DIY Artwork: A New Map Board for the Bedroom

A while back I found this very cool mirror at a local refurbishing shop. The actual mirror was yellowed and discolored, but it had an ‘antique-y’ feel that I loved.

My first attempt to make it over was to create an upholstered magnet board for the future office.

I used the Aviary print in Robin teal from Calico Corners as the face for the new board and simply flipped the mirror over and painted with three coats of magnetic primer. I didn’t love the way the magnets held (I’d imagine 3 more coats might have done the trick!) but I loved how the board turned out and was very excited to put it to good use. (The above image is from a recent San Diego design show that I did a guest presentation at.)

But then Cali experienced one of those little earth shakers that caused zero damage to the house with the exception of my new magnet board. I found the mirror shattered and the fabric ripped the next day after it had fallen on it’s side.

So project #2 came about:

I don’t know if this map board will find it’s final spot hanging above my dresser (not propped as it currently is) in the new master bedroom or above the desk in the future office (renovation project #2 after the kitchen remodel), but I do love how it turned out!

Here’s a quick recap.


{Before & After: Dresser Mirror to Map Board}

Materials: Mirror with a sturdy frame (a picture frame with a back would work well too), corkboard squares or strips (from your local craft store, mine are from Michaels), map pins (found mine at Staples), spray paint, tack nails (1/2″ or smaller, depending on frame size), hammer, glue, scissors, photos and a map (I found mine at Papyrus).

1. Remove the back of the mirror from your frame and spray paint with two coats.

2. Organize your cork squares or cork strip (much thinner than the squares and sold rolled up) so that the final look of the cork on the back of the mirror is proportional on all sides. I prefer the squares but considered rolling the cork strip over the top for fewer seams (the rolled cork on it’s own might be too thin to hold pins). In the end the raw square look won out.

3. Cut your squares and clue to board, be sure to leave enough room for frame to sit snugly against backing. My mirror had an indent in the frame to securely hold backing on, yours might not and you could cover the entire backing in cork.

4. Flip the mirror over and tack backing back onto frame. I used small 1/2″ tack nails because both my backing and frame were thick and sturdy. You might opt for a staple gun or smaller nails if you have a thinner frame.

5. I attached the paper map to the very center of the board and printed photos from our travels for the edges (I love the look of the thin white line around the outer edge and had them printed that way by Costco). I then used map pins (pins with the little round balls at the end) to mark our travel destinations!

Red pins designated cities/countries Kevin and I had traveled to together, yellow were spots I had visited and blue areas that Kevin had traveled to.

The final board is a neat tribute to our travels and allows us to keep adding as we go.

I love the shape of the frame and how easy it’s been to turn an old dresser mirror into various forms of diy art – who knows, this might receive a glossy coat of red in the next year and end up in the nursery to mark Baby S’s big events!

Friday Guest Blog Interview: New Dress a Day!

Fashion-meets-design-on-a-dime with today’s Guest Blog Interview. New Dress a Day shares Marisa’s creative journal of 365 items of clothing on a $365 budget in 365 days. Checking in with Marisa’s latest makeovers & creations has become a daily habit as she shares her designs, process and incredibly inspirational end results.

When Marisa lost her job last year she turned to a creative endeavor that would keep her occupied and pull her through a tough time.

In Marisa’s own words: “I’m spending the entire year without doing an ounce of traditional clothing shopping… The thing that makes this girl happiest is scouring flea markets, vintage stores and garage sales… I love finding vintage goodies that may not fit me perfectly or translate well with the current state of fashion and then make them work on me. I get out my trusty sewing machine to change hems, cut sleeves and tweak to transform a lowbudge piece that had its’ moment back in 1976 and give it another shot today, decades later.

Each day for the entire year, I’m going to introduce a new piece into my existing wardrobe that I’ve found from these places. On top of this, I’m giving myself a budget of $1 a day. 365 days. 365 items of clothing. 365 dollars.”

Neat, right? Generally, Marisa starts out with a vintage piece that is quite out there – a muumuu, an oversized pair of overalls, a frilly 80’s smock – but the end result is hip, stylish and fun. I love to incorporate unique pieces into my closet collection as well, and this has been all of the inspiration I need for a good Goodwill hunt.

Today Marisa shares a bit about her personal inspiration, favorite trends as well as a few fun suggestions for trying her project out yourself. I’ve added a healthy dose of my favorite ‘before & afters’ for even more eye candy….

Read More »

Week 2 of the New Kitchen: Time for New Walls!

Week two of building-a-kitchen-from-scratch is coming to a close… this week we made progress on the electrical work, reframing of main wall, addition of sheetrock and installation of a new whole-house fan – and it looks great!

See ‘before’ den pictures and a break down of week one here.

I’m so proud of Kevin – it has been his week! He’s on fire. As an architecture student that loves to get his hands dirty, this kitchen has been his baby from the start. With the exception of the electrical work he’s completed 99% of the project on his own (don’t worry, he has experience working on all of the above) and his buddies have been more than helpful.

Let’s take a look:

Day 7, 8 & 9: Install electrical wiring for kitchen outlets and appliances, put can lights and pendant lighting up and install switches. Clear out old framing material (see those thin wood strips lining the walls? Our home has original lithe and plaster walls – some of which badly needs replacing).

Install whole-house attic fan (we live in a temperate climate that calls for AC only a few weeks out of the year. This new fan circulates air in the attic and can cool the entire house down in minutes – plus it saves major dinero since we’re not running the air conditioning all summer long). Our cabinets have arrived too! There they are in that middle picture, all stacked and ready for install.

Day 10, 11 & 12: Install insulation (believe it or not none of the house is insulated, it’s too old. This will be the first room!). Put sheetrock up along walls, and finally up on the ceiling.

12 days down and we are on time and on budget to complete the new kitchen by October 1.

Next up: have tile delivered, order selected counter tops (Hanstone quartz counter tops in Tiffany Grey) and pick out backsplash for behind the counters.

We’re taking the weekend off from construction and heading out to Arizona for a baby shower with Kevin’s family – Happy Thursday!

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