Tuesday, April 16, 2013

DIY Corkboard Map Tutorial

Hey Y’all! I thought I’d share my first EVER DIY post. I am very skeptical of DIY posts as I am a terrible teacher. Just ask anyone who has ever asked me a question. Seriously, it is just easier if I do it for them. Hopefully you’ll all be able to make your very own Cork board map. Like this one below. I found some like these on ETSY and a few other sites, but they were soooo expensive. Who wants to pay 50 bucks for a 12” x 18” map?! Not me!! My map only costs about $15.00 and it is 20” x 30”!



·         24x36 cork tile – Mine came from Hobby Lobby, it was only $16.99 and I used the 40% off coupon.
·        Dremel Rotary Tool- If you don’t have one hopefully you can borrow one!
·        Hot glue gun & glue sticks
·        2 Picture hanging backs (They look like shark teeth)
·        Ribbon ½” thickness– About 1-1.5 yards
·        Tracing paper
·        Sharpie (any color- I used black)
·        Ball point pen or mechanical pencil
·        Scissors
·        Tape
·        Straight Pins
·        PowerPoint map or large wall map would also work.

If you don’t have Microsoft PowerPoint you can purchase a paper map and cut it out. If you do have access to PowerPoint this is how you can print your own map template. The first thing you need to do is find a picture of the continental USA or whatever country you wish to create. Hawaii & Alaska meant more cutting so I axed them from the plan. You can simply Google “USA Map png” and tons will show up. Find one that you like, preferably with all the states outlined and save it.

Creating Your Map Template

·        Create a new presentation in PowerPoint.
·        Click the DESIGN tab and open PAGE SETUP.
·        Change the Width to 30 inches and the Height to 20 inches and press OK.
·        Insert your saved map picture.
·        Scale the Map Picture to fit inside your slide.
·        Go to the FILE tap and press PRINT.

·        Scroll under PRINTING SHORTCUTS until you find POSTER PRINTING and click.
·        Under POSTER PRINTING pull down the drop down menu to select 3x3 (9 sheets).
·        Click OK and then click PRINT.

This should print your 9 paged map that you’ll then cut and tape together. One you have your map pieced together you are ready to ROLL!

Lay out your cork board and pin your map in place. Take your sharpie and outline the map onto the cork board.  *TIP: I didn’t worry about any outlying islands or crazy cuts. Remember you’ll be cutting this with a power tool, so make it easy on yourself!

Once you’ve got your map outlined, remove the pins and put the map to the side. This is where the dirty work occurs. I would suggest that you should cut your cork board outside; however, I was hardheaded and it was cool outside so I put down a sheet to protect my living room from sawdust. Slowly and cautiously begin cutting out your map. *TIP: Please follow all safety precautions listed in your Dremel User Guide.

 Jacob took this picture. Notice his finger over the camera?

Once you’ve got your cork map cut out you should sand your edges. At least clean them up a bit. I then took the map outside to use a handheld broom and brushed all excess dust from the map. *TIP: Florida, Maine, Michigan and Texas are pretty fragile. DO NOT HANDLE just those states or you’ll need additional hot glue. . .

There she is, all cut and ready to be cleaned!

 This evil cat was "helping", if by helping I mean rolling/walking in the saw dust and tracking it ALL over the house. . .
Told ya it makes a mess! Thank goodness for the sheet we laid down to catch the dust!

The map all cleaned and ready to be traced.

If you don’t plan on tracing the states you can skip this step. Place your tracing paper over the cork. Place the paper map on the top of the tracing paper. Make sure the paper map and the cork map are aligned before pinning the paper map and the tracing paper in place. Use the ballpoint pen or pencil with no lead to trace around all the states. *Tip: If you can’t remember if you’ve traced the state, trace it again just in case.


The state lines from the tracing paper.

Once you’ve traced all the states remove the paper map and tracing paper and make sure the entire map transferred. If it did, GREAT JOB, if not, re-trace what needs to be traced. Once all the states are visible, use the sharpie to trace over the graphite lines and around the edges of the map.

The map with the lines drawn in sharpie!

Hot glue the picture hangers on the back. You’ll want to make sure the ribbon will not cut across any of the fragile land masses (MI, WI or MN). Hang that awesomely cheap and awesomely cute map up and get to traveling! We are only pinning places that we have travelled together. I plan on painting a canvas with a cute travel quote, but I'll add that later.

Have a great week readers!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Worst Aunt EVER!!!

Hi Readers! Happy Mid-April? I’m a bit behind, but what’s new? I hope you all had a fabulous Easter! Our Easter was GREAT as Mr. Laners was down to visit. We LOVED getting to spend almost a week with him. I wanted to share a little warning/story that occurred when this sweet boy was visiting.

 Who can say "NO" to that face?! 

I’m sure it is no big surprise that I will basically give that child anything that he wants. Lane never hears the word “NO” from Aunt LenLen or Uncle Jake.

Lane: “I want to go play outside in the rain”
Lenzie: “Ok, get a Jacket”
"Get out of my way"
Lane: “I want to ram my John Deere gator into your shins”
Lenzie: “Go ahead, it is just a bruise”   

"I LOVE shopping with my Aunts"
Lane: “I want this, this, this and this” (any store we are visiting)
Lenzie: “Put it in the cart”

The point I’m trying to make is that I will do/give him anything if he whines, pouts or throws a fit. This particular day Lane was a bit whiney. We had just eaten pizza and we were headed to Wal-Mart.
Eating Pizza, wearing a Mustache, typical Friday.
Mom was driving and K was in the front. Johanna & I were in the back with Lane. During the short trip, less than 2 miles, from the pizza place to Wal-Mart Lane managed to bite his tongue. So, Aunt LenLen gets the bright idea to give him an orange tic tac to distract him from the ordeal.

Evil Orange Nuggets AKA Tic TacWe had already eaten them on the way to the pizza place so this was nothing new for him to eat. Lane had eaten one tic tac and decided he needed another. This was all to his Mother’s dismay. She said that he had just eaten and did NOT need a tic tac. I, of course, give him another tic tac. In the split second that it takes me to look down at the tic tac container the child had stuck it up his nose. Lane looks right at me and says, “nose”. I look at his face, which has an orange streak from his lip to his nose and try to gain my composure. I’m assuming the tic tac went into the mouth first and then into the nose. I know that upon confession of this act two things are certain, I will be in serious trouble and there will be immense panic. I immediately start thinking that they’ll have to cut his nose off to retrieve the candy and he can’t go around without a nose!! His nose is adorable! I calmly state, “Lane stuck a tic tac up his nose” I hoped that no one would hear me. EVERYONE heard me. The entire car looks at me like; 1. I just spoke in French (which no one in the car understands), 2. I said that there was a bomb hardwired into the car and we would have to drive at a certain speed to prevent the bomb from exploding or 3. I must be the dumbest human on the face of the planet to give a two year old a tic tac. I was quite certain that I could not speak French (unfortunately) and that there was not a bomb in my car.  


I could see the tic tac up his nose, so I knew that it wasn’t lodged somewhere in his brain, that was a relief; however, it was stuck in his nose. I did not want to stick anything up his nose for fear of pushing it further into his skull. We tried having him “blow his nose” into a Kleenex to try and dislodge the evil orange nugget. We had no success. The tic tac had not dissolved enough to come out so we rushed to the ER. Yes, we were that family. Once they explained why we were there we were called back quickly. The nurse rolled his eyes once we told him our reason for the visit. Please note that this entire time Lane was perfect. He wanted to play catch and let the “shark” (the pulse monitor) bite his finger. After about 10 minutes we tried once again to have him blow his nose. This time, the evil orange nugget shot right out of his nose. Mom retrieved it from the floor and asked K if she wanted to save it for his baby book. K declined. After about 45 minutes we left the hospital. I was relieved from most of my Aunt duties for that day, after all, I was the reason we had to spend an afternoon in a hospital. Lane ended up completely fine, but I still feel awful! I keep having flashbacks and dreams of tic tacs and strange tweezers. I might be suffering from PTSD. Can one get PTSD from a tic tac? I’m fairly certain you can. I took some valuable lessons from that nightmare.

1.      NEVER give a child a tic tac, no matter how whiney, sad, pitiful or precious they ask. DON’T DO IT.

2.      Maybe saying “NO” isn’t such a bad thing, even if it makes someone (Lane) sad.

3.      Smarties are a MUCH better option. They dissolve faster.

4.      I’m not sure that I’m cut out for motherhood. . .

I hope that you can all take away some knowledge from my stupidity. Have a great week!