So I know everyone else in blogland is focusing on Halloween but unfortunately my costumes are not quite done. I’ll probably do a “last minute Halloween costumes” tutorial since our costumes are actually quite simple. I just haven’t taken the time to finish.
So today’s tutorial is something for my playroom (did you miss my ABC Wall Hanging over at Not JUST a Housewife? Don’t worry, it’ll be here next Tuesday!). I really want our playroom to be a place of fun and learning so I made this map puzzle of the United States. I think it turned out great! Oh and I should mention that my husband the history teacher loved it so much he wants one for his classroom!
- Sheet Magnet (I get mine at Walmart)
- Map paper (JoAnn’s…or you could get an actual old map)
- Background paper
- Sheet metal (we had some laying around from the previous owners, but you could just use an old cookie sheet)
- Spray paint
- Map template (I had one from something else, but you could probably just print one)
- Stamp ink or distressing ink
- Mod podge
Step 1: Tape your map template (I think I got that Name That State map from Walmart) up on a bright window. Tape the map paper over it. I had to use 2 sheets to fit all the states. Carefully trace all the states using a pencil.
Step 2: Since I had used a pencil the lines were pretty light and I only wanted to have to do this once. I traced all the lines with a fine tip permanent marker to make them stand out more.
Step 3: Place the sheet magnets on the back of the paper. Make sure all the edges line up perfectly so there are no gaps. I think I used 5 sheets. Cut out all the states. This is the most tedious part. Be careful. I’m a perfectionist cutter anyway but if you’re not this is the time to be one. After you cut the states out distress the edges. I just used a brown stamp pad and brushed it along the edges. This made each of the states stand out from each other when they were put back together.
Step 4: Brush a light layer of mod podge over all the states to seal them. Let dry.
Step 5: While the states are drying, work on the frame. I had a big frame that the map would fit in so I took that out and spray painted it purple to match my playroom.
Step 6: Cut your sheet metal to fit in the frame. BE CAREFUL!!! My husband did this and wore gloves because the metal is very sharp. I did get a tiny cut and man that thing hurt. My metal wasn’t wide enough so I taped two pieces together to make it big enough.
Step 7: Decoupage your background paper onto the metal. Once again, BE CAREFUL! This was the part I got my cut. I used two different papers. Once looked more like a mat and then I found paper that looked like an old map. Let dry.
Step 8: This next step is a two man job. Glue the metal into the frame. I used hot glue but you could use something stronger like E6000. Let dry.
Step 9: Assemble the puzzle on the metal. This will test your knowledge of the United States! Hang on the wall. I would recommend some putty in the corners so it stays still while you do the puzzle. When I make one for my husband’s classroom I’ll just be using a cookie sheet because he won’t be hanging it up.
I’ll be linking this project up at the following parties: