April 9, 2012

Old Map + Old Window = Free Art!

A long while back, Brian and I replaced four windows in our house (that's all we could afford at the time) and I made sure to save a few for some potential Pinterest projects. Here they are shortly after being replaced:

I had a few ideas in mind, but never ever really came to fruition (aka: I'm lazy). So, imagine Brian's confusion when I brought home a completely different old window (that I picked up from the side of the road after a run in Chastain Park). Why in the world would I need another window in the house? Well, this project validated my garbage-picking efforts. First, remember my old sailing map that I got from a co-worker? I've been dying to frame it and hang it up in the guest room. Brian was not as gung-ho. After I bought this Craigslist console table (post to come), I threw my original window up there:

Turns out, the husband loved it. Score. Then one day it just clicked - I could modge podge the map behind the window! I did have to do a little compromising; I wanted to use the other side of the map (vertical) because it showed Cape Cod and Boston. I ended up having to use the map horizontally and that meant a map of Long Island. I'm not the biggest fan of Long Island, but hey, at least it was New York? This is where my other window came into play - it only had two panes (as opposed to six in the other one) and I knew it would be easier to work with. The map would also be more visible.

Here is the new window candidate (I love that the latch was still on):

Before we proceed, check out my favorite map details:

Here goes my attempt at a tutorial:

Supplies: One small jar of Modge Podge Matte (I read that the matte was good for picture projects). One medium paint brush. One map. One window. Got it? First step is to brush the modge podge liberally on the window glass. I ended up dumping some straight on there and smoothing it out with the brush.

Second, coat the map with modge podge. Important: make sure you're not an idiot like I am and coat the side that you will see. I coated the wrong side and it just made the whole process much harder.

Third, just lay the paper onto the coated window and press down. Few tips here: If I was patient, I would have cut out the map to fit the exact size of the window panes. We all know I am not patient, so I just pressed it down and trimmed it with an box cutter. Yes, a box cutter. Don't use that. My edges were horrendous.

I tried to use a ruler to smooth out the wrinkles, but since I have modge-podged the wrong side of the map, it was really difficult to smooth anything. At first I paniced when I saw all this craziness, but the white dried clear and the wrinkles actually add to the 'vintage-ness' of the finished product!

So, want to see the final product?

The window was free, the map was free, so all I paid for this project was the cost of a jar of modge-podge. I think I want to hang it on the wall and attach some hooks on the bottom, like this:

I also picked up this red lamp at an estate sale the other day, but we've decided he doesn't really 'go' in the guest room. We'll find another spot for it somewhere.

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