DIY Push Pin Map
I’d like to think of myself as a story teller. This is one of the many millions of reasons why I love to travel. When I am some place new, I get to substitute the mundane routine of everyday for constant anticipation and pleasure. Being so far from familiarity gives me an opportunity to learn so much about myself; to really hear myself think. Even before the experience is over I’m eternalizing it in photographs, writing it down in journals, filling my pockets and purse with every receipt, stub, or brochure available, and reciting a play by play to my partner even though he’s been sitting next to me the entire time. This push pin map project is another way to recollect travel gems. But I’d be lying if it weren’t also a ploy to share some of my awesome experiences with unsuspecting visitors.
To prepare for this project, I cut a piece of scrap batting and an old cardboard box to the frame size, 11X14”.
- Burlap is a loosely woven fiber, meaning that it is made up of two sets of yarns running in different directions. The fabric needs to be double layered to ensure that batting doesn’t show through the gaps. Cut a piece of burlap the same size as your batting and card board
- The loose weave makes it quite simple to cut a straight line. Once you have decided where you want your cut to begin snip about a 1/4 inch up. This should free a vertical strand (the weft in technical terminology). Pull the strand all the way out of the fabric.
- In its place, there is delineated space to make your cut.
- Now that you are a burlap cutting pro, cut the second piece with at least a 2 inch seam allowance. (Don’t make the same mistake that I did and forget basic math skills. If the length of the fabric is going to increase by 2 inches on each side, make sure to increase the total length by 4 inches. I only had 1 in. to work with, which made the next step a bit more challenging.)
- Layer every piece that you just cut starting with the larger piece of burlap, then the smaller, then the batting, and finally the cardboard.
- This step is a bit thorny- the trick is to move slowly and incrementally. Add about an inch of hot glue to the edge of the cardboard to adhere the seam allowance to the back. Going inch by inch might be slow, but it prevents the terrible hot glue finger burns.
- Now that your pin board is all prepped, put it into the frame.
- Let your inner Picasso shine. Or do like I did and cut out a stencil and fill in the blanks.
Once your paint is dry, the fun begins! Get the kiddos involved in marking all of your family destinations. It’s a fun excuse to reminisce about how great mom and dad are for bringing the pack to Disney World. It is also a great tactic to sneak in some geography practice. Ask your little one to guess where Orlando, FL is on the map before resorting to Google Maps to offer answers.
My push pin map is a daily reminder of how truly fortunate I’ve been to see (and more importantly eat) so many wonderfully diverse things. It also pushes me to explore more. The west is looking pretty bleak; maybe Washington should be my next stop.
If you had the opportunity to travel anywhere, where would you go?
All images via Marlena Antonucci