19 Feb DIY: Wooden Wall Map
Decorate that bland wall with a wooden map of your favorite country. The following do-it-yourself guide is for a map of the mainland United States, but the premise of this artwork can be applied to a variety of countries and shapes. The wooden USA wall map is measured at 4×3 feet and only weighs about 5 lbs.
- 10 poplar planks 2 1/2″ wide, 1/4″ thick
- Several square dowels 1/4″ wide
- Coping saw
- Wood glue
- Wood finish
- Paper tracing of the USA border
- Adhesive strips, picture frame hooks, or nails to hang the wall map
Set up your ten poplar planks horizontally. Use the square dowels to measure even and uniform 1/4 inch spaces between the horizontal poplar planks.
Use a cutout of the USA map to trace the border on the planks. You can print this out yourself with an image online at a Staples, Kinko’s, or Office Max if you can’t do it yourself. A pencil is a fine way to trace the outline of the map on the front of the planks but a faster and easier way may be to use spray paint to spray an outline of the map. If you use the spray paint method, spray the backside of the map on the backside of the boards.
Use a coping saw to carefully cut out the stencil you just made with the border of the USA map. Take your time because you don’t want to cut the planks incorrectly or break them by chance.
Use your favorite wood finish at this point to coat both the poplar planks and the square dowels. A very dark stain was used on this wooden map of the USA, but it is up to you how you want it to look. Another idea would be to paint the USA flag on the front side (in hindsight, using 13 poplar planks would have worked a lot better to paint the 13 red and white stripes). Use as many coats as required by the product you are finishing the wood with and allow it all to dry.
Line up all of the poplar planks in the correct fashion with the backside facing up. On the back of the map, use wood glue to attach the 1/4″ wooden dowels to each plank. This is the most important step that will hold all of the planks together, so use enough dowels and line them up in the way that works best. Florida and the New England region might be the hardest to attach together. The most fragile part of this wooden wall map will be the planks that are attached by only one dowel so you may need supporting dowels in these locations. Allow the glue to dry.
Hang up your artwork on the wall with adhesive strips or picture frame hooks, whatever you like. Admire your craft work and crack open a beer. Make sure the nearest window is open so that bald eagle can fly in and land on your shoulder as you recite the pledge.
Source: pomjuice on reddit.com