Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Map Inspired Home Decor

I have always had trouble buying gifts for people.  I really do want to give a gift that shows I put some thought into it and that I care- but most of the time it ends up just being a standard clothing/accessories that has something about it they like (like a sports team or pattern).  It's no surprise that I struggle with this though, being as "receiving/giving gifts" is 5 out of 5 on my Love Languages.  It just doesn't come naturally.

Crafting comes naturally.  I love creating with my mind and hands.  Some people aren't as receptive to "handmade gifts" as I am though so I tend to steer clear of them.  That all changed this Christmas.  As I was searching the stores and racking my brain to find the perfect gift for my mother-in-law (who we think has the #1 love language of gifts) this idea hit me.  It's sort of store bought but with a creative twist.  Easy, meaningful and perfect for anyone on your list (or yourself!) who loves to travel or has loved ones afar.

{Sorry for the poor lighting in the "after" photo.  I forgot to take one until it was being wrapped up!}

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Here's how to make your own:

Step 1: Find some frames/shadow boxes that you like.

I found these at T.J.Maxx for around $5 a piece.  They had several sayings like "family always & forever" , "soul mates" , "best mom ever" and "best dad ever".  It didn't really matter what they said since I was painting over them but I did love the square shape and how they all coordinated together.  The round pieces also stuck up from the background which added dimension.

My MIL lives in Georgia now but her three children reside in Indiana, Florida and Pennsylvania.  I wanted to make something that captured all the places that her heart is scattered across the states.  Oh, and all three kids attended Purdue University so the black & gold colors were fitting!

Step 2: Paint the back or whatever spot you are going to re-decorate!

It took several rounds of gold paint to cover up the black wording, but luckily acrylic paint dries pretty fast.  Just keep doing it until the original design is covered up.

Step 3: Create & apply your vinyl design.

Using your Silhouette or other cutting machine, create vinyl pieces in the shapes of your choosing.  I wanted basic shapes of Indiana, Florida and Pennsylvania.  Tip:  Make sure you measure your shapes to fit inside the space in every direction. I measured side to side and up and down but forgot about making it fit diagonally!  Oops.  I had to re-cut my states!

Position the vinyl where you want it and remove the transfer tape.  Press down the vinyl so it sticks well.

Step 4: Draw hearts in the states using a metallic pen or marker.

You can do this with vinyl or by hand, I just thought it was faster by hand!  Add hearts in the locations where loved ones live, in the state capitol, or in between multiple locations.

That's it!

I love how easy this project was and how personalized you can make it.  I chose to keep the fourth shadow box as it was- saying "Family Always & Forever" but you can make it as small or big as you need.  What a perfect gift this would make for anyone with family out of state or for those who have moved from state to state themselves.

Love this?  Check out my most popular post for another map-inspired DIY!

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog and the great tips and ideas you keep sharing with your readers. I love how you use such great images. Very few out there like you. Thanks for sharing the post with us.I keep reading your and The Happy home blog for information on Home Decor and Home improvement.