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Travel Tracking: a DIY Cork Map

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Sean & I love to travel & I have been looking for ways to decorate the condo with travel-themed decor, other than framed photographs. We’ve already shared our beach memory jars and some sentimental map art.

For my next travel themed DIY decor, I decided to take some inspiration from pinterest to create a way to track our trips and travels.

I started with a large roll of cork (purchased from Michaels, with a coupon of course!) I also printed out the following picture. I printed it on tabloid sized paper, which is just like two pieces of regular paper attached together.

map USA

Next, I cut the map out of the paper. I taped it to a square of cork and used a sharpie to trace the map onto the cork. I then tried to cut the cork. It was really crumbly! So, after a little googling, I decided to steam the cork to soften it up.

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

So, I taped the paper cut out of the map to the cork sheet and traced it using a sharpie.

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

See how the edge got crumbly and gross? Not ideal.

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

I got a big pot of water & got it to a rapid boil. I then held the cork over the steam for a couple of minutes. I then cut this section of the cork while it was still warm. The steam made it cut neatly without crumbling. I had to keep resteaming it as it cooled down.

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

Next I cut out the map. It took a while because I kept having to re-steam the cork every 5 minutes, but it was worth it to keep it from crumbling.

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

Then came the really tedious part. I left the map taped to the cork & used it to draw the state lines. I tried to push hard with a sharpie, but ended up using a scissor blade to gently rip the paper along the state lines, then traced it with sharpie to get a faint line, I then ripped off the state and re-traced the line with a thick sharpie line. It took forever but it was the most precise way that I could come up with.

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

 DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

I then glued the two cork pieces together using hot glue & used black craft paint to paint the edge to give it a finished look.

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

DIY Cork Map- Charleston Crafted

Then, when Sean was visiting, we pinned the places we have been. I am the white pins, Sean is black, and places we have been together are red. I’d love to paint the pins more fun colors soon, but do you know how hard it was to find these suckers? Very hard. Walmart, Target, Michaels, nothing. I ended up settling for boring colors at Staples just to finish the project!

20130217-223111.jpg

I hung it in the entryway above the coat hooks just to remind us of the places we have been and to keep us excited for where life will take us next!

20130217-223120.jpg

Do you have any map art in your home? How do you track your travels?

PS- We linked this up to the Young House Love WINTER PINTEREST CHALLENGE! Don’t forget to check in on SherryKatie, Megan, and Michelle to see what they did too!

How to cut cork (without it crumbling)
Yield: 1 cut piece of cork board

How to cut cork (without it crumbling)

Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $0-10

Cork can be used to make beautiful crafts, but, if you cut it normally it will crumble. Here is how to cut it and get a crisp edge!

Materials

  • Cork sheet

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Pot + stove

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil
  2. Hold the cork over the steam for at least 30 seconds
  3. Cut while pliable
  4. Re-steam if you need to cut more

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

 
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February Recap

31 Things You Never Knew You Could Do With Cork

Sunday 8th of June 2014

[…] This is a more complicated project but it’s still fun to make. Start with a large roll of cork. Print out the map you want to use. Cut the map out and tape it to the cork sheet. Trace it with a sharpie. Hold the cork over a pot of boiling water and then cut it while it’s still warm. Next, draw the state lines. Glue the cork pieces together with a hot glue gun.{found on charlestoncrafted}. […]

michelle@decorandthedog

Friday 1st of March 2013

Ummm, I am in love with. I need to make one!! The heat is such a great tip!

charlestoncrafted

Friday 1st of March 2013

Thanks! Please post if you do make one I'd love to see! Thanks for stopping by!

Ches

Thursday 28th of February 2013

Love it, such a neat idea. I am impressed with your steady hand to trace all the states.

charlestoncrafted

Friday 1st of March 2013

Thanks! I did a really light line first haha I didn't just brave it full force sharpie. But yeah I was very afraid I'd sneeze and ruin the whole thing. Thanks for stopping by!

Kim@NewlyWoodwards

Thursday 28th of February 2013

This is such a great project. I love that it's made of cork, making it so much easier to actually add the pins. Really great execution.

Stopping over from Decor and the Dog.

charlestoncrafted

Thursday 28th of February 2013

Thanks so much! The cork is awesome and cheap too. I also like how it has a cool texture to it- with everything around here pretty painted and whitewashed, it's nice to have something natural! Thanks for stopping by!

Christine @ Casa-de-Christine

Wednesday 27th of February 2013

This is really cute! I might just have to make one too! I made a pinnable map for my parents for Christmas but had trouble getting the map to glue to the cork. This idea avoids that step and looks great too!

charlestoncrafted

Wednesday 27th of February 2013

Let me know if you do i love seeing other versions of projects! Thanks for checking it out!