This map was a Christmas gift to my little niece and nephew. A combination of canvas, patterned paper and mod podge, it was a little painstaking to put together! I say painstaking because I like to make things difficult and perfect.
This project was inspired by Kate’s Fabric Map over at See Kate Sew. Kate cut states out of fabric by hand, ironed them onto muslin and then top-stitched them. I prefer paper and thought it would help me give the project more definition.
Patterned Paper Map Supplies
I cut the states out using my Silhouette SD, but you can do it by hand. I thought the Silhouette would make it easier, but it was more work than I thought it was and I think both methods are a tie.
- Patterned paper of your choice
- Large canvas
- Scissors or a Silhouette machine
- A printable map of the US or a map file for the Silhouette
- Scotch tape
- Mod Podge and brush
I used a couple different paper pads with sort of patriotic paper.
Patterned Paper Map Tutorial
First, decide what paper is going to go with each state on the map. For this process, I printed a small map and used scraps from my papers. Each paper repeats a few times, but I did not want like papers touching each other.
Second, cut out your states. This is the tedious part and you can do it one of two ways.
If you are doing this by hand, download a US map and print it really big to fit the size of your canvas. Then, cut out each state and use it as a pattern for your patterned paper. Kate has really good instructions on how to print and use this method with fabric. It’s generally applicable to paper, except you will use regular paper and not iron-on.
I used the Silhouette SD and downloaded a US Map and painstakingly split it into 50 separate cut files.* Why didn’t I just buy each state individually? One, I’m cheap. Two, I needed to make sure the proportions and of each state to one another were correct.
Next step, tape sections of states together. I used plain scotch tape. Tape big chunks of states together – not the entire map.
Then, carefully Mod Podge the sections to the canvas. That’s Mr. P placing all the islands.
Let it completely dry, then cover the entire canvas with a light coat of Mod Podge. Warning – the paper may curl or bubble. Leave it alone. Usually the bubbles go away when it dries. Fiddling with it will only mess it up.
I added a title to the bottom right corner before I Mod Podged the whole canvas. The font is Lobster.
Let it dry and touch up if needed.
I really thought I was going to screw this up at some point, but it turned out so cool!
*Normally, I would make these files available to you for download but my computer crashed right after I finished this project.
Any questions? Please leave questions in the comments and I’m happy to answer them!