Friday, April 27, 2012

In Conclusion - This Craft Was Crazy. (Did I mention that?)

If you've been following along this week, you've already made some personalized pushpins and created cheap, functional and cool alternative bulletin boards.  So what now?  We turn our average, ordinary chalk-cork boards into this:

This is, by far the most time intensive portion of the three-part tutorial, but the good news is that it's the last part!  Alright.  Let's go.

You'll need:
A projector of some kind (I used an opaque projector so this tutorial is specific to that.  If you use an overhead, you'll need some different things... like a transparency of a map... but I'll let you figure that out.)
A map of the world printed from the internet
A pen
BIG sheet of paper - or many sheets of paper.  Depends on how big they are.
A Pencil
Ruler/tape measure/straight edge
A Box Cutter
Glossy white acrylic craft paint
a small paintbrush
More Patience
Many episodes of Psyche, Arrested Development or The Office.  Pick your poison.

Are you ready?  Have you prepared yourself mentally?  Ok.  
Oh, hey, I have to warn you.  Yes, my camera was broken at the time I did this project.  Yes most of these photos are taken with my phone.  And yes, it was night when I did most of this, because I was SCRAMBLING to get it all done on time.  So the picture quality is less that desirable.  Sorry. 

1.  Find a world map online.  Simple enough that you don't get distracted and overwhelmed with details.
2.  Get your projector going.  As I said, mine was an opaque projector, so I just printed out the map from the internet on regular computer paper, stuck it in, adjusted the distance from the wall to get the size I wanted, and focused.  Bam.  Easy.
3.  Tape a bunch of paper up on your wall about the size you want your map to end up.
4.  Turn off the lights.  Look!  A map!
5.  Use a pen or fine point marker to trace around the continents and islands.  You can include as much or as little detail as you want.
6 (and 7).  The last two pictures are of the map all traced with pen.  I had to draw over the tape in some spots.

8.  Spread your traced map out on the floor somewhere.  I already mentioned that you'll ignore the gross garage, right?
9.  Lay out your chalk-cork boards on top of the map in the order you want it to be.  Make sure that the map is completely covered by boards.
10.  Measure each individual cork board inside the frame.  You want the actual dimensions of the chalk-cork board - minus frame.  Got it?  NO FRAME.  Ok.  It's a good idea to keep a little diagram of the layout of your boards; you can write the dimensions for each one right there.
11.  Now, use a yardstick or other straight edge and tape measure to measure and mark lines for every board.  Use the dimensions sans frame that you took in the previous step.  Draw the lines right over the continents.  This way you will be able to see where you'll need to leave out a little ocean, etc, in order to get everything to fit well.  And since you're not painting the map lines on your frames, you need to leave those out of your measurements.

12.  Now, cut your map to pieces on the lines you marked.  I know, this part is scary.  It DID take you an eternity to trace, after all.
13.  Set each piece of map inside the corresponding bulletin board.
14.  Take a sharpened pencil and trace along the map.  You'll want to press pretty firmly to make sure it's "transferred" onto the cork, and don't worry if your paper tears.  You won't need it after this step. For many of the bulletin boards, I was able to use a pencil to get a deep enough groove, although some required box cutters - see below.
15.  Lift the map off, and you should be able to see a faint groove from the pencil tracing.

16.  Do this for every map.  Some bulletin boards didn't react well to the pencil, so I traced with a box cutter instead.  I think it may have been more effective to do this step with an xacto knife instead.  I realized very quickly while trying to do northern Europe and Russia that no matter how messy this part was, I needed the help of Psyche.  And then Arrested Development.  So I hauled everything inside.  You'll be at this part for a while, people.

17.  Once all of the maps have been traced/transferred onto the cork board, it's time to paint your map.  Get out your white glossy acrylic craft paint and squeeze a bit onto a paint pallet of sorts - cardboard for me.  Using a small brush, just paint freehand over all of those grooves you just transferred.  ALL of the lines.  For EVERY continent.  and EVERY island.  And EVERY... uh... other map thing.  I thought Russia with all the bays and peninsulas and inlets would be the hardest... 

Until I got to Northern Canada and the islands near Greenland.  Stupid islands.  I left a couple out.  I figured, we're not going there anyway... it's not really on my bucket list.  If I want to freeze, I'll just stay in Wisconsin for the rest of my life.

You will likely have to do at least two coats of paint - I know, this is starting to sound like the perfect craft if you're a glutton for punishment, huh?  I just liked how much more bold the lines were with more coats of paint - most of my lines have three coats.  You can see I also outlined China and India - which mr thought was weird - but the whole landmass of Asia just seemed too huge to not be broken up into pieces, am I right?  I needed a visual reference for what separated the far east from Russia.  Is that weird?  Oh well.  Those lines are fainter, though, so you can see what the whole map would look like with only one coat.
 And if you, like my mom, are confused - those filled in white spots are lakes.  Any lake that was big enough to register on the world map made it to my map.

Combine this with a chalk-cork board for your personalized pushpins and you're ready to go!

Now, what is the purpose of being able to WRITE and ERASE on your map?  What is the purpose of doing this AND being able to put pins in?  WHY would you want to make this anyway??

You see, the pins can keep track of where you've been, where you are, and where you are going.  And writing on it?  Well, that can be helpful for keeping a color key for your pins (no, our names are not actually Jojobear and Koolbeans.  But this was supposed to be anonymous at first...), or playing guessing games with your family... Maybe you want to have the kids put pins in to mark their guesses for family history questions (In what state was Grandma born?) (See, it teaches proper grammar, too) OR Social Study questions (What country boasts the largest population in the world?) or other geographical questions about national capitols and such.You could also quiz your kids by having them write the continents or even countries names in the right spot.

OR, draw some geographical features (look!  Mountains!  A rainforest!) or write a little note about a trip that's coming up!  (Look where we're going in May!) (Yes, that IS an airplane...)

And the ensuing photo shoot forced me to gussy up our reading nook behind our couch.  That's a nice bonus.

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!


Whit said...

wow that is so cool and looks like a ton of work! wow!

A mommy's life...with a touch of YELLOW

Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} said...

This is so epically cool. Srsly. I just wish I had your patience, because I so don't and I really want one of these on my wall.

Stephanie said...

I've been following along, and this is fantastically awesome :) I love all the uses too. Great job!

Unknown said...

Did you paint the cork boards with chalk board paint, then outline the countries?

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