Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vintage-ing A Map Onto Canvas

I am VERY excited about this DIY project I was finally able to accomplish.  I love maps, am majoring in degrees where geography is everything, and love a good craft project.  Last night I worked on breaking a map down and mod podging it onto canvases, as per something I had seen on pinterest.  Then I opted to thrive on imperfections, and distress the heck out of mine as opposed to the pristine one I originally repinned.  So here she is:

Yes I know I should have rotated it before uploading it, but there is a good chance I am at work and we don't have any halfway decent picture managers loaded on the computers.  So bear with me, and tilt your head.

It's good exercise for neck muscles anyway.

Now, some people would probably not like the amount of wrinkles that ended up in mine, I happen to love it.  I think with the inky distressing and the wrinkles and the matte mod podge that it takes on a really old thrift store find look, instead of a $5 off ebay junkmap look.

So here is my double top secret "recipe" if you will for my map collage!

What you need:
  • One 24x36 inch map in antique brown shades (eBay has them for around $5 often)
  • Two each of the following canvas sizes:  16x20, 8x10, 4x5, 3x4  (I got all from hobby lobby for around $25, only using a 40% coupon off on one because I did not feel like buying them over the course of a few days...although it would have saved me $10 at least)
  • Matte mod podge
  • Brown Ink
  • Gold Ink
  • Make Up sponges or some little thing you can dab ink on and off
  • Sponge brush or other to apply MP
  • Exacto Knife
  • Lay out your canvases on the front of the map so that you can make sure you like how they are arranged.  I really wanted most of North America to be on the same canvas so I made sure my layout fit the perameters.
  • Carefully using the Xacto Knife, cut the map into the pieces that will go on your canvas.  If there is a little overhang it is ok because we will use that to distress it later.
  • Mod podge the map pieces onto the coordinating canvas sizes, smoothing out wrinkles to whatever degree you like.  By using these larger canvases I imagine that it would be next to impossible to get it smooth, unless you use something like spray adhesive.  Mod podge wets the canvas and so wrinkles are likely.
  • Put a single coat of MP over the map and allow it to dry for a few minutes.  While it is still a little damp, if you want to distress your edges, either tear any pieces that are hanging over the edges or take your Xacto knife and scrape along the edges of the canvas until desired amount is taken off.  This will make a mess, so put some paper down under it.
  • Next, using your brown ink pad, press the ink pad along the edges of the canvas, varying the amount and putting a lot in the corners.  Come back with the gold ink and stamp it more toward the inner side of the edges, and blend with a sponge.  Repeat this process until you have the desired look.
  • Take brown and/or gold in on a sponge and "distress" some of the wrinkles in the map.
  • Let it dry completely (I let mine dry overnight) and then put either a couple more coats of mod podge or a couple of coats of spray polyurethane on it, whichever is easier.  I have not gotten to this point yet and I am leaning toward using spray poly as I tend to like it better and mine kinda smells like bananas (random but true).  When I left last night my ink was still wet but I am almost positive it will be dry by the time I get back to it later today. 
And if not, I will correct myself promptly :).  If you tweak this a tad, with spray adhesive for instance, I think you could come out with a perfect and non-wrinkled end product if you needed it to be perfect.  Some other ideas which I think would be fun to try this with:
  • Old newspaper articles, either one large one or a collage of small ones (future gens will likely not have physical papers, so this could be really neat art later)
  • Magazine covers and/or articles
All in all I am VERY happy with how my map came out.  I am possibly going to tweak the distressing a tad more when I get home and blend in a little more subtle gold tones in it, but I really like it so far as is.

Now, on to that rotating bookshelf I have been scheming over! Pin It Now!

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