Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Framed Maps

Those of you that have been reading this blog from the beginning might remember one of my first posts and home tour of my Living Room.  I have been wanting to fill the blank walls behind our sectional couch since we moved in, but I just couldn't figure out what I wanted to put there.  I felt like I needed something that would be cohesive on both walls, but didn't want to just buy a bunch of random pieces of wall art.  My friend, K, has impeccable design taste and her house looks like a model home...it is so beautiful.  One day when she and her kids were over for a playdate I asked her opinion of what I could do with those blank walls and she suggested few things, one of which was to frame different maps that might have special meaning to us.  I LOVED that idea and immediately knew that is what I wanted to do.

A few weeks later I was talking with my friend, L, and she had done something really similar so I asked her where she got her maps, how she framed them, and all of the specifics of this project.  She and her husband told me about the U.S. Geological Survey website, USGS, where there are maps of all areas of the  United States for between $8-20 each, which was way cheaper than any I had found anywhere else online.

That is where my excitement and my project stalled for about 3 months.  The website is kind of hard to navigate and every time I would take a look I would get frustrated and just put it off to another day. I finally got sick of re-writing "order maps" on my to-do lists so one night I stayed up late and just got it done.  If you decide to order from this site, you can search just about anywhere and it will pull up all of the maps that are available for that area. I went with the 7.5 x 7.5 grid sized maps because that is what my friends had used.

I ordered 6 different maps of places that have special meaning to us...where we got married, the location of the homes we have lived in, the lake we love to go to, etc.  It was fun looking at each map as it arrived and the kids were fascinated to see where we used to live and even where we currently live on a map.

My original plan was to have the Mr. build some frames to look like reclaimed wood (a project I found on Pinterest) and he had agreed to it, but then I found these beauties at Hobby Lobby and knew it was the same look I was going for.

Tell me I'm not the only one that takes pictures of stuff as I'm shopping so I can remember what it looks like and what store it's from!?!?

I waited a week for them to go on sale 50% off and then made the rounds to 3 different Hobby Lobby's to get the 6 I needed.  I was so pumped I posted them on Instagram!

At one of the stores, I got to talking to the manager and he told me the story behind these frames.  Apparently there is a gentleman that builds them for Hobby Lobby using reclaimed barn wood and fence posts from TX.  They are all a little bit different and definitely weathered, which I love.

Mr. and I hung them all on Friday night and we were both so happy with the outcome.  I am thrilled with the way they look and fill the space I so desperately wanted to fill.  And, I especially love that they tell our story and are each meaningful to us.

I have a few other maps I ordered from the same site of some states, but they are all random and different sizes.  I am going to have to either have them custom framed or talk the Mr. into building frames for those.  That is a project for another time!

While I was on my mission to fill the walls I also found these distressed iron shutters at Hobby Lobby about a month ago.  (Are you beginning to notice a trend here?!?! Hobby Lobby is my go-to place!) We hung them over the chairs in our living room and I finally feel like that room is complete now. :-)

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