I'm listening to my kids playing DJ hero in the background. They're mixing the tune, "Another one Bites the Dust". Subliminal messages creeping into my post title. Anyhow, I did get to check another project off my to do list last week. It felt awesome since it had been on the list for almost an entire year.
It all came about when last spring I asked my seven year old what he wanted his room to look like in our new house. We had a little planning session. Some of his ideas got vetoed due to complexity (he's a very creative soul). However one idea he had that I wanted to run with was to have a giant map of the world in his room. The kid loves maps! He gets more excited at amusement parks about the map he gets to carry around then the rides or food. And if we enter a bookstore, he zooms towards the atlases.
I adored the whole map idea. First of all, we are talking CHEAP artwork! And secondly, very educational. I'd love my children to be more globally minded and what better way to start than with a global picture :) So, the next time we went to the bookstore, I bought the giant map in the atlas section ($10 - not bad). But, that's where my enthusiasm slowed down. The project got pushed to the back of my list and even though every few weeks my sweet boy would ask about it, I didn't deliver. Finally, I got motivated and made that map happen.
Here's a simple tutorial for anyone who wants to add this to their own home.
First I measured the outside of the map and bought enough molding at home depot to cut a frame. When measuring, don't forget that you'll need enough to account for the angled cuts at the corners. So, add the width of the molding times two and the width of the map together to get the total width of molding you need (of course you have to do that for all four sides to get a complete length needed). It's always a good rule of thumb to over buy a bit in case you make a mistake.
Then I used my miter saw to cut the four pieces of molding to make up my frame. My best framing tip is to measure and cut one side out, and then use that already cut piece to trace the next side out. This works better than measuring them separately because they always end up being off slightly. When building a frame, the two sides opposite each other need to be exact mirror images of each other or the frame will not line up correctly and you'll end up with gaps in your corners.
I tried to adjoin the corners of my large-ish frame using a plate joiner - otherwise known as a biscuit cutter. However, the molding I chose was not thick enough for my plate joiner (thank goodness for wood filler). So, instead I did the best I could with glue and staples on the back. This made for a rather flimsy frame so, in the end I ended up just screwing the frame directly into the wall around the map. I was trying to avoid this so it could be easily moved but, that ended up being the best option. I was too afraid of it being knocked down while my boys used the bed as a wrestling arena.
I spray painted the frame to match my son's headboard. But spray paint definitely isn't the only option. I chose Krylon brand (found it at Lowes) satin spray paint in navy blue. It required a couple coats.
Before bringing the frame inside, I taped the map directly to the wall making sure it was centered and level.
Then, my son helped me carry it upstairs and held it steady while I used a drill to attach it into place.
Here it is hung up with the bed actually made. Woohoo! (that remark was for both the completed map and the neat bed)