! Pinning them right now!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - January 19, 2012 - 3:20 PM

    Petoskey and Holland/Grand Rapids in Michigan?ReplyCancel

  • Kim - January 19, 2012 - 3:28 PM

    Rebecca, yes to both!ReplyCancel

  • Francie - January 31, 2012 - 6:43 PM

    A green pin is in Pittsburgh.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - January 31, 2012 - 6:54 PM

      CLOSE! A white pin is. I never lived there, but we travel there all the time to see family.ReplyCancel

  • Aleksandra - February 4, 2012 - 11:28 AM

    DId I ever mention how much it made me smile to see my hooded Chick on your board?
    XOXOXOReplyCancel

  • [...] U.S. Corkboard Travel Project via Yellow Brick Road [...]ReplyCancel

  • [...] with an X-acto knife. Mounts nicely in the home office or on your fridge. Get the how-to at Yellow Brick Home (inspired by Life [...]ReplyCancel

  • Janet Murr - October 10, 2014 - 9:27 PM

    Your website looks interesting. Can’t wait to see future posts.ReplyCancel

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