World Travel Map: Take 2

Remember that cork board map we made for our dining room?  The one we stuck with pins to mark places Stephen and I have traveled together?

Dining Room

Travel Map

Well I’ve been fiddling in the dining room lately and recently decided to re-hang the three prints I originally purchased for this space.

Dining Wall

That left Mr. Map without a home.  Since we still love the idea of travel maps but don’t have a good place for this humongous map at the moment, I started brainstorming other ways to keep around the idea of our travel map, but on a smaller scale.  The goal here was to find and frame a smaller map without spending any money.  Here’s how I did it.

As luck would have it, I purchased this world travel calendar about a year ago with the intention of framing some of the gorgeous photographs from it. That never happened, but I remembered that the front cover of the calendar featured a small colorful world map. The frame is one I found on clearance at Target about 2 years ago. I believe it was about $3, and until today it was just taking up space in my craft room.

Frame and Calendar

I started my making a list of where my pins had been in the big map and transferring them to the little map with a Sharpie.  After some mental debate, I decided this map would stay behind glass.  That means we’ll have to take it out of the frame whenever we want to mark a new destination, but that will probably only be once or twice a year.

Making Dots on Map

As luck would have it, the map was almost exactly the same size as the outside border of the mat from my Target frame.  Obviously we didn’t want the map divided up into 2 pieces though, so I got out a utility knife and started cutting.

Wrong Mat

All I had to do was remove the center divider from the mat. The first blade I tried was way too dull to do any good. Look at how awful that cut turned out! I was worried I’d totally ruined my plan to reuse that perfectly good mat.

Messy Cut

Thankfully we had a new blade (it was one made for drywall), so I changed it out and tried again.

Cleaner Cut

Amazingly, this time it worked!  Look at how much cleaner the new drywall blade made that cut.  Lesson Learned: Always test your blade and make your first cut a little farther out than necessary.  That way you can always go back and clean up the cut on the second pass.

After shaving off a little here and a little there, here’s how the cut portion of my mat eventually ended up looking.

Clean Cut

And once the mat was in the frame, you couldn’t even tell that I’d retrofitted it.

Framed Map

I decided the mantle was the perfect place for this little guy for now.

Map Mantle Full

It’s so sentimental and sweet to look up from any seat in the living room and to be reminded of all the adventures Stephen and I have had – and those yet to come!

Full Fireplace with Map

Map Right

Now that we have a smaller-scale travel map, I can definitely see it migrating from room to room as the seasons change.  Who knows how much longer it will be on the mantle anyway, seeing as how fall is almost upon us and it’s time for some warmer colors on that little ledge.

Map Left

Wherever it ends up, I’m glad we can keep the idea of a travel map alive and that I was able to frame this baby up for free.  Have you ever tried cutting your own mats before? Ever framed a page (or several) from a favorite calendar?  Do tell!

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