Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Map Art Love

You may recall I mentioned the day we got engaged, I purchased a vintage 1966 Standard Oil street map of Milwaukee for $3 at Ingeborg's Cupboard Antiques and Collectibles in Waupaca, WI. I was super pumped. I knew I was going to make some very cool artwork with it when I saw our current street on it. 

We all know that map art is all the rage in home decor, but I wanted something that really meant something to the two of us. What better way than to show what "roads" we took to becoming engaged? We both have lived in quite a few places in Milwaukee and I thought it would be fun to showcase that as a little heritage and background to our relationship.

I got three different colors of embroidery thread from Michael's for $0.35 a piece and some embroidery needles for $2.99. I used pink to represent myself, blue to represent Max and purple to represent where we lived together. If you are following your color wheel, those shade would blend that purple.

I first used some bad ass embroidering skills I learned in Junior Girl Scouts (which just turned 100 years old!). Each embroidery thread has six smaller threads to weave it up. That is usually too heavy for most projects so you seperate the threads in half and use three.

After smoothing out the thread, I looped it through the needle leaving the tail to hang loosely.

Paper is finer than most fabrics one would tend to embroider so I was very cautious. I poked small holes with the need first of the places we had lived.

I secured the embroidery thread to the back of the map with masking tape which I already owned.

Then I went down the line from place to place that we had lived.

After each thread hole, I secured the thread again with more masking tape. This prevented the paper from ripping. In a few instances, Max lived in the same place twice (his fraternity house) and I had to go back. The tape was a way I could make a new hole and secure the thread.

I had already bought a poster frame for this project at Salvation Army and painted it in my massive, frame paint. Using the plastic from the frame, I used that as a measuring tool of how big the map should be since it was slightly larger than the frame.

I simply folded it over and made a crease.

I taped the folded edge down so it would fit perfectly.

I found a quote about love and paths online and found this one from a famous yoga instructor. I do yoga sometimes and felt it was very fitting. I used a blue fine-tipped Sharpie to write this on an open area of the map.

Here is the final product. I didn't make everything overtly big because I really want viewers to be drawn in and ask questions about it.

I hung it on the right side wall in the living room. I think it turned out amazing.

Total cost of project with everything: embroidery thread and needles $4.04, map $3, frame $5.35 and tape free already owned = $12.39

How are you incorporating the map art trend in to your home? Are you personalizing it or just finding a cool vintage piece?

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