You’ve probably seen plenty of map crafts floating around the blogosphere and of course on Pinterest. I had spotted a few ideas I liked but hadn’t made any until a couple of weeks ago. My mom had a big birthday coming up and although she didn’t ask for any gifts, I wanted to make her something I knew she would love. How could I decide on the perfect gift you ask? I stalked her Pinterest boards and found a few ideas I really liked and thought I could make. I narrowed it down finally to the “Where We’re From” map people idea.
I took a look at a few blogs that had already made their own versions and decided the best way would be to get my hands on some real maps. I needed some Florida maps and a Massachusetts map. Seeing that we live in Florida, I figured those would be easy to come by. I was wrong.
I ended up first finding a Massachusetts map at a thrift store for 15cents. Next I found an old road atlas at another thrift store for 50cents. Since I needed multiple cities in Florida, I needed to get at least one more Florida map. I found out that our local driver’s license office has a AAA guy who gives out maps. Perfect! We stopped in there and were able to grab two Florida maps for free!
I hunted around the internet trying to find a template for cutting the little people out but kept coming up empty. I’m not much of an artist but I managed to draw some little people up and used them to trace out spots on the map to cut out. Each little person represents a different member of our family and the area of the map they are made up of includes the city that they were born in.
After lining the people up on a spare canvas I had on hand, I decided to paint the white canvas black so that the people would stand out better. Once the paint dried (two coats), I set up my people and used some Mod Podge to glue them into place. I decided to add our family’s name to the top and thanks to my Dad’s suggestion, the year we were established (Mom and Dad’s Anniversary Year). I used some vinyl and the Cricut to cut the letters and numbers out. Once they were applied to the canvas I added another layer of Mod Podge to fully seal the project.
I love how it turned out and the birthday girl loved it too! It is a great personalized gift that you can make for many different occasions. I have another version swirling around in my head but I need to find some maps that are closer to street level to really make it work well. (I know I could just print the maps but I really love the idea of using the old maps and all the different colors and textures they come with.)