I remember thinking ... "Wow, if you just travel down around this corner, you would be here.... and if you just cut across the water, you would be here... " So many kids stood around pointing at that map, that a hole was eventually worn in the spot where our cabin was from messy little fingers pointing out to their friends exactly which spot we were standing on. Finally, one of my aunts had enough good sense to take the map down and have it laminated, so it could be enjoyed for years to come. It now sits like a giant placemat in the middle of our cabin kitchen table, so that future generations can explore it, and point to it without fear of it being damaged.
I purchased some great wallpaper from Ralph Lauren, then decided not to use it, as I really wanted to do something personalized, where my son could grow up with his own map of where we were; marked with "home" and "cabin" and all of the places in between. I decided to make my own map, based on the map from our cabin, I painted in the traditional map colors of sea blue and yellow on a giant canvas.
Here's what you need to recreate a map of your own area!
- 1 large canvas (Can be found at Michaels - often at 50% off!)
- A pencil for sketching
- yellow craft paint
- blue craft paint
- brown sharpie pen
- paint brushes
- A great map of your area to use as a guide (I referenced a map off of the internet)
Find a map of your area, or an area that is special to your family - maybe somewhere that your family likes to vacation. Lay your canvas out in front of you, and start sketching. It's a little tricky to do in a much larger scale, so make sure you have a good eraser! Don't worry if you have a bunch of erased lines all over, you will be painting over it!
Once you have your map sketched, paint all of the water areas blue, and the land areas yellow. Where the blue and yellow come trace with a dark brown Sharpie pen. Use your Sharpie, and add in the towns, the waterways, bays, whatever you find important. I added a few fun things; a water skier, a shrimp, ferry boats - just to make it a little more interesting.
Pretty easy as far as projects go, and it only takes a couple of hours. My sister-in-law made some smaller ones for her bathroom, they can can be done on any size canvas to fit any space.
I have since cut out many ideas of how to decorate with maps. Pottery Barn Kids did a room entirely covered in old maps, overlapping as wallpaper. Here are a few more of my favorite map ideas!
Nautical is back in a big way, and incorporating maps has never been easier. So next time you're at an antique store, grab a vintage map and get creative!
Thanks so much Shayne! Love your creative ideas, and so easy to adapt a really neat piece of art to reflect your own coastal area.
Make sure to visit Shayne's new blog - Sugarfly, where Shayne gives you a little glimpse into her wonderful family life beside Miller bay in Washington State. Writing about her house last spring was one of my favorite posts - "Fabulous Family Home on Miller Bay" , make sure to check out her cute "cottage-like" beach house!