Anywhoo...a couple of months ago I pinned a picture of a chalkboard map from Terrain. (I can't seem to find the map on their website anymore...it was there last week I swear!) After hearing about the new edition of the Pinterest Challenge, I immediately googled "Chalkboard Map" & came up with a few other inspiration pieces. (Links below.)
1. Chalkboard map at Terrain. (Can't find it?) Update: found the link!
2. Vintage Rand McNally Chalkboard map. Several results on google search.
3. Chalkboard map from Smile & Wave.
4. Military map from Restoration Hardware. (No longer available.)
Ok, so after I collected my inspiration pictures, I decided that I wanted a green "chalkboard" with the water painted a different color...most similar to the vintage Rand McNally map. I started out by purchasing a yard & a half of heavy duty duckcloth (canvas) & a Sharpie paint marker at Joann, as well as green chalkboard paint from Menards. I also sketched out a map in Illustrator, which I then converted to B&W & printed on a transparency. Instead of trying to draw out the whole US freehand (nightmare), I can just shine the image onto the canvas using my overhead projector - easy peasy!
Here are a few of my illustrations...if you want to download a free .pdf of any of them, just click on the links below! All I ask in return is that you go out & vote in November! ;)
Links to the Green map, white map, black map. My gift to you, fellow Americans! :)
My little helper had fun coloring in all of the states. He can now pick out Minnesota & California 90% of the time. Hopefully his new map will help him learn the others!
After I determined the approximate size I wanted the map to be (it's big...52ish inches wide by 48ish inches tall), I cut it to size & hemmed up the two sides. I left the top & bottom edges raw as I planned to staple them to wood dowels later. No sense finishing them off only to have them get covered up! I just folded each side twice so the hem was around an inch wide & sewed(?) two seams on each one, about 1/4" from each edge, if that makes sense at all.
Grady stripped down to his skivvies & helped me prime this big sucker. Isn't his shadow creepy with the giant furry head & tiny arm?! It reminds me of a fetus with hair. I'm weird, I know...I hear it every day! :)
Next up, we took it into the kitchen to paint a couple of coats of green Rustoleum chalkboard paint.
The puckers in the fabric had me a little nervous, but things smoothed out (literally & figuratively) after we hung it on the wall to trace everything out!
After two coats of the green dried overnight, I taped the canvas back to the wall, lined up the projector where I wanted it, & traced out the map with my paint marker. (At this point I didn't worry about getting the white perfect, I knew I'd be painting over some of it with the "water" color, & having to touch it up anyway, so I decided to wait & do the second coat/tracing all at once at the end.)
The paint marker dried really quickly, so I was able to crank out two coats of the "water" pretty much right away. I kept going back & forth on what color to use, & ultimately decided on using some charcoal gray paint that I had on hand. It ended up looking a little more brown than gray (lighting?), but I'm super happy with it!
Ta-da! I wanted to take a photo of the whole dining room, but the sun was hardly up before I left for work this morning so I just didn't have enough light! I'll try to update with a full room shot tomorrow!
I can't wait to plot out roadtrips, play "name-that-state" with Grady, & doodle national landmarks! Plus, I finally have a giant piece of "art" to fill that empty space on the dining room wall! Thank you Katie & Sherry for getting me motivated!!!
Update: I snuck home over lunch & conditioned the map by rubbing chalk all over it and wiping off. She's ready to rock!
I'm liking it after rubbing the chalk all over it...it has a nice patina now!
And of course, the room shot I promised...