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Map Frame

Sorry I didn’t post this last week; I was a busy lady! Not only was it the 4th of July, but Charise got married and I was the maid of honor! So up to Chico I went to help her with whatever last minute details she needed help with.

But back to something that you should might find exciting. I was finally craftier than usual: I made a present for Mel! She is moving from down undahh to the land of stars, stripes, and bald eagles this week and I wanted to bring her something to decorate her new house with. I’ll be bringing it to her when I visit and help her get acquainted with the greater Chicago area.

Over my super senior year in college, I studied abroad in the Czech Republic. It was a terrifying idea to me, even after I’d arrived, because I’d never really done anything like it. That trip ended up being one of the best decisions I’d made for myself. I traveled all around Europe and made some amazing friends, and many I’m still close with. One friend in particular, Mel, and I still Skype every month to two months, send each other postcards, and plan trips together. I really couldn’t be more excited that she’s moving to the United States; I just wish I were closer to California! At least it will be easier to figure out what time it is where she is so I don’t wake her up with a phone call or text.

As part of her “Welcome to America” present, I decided to make her a map frame, using an old map of the area she’s moving to. This is *super* easy, didn’t cost me anything, and I think she’ll really like it.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 picture frame with matting (I had an old one I never used anymore)
  • 1 map (I had an old map from 1991.. I’m pretty sure they’ve come out with a more updated/recent version for the region and this map was okay to cut up!)
  • a pencil
  • scissors
  • tape
  • a flat razor (only if the glass has writing on it, like mine did)
How to make it:
  1. If the glass on your frame has any writing, design, etc. that you don’t want on it, use the flat razor to carefully scrape it off.
  2. Take the frame apart. Keep the matting out, and set the rest aside.
  3. Spread out your map. Figure out which area you want to show on your frame. Mel was moving to the greater Chicago area, so I wanted to highlight that region. Lay your matting over that area.
  4. Using the pencil, trace around the sides and center of the matting, and go over the lines a few more times (to ensure a darker line).
  5. Make sure you included any specific towns, rivers, etc. you wanted to be on the frame. If you’re happy with what you see, start cutting!
  6. Once your matting cover is all cut out, use the tape to adhere the map to the matting.
  7. Once you’re done, put the frame back together. A revitalized map frame is now yours!



No more wording!


Chicago is visible on the outline.



All taped and ready to go!


Mel is extremely well-traveled and adventurous. I think she’s going to love the map matting! Now I just have to find a picture of us to put in it, or maybe I’ll wait until my visit and snap one of us in Chicago? I have a feeling I’ll be doing this project again for future birthdays and holidays. Maybe I’ll try using Mod Podge to paste the map on the outside of the frame!

3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Packing for the Unknown « In Natalie's Shoes

  2. Pingback: Packing for the Unknown: Chicago | In Natalie's Shoes

  3. Pingback: Two Years of Adventuring | In Natalie's Shoes

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