My walls are boring. There. I said it. We have been working hard on this little house of ours since we moved in last April. But bigger projects have been our priority. We painted them. And I hung a gallery wall in the hallway. But that is about it. And my nekkid walls (especially in the living room) were really starting to bug me. Because our walls are nice and tall and there was so much open space above our TV, I wanted something big. And rustic. And schmancy. No piddly little artwork for this girl. So I pulled on my thinking cap and slipped into my artsy pants (look at me all clothed in imaginary things! Wait. Scratch that. I do, in fact, have pants on) and set to work making my very own large scale rustic world map.
I started by finding a world map image online. I enlarged it, printed it out in “tile” format (basically it prints huge images on multiple pages), and taped together all the pieces to make a huge world map.
Then I went to the hardware store and got some wood. I had originally planned on using some old pallets but ended up not having enough to make the 2.5’x5′ size I wanted. I bought (7) 8 foot 1x4s and had them cut down to 60-inches. Make sure you take the extra scraps from home with you! You will use them! When I got home, I laid it all out on the floor with the pretty side of each piece down.
I grabbed some of the scraps and put a bit of wood glue on them and attached them to the back of the planks. I weighed them down with heavy items (paint cans, books, an elephant).
After a little bit of time, I nailed in some… nails (duh). Just make sure that your nails are long enough to go through both pieces of wood but not too long that they come out the front of the wood. And no, I didn’t learn that the hard way. coughliecough
I also attached 2 more support pieces the same way across the top of the wood. Notice that my wood is already stained when I did this? Do as I say, not as I do. K? These supports will help you hang your giant map more easily when the time comes.
I flipped it all over and stained it. I used a combination of Minwax Provincial and Dark Walnut.
After the stain had dried, I set to work transferring the world map image onto the wood using the same chalk method that I use to make my vintage signs. I swear, I must be one of the few bloggers left in the world that don’t have a Silhouette. #oldschool (Yeah, what? You mean you don’t hashtag in the middle of your posts? I’m super cool like that… or I just haven’t mastered the whole hashtag thing. Whatevs).
After all 7 hours of painting something so huge and detailed, we hung it on the wall. No tutorial for that. I made it super confusing. But at least it is level and not falling off the wall. My only tip for hanging?? These little babies. We got 2 of them from Home Depot and attached them to the horizontal supports on the back of the map.
Holy moly, what a difference. For serious. I also hung that little golden frame artwork I got at TJ Maxx a few months ago.
I feel like our living room is no longer a bunch of furniture placed about, but rather it is all meant to be there! With the new map and the made over rocking chair, the living room is feeling more and more complete.
Oh! You may also notice a new little addition to our side windows. More on that soon!
Have you ever tackled creating a large piece of artwork yourself?