Thursday, August 22, 2013

DIY Family Travel Memories Map

As you probably know, four of us recently attended the second annual Haven Conference in Atlanta. Not only were we bombarded with awesome swag, we were also the recipients of some pretty rockin' prizes.

My favorite prize that left Atlanta with me was this awesome hand drawn map of the US that I won from Online Fabric Store.

One of their employees hand drew it and all of the Haven attendees stuck pins in it to identify which part of the country they were from. It was very cool to see what a diverse bunch had congregated in Atlanta for a DIY conference. We're everywhere, ladies!

At the end of the Conference, I was the lucky lady who got to take this home! Only, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it at first....

Then, I remembered what John and Sherry at Young House Love did with a vintage map that Sherry snagged on eBay. They used it to mark places that they'd been together as a couple and a family. Since we just returned from a family vacation on Sunday evening, I knew this is what I wanted to do with my new map. It's an awesome way to remember all of the fun and exciting places we've visited together! :)
{My little family on the boardwalk leading from our house to the ocean in Carolina Beach, NC. Photo courtesy of Edward Deogracias Photography}

If you'd like to create one for yourself, it would probably be easiest to cut out a map stencil using your Silhouette, and then tracing it onto cloth using a black sharpie. After that, simply pin or staple it to corkboard, or wrap it around a piece of foam board to secure it. This also ensures that your marking pins will stay put.

Luckily, the fabulous folks at Online Fabric Store had all ready attached the map to a piece of foam board, so I didn't have to worry about that step.

Now, it's time to paint your map! I used acrylic paint that I all ready had on hand. It was hard at times to stay inside the lines, especially when it comes to those teeny, tiny New England states! (Darn you Delaware and Rhode Island, why must you be so small?!)
The easiest way for me to go about painting was to create my own little color by number. I wanted to make sure that my colors were spaced out enough and that I didn't end up with two adjoining states the same color. I can be a bit type-A sometimes... don't tell. ;)

I have to say that I'm rather smitten with the finished product. It almost saddens me to poke it with pins. But, alas, it must be done!

You can use whatever types of pins you'd like. Push pins, stick pins, whatever! I scrounged around in my sewing box and came up with an assortment of glass head pins, so that's what I used. White represents places we've been as a family and the red ones represent where my hubby and I have been together.

We've hit some big cities on the Eastern seaboard, including NYC, Chicago and Philly. Since we're originally from Ohio, it wasn't too much of a stretch for us to spend some times in those amazing places! Sadly, our map is basically blank West of the ol' Mississippi. Well, unless you count the Texas big four: Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. But, since we live in Houston now, those are all easy daytrips for us to make.

I can't wait to fill this map with pins over the years- marking our fun family adventures and getaways! I plan on adding a piece of paper to the back of the map, which will document what years we visited each destination.

This turned out beautifully... I can't wait to hang it in our office space! And the best part? It cost me NOTHING to make! You can't beat that kind of project, am I right? :)

How do you keep track of your family travels? What's your favorite family vacation destination? 

Linking up with these great parties:


  1. I love what you did with your map! It looks so cool in all the colors. What a great thing to win!

  2. Such a good idea! I've been meaning to do something like this forever - I think I might finally need to make it! I'm hosting a Wall Decal giveaway that you should enter!

    1. It was so easy to do... and I can't wait to add more pins after we visit new places! Thanks for the giveaway info, I'll check it out. :)