Apr 15, 2011

More cheap art: Decorating with maps

Happy weekend, all! I have a three-day weekend because Monday is a holiday here in Maine (and in Massachusetts) called Patriot's Day. Not really sure what it's celebrating, but I'll take it :)

I've got a thing for cheap art, like my DIY paint swatch art hanging in our kitchen. I've also got some wrapping paper art in there too, which you can see here (third photo from the top). And the gallery wall in the kitchen is pretty cost-effective too -- printing photos doesn't cost much, and using frames you already have saves a few bucks too -- but it has a great impact.

Our bedroom is pretty big and so far the walls are mostly empty, except for the HomeGoods mirror I hung over my bureau. I've been dying to get something on the walls, but spending money on art for the bedroom isn't a high priority since right now we're focused on updating the office. (Ugh, I have absolutely no progress to report on that). But I knew I could do something thrifty that would make me happy but wouldn't break the bank.

The inspiration came from our honeymoon. While in Aruba, we did a Harley tour around the island, which was by far one of the highlights of our trip and just a fabulous way to see it all. Our tour guide drew out our route on a map and let us keep it as a souvenir. It was such a fun trip that I knew I wanted to showcase it somehow in our house. And I knew I had more maps lying around.

Since my goal was thrifty art, I scoured Michaels for some cheap-o frames and found these. A pack of two was $7.99 -- even the giant 16" x 20" inch ones! I grabbed a pack of 8" x 10" and 11" x 14".

Then, I gathered my maps. I didn't want to cut them to fit the frame, so I folded them instead, tucking the extra in behind. 

I used the inserts from the frame to test out a few arrangements on the wall, like I did for my gallery wall.

Then, it was time to break out my hammer and nail those puppies up!

Here's the wall before.


And with the new art!

So colorful and fun!

I'm sure you're just dying to know more about all these maps....so here goes. Clockwise from the top left...

...A map of Boston. The hubs and I have been a few times together to go to Red Sox games and visit friends. It's such a fun city, and we love it here.

Below that, a map of Dijon, France, where I studied abroad for three-and-a-half months while I was in college. Seriously, one of the best experiences of my life! It was my first time away from home for that long, and my first time abroad (not counting Canada), and it was totally life-changing. My host family's house was right in the center of the city...like about under the first 'e' in "Centre."

Next to that, a map of the Maine Lakes region, where we got married. It came in the chamber's regional guide, which we snagged from a local hotel. I love its whimsical design and the illustrated critters! There's a moose and a fox on the bottom, but sadly I had to crop them out.

I did save the squirrel, though.

We got married at Moose Pond, right in the center of the photo...

And finally, above that, the map of Aruba.

Our hotel was on Palm Beach. Ahhh, the beach. I really miss it...

And a couple more pictures, 'cause I like pictures...

Then, since the wall below looked a little bare, I staged it with the chest and fuzzy throw that usually live at the end of our bed.

And since I took those pictures at night, here's one in the daytime, mostly to show you that our bedroom walls aren't actually that orange...

While maps are pretty and fun to decorate with in their own right, I love how personal these ones are to us. Looking at them will make us remember our wedding, honeymoon, and trips we've taken. I saved some room at the bottom so we can add more -- like a map of our town, and of Quebec City, where we're headed in June to celebrate our first anniversary. The hubs calls it the travel wall. I like it!

Since all the maps were free, this cost me only $16 for the frames. Art that's frugal AND meaningful...that totally turns me on. :)

Want more map decorating ideas? Check out Martha's tips here.

And stop by this link party at A Soft Place to Land specifically for decorating with maps!

Here are the other parties I'm linking up to! Click on the button to stop by and visit!


Annie said...

Patriot's Day commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Also Paul Revere's ride is remembered. Surely you know at least the first verse of Longfellow's poem:
"Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year."

Christina said...

You did a great job with this project!! I've seen so many people decorating with maps lately...I might have to pick up on this trend too!! I love that they all have a personal meaning to you :)

Thanks so much for linking to "20 Below Thursday"! :)

Christina said...

I featured this today on my blog...congrats!! Come get a "featured" button :)


Dawnee said...

I love your map idea! Now you need to go to this blog... http://hillcountryhomebody.blogspot.com/2011/04/my-what-pretty-thermostat-you-have.html for a great idea on making your thermostat part of the collection!

for the love of a house said...

love this!! so creative!