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DIY Magnetic Map Wall

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I'm here today to share a special project that we just completed in our little man's room... a Magnetic Map Wall DIY! Our little guy has been in love with maps, street names, how to get from a to z, etc., for quite some time. We thought the perfect thing for his room would be a map mural to help foster that love. So, we jumped right in to create one. Hope you love it as much as we do!
Time: 2 Days Cost: $125 Difficulty: Easy
  • diy magnetic map wall, crafts, how to, painting, wall decor
Awesome, right?! Before I get right to the tutorial, let's go back to his room before.
  • diy magnetic map wall, crafts, how to, painting, wall decor
Nothing was wrong with his room before, but it had no personality. It had a few things that we had DIY'd (the floating nightstand, the oversized print, the car switch, and the DIY loft), but nothing on the major wall in his room. I believe (as my hubby constantly pushes me toward it) that all rooms need a bit of breathing room. But, this wall just had way too much breathing room. I proposed that we do a map mural and my hubby was on board.
  • diy magnetic map wall, crafts, how to, painting, wall decor
First thing we did was to move all the furniture away from the wall.
  • diy magnetic map wall, crafts, how to, painting, wall decor
Next, we used Rust-oleum Magnetic Primer and rolled it on.
This was the pricey part of the project, because each of those cans are about $25 and they don't go very far. We barely made those three cans cover that one wall.
  • diy magnetic map wall, crafts, how to, painting, wall decor
Next, we found a city map of our city and had it printed at Staples on a transparency print. We put the print on a projector and adjusted it till we liked how it showed on the wall.
  • diy magnetic map wall, crafts, how to, painting, wall decor
Luke (my hubby) used Sharpie Water-based paint pens to draw the lines of specific roads and lakes off of the projected map. I knew I didn't want it extremely detailed, so he started with the main roads and then added some in from there.
At this point, I was really worried about how the map was looking. In my mind, I expected a grid-like map kinda like subway maps are. On the wall, it was a more organic, wavy map. I hadn't completly thought out how the map would look based off the map that we printed and that was a mistake. So, basically, all I'm saying is that you should really like the map you print for your transparency because that is how the wall will look.
At this point, I was really worried about how the map was looking. In my mind, I expected a grid-like map kinda like subway maps are. On the wall, it was a more organic, wavy map. I hadn't completly thought out how the map would look based off the map that we printed and that was a mistake. So, basically, all I'm saying is that you should really like the map you print for your transparency because that is how the wall will look.
  • diy magnetic map wall, crafts, how to, painting, wall decor
Next, we gathered pictures of all the grandparents houses and clip-art from things that we do around town (book to represent the library, helicopter to represent the hospital helicopter, firetruck, etc).
We brought all the images into the Waterlogue app (you can find my Waterlogue tutorial here) and ran the app on all the images so they had a more cohesive feel.
I saved the new images to the desktop and then opened them all in Photoshop. I arranged them all on a sheet of paper in Photoshop and then printed them off on magnetic paper.
  • diy magnetic map wall, crafts, how to, painting, wall decor
Once they were printed out, I cut them out to size.
From there, all I had to do was place them on the wall in their correct spots.
  • diy magnetic map wall, crafts, how to, painting, wall decor
Greyson (our little boy) has requested more of his favorite places be added (specific restaurants, all the parks in town, another jump place, etc.). I think it's safe to say that he loves it.
More pictures and details can be found on my blog!

To see more: http://biggerthanthethreeofus.com/magnetic-map-wall-diy/

Got a question about this project?

  • Teresa Foster
    Teresa Foster Aurora, CO

    WOW this is more than a great idea, it is brilliant! !!!!!

  • Sharon La Tour
    Sharon La Tour Lexington, KY

    I love it. Any boy would love it, or boy at heart(Adult)!!

  • Sharon Harrison
    Sharon Harrison Licking, MO

    I have to ask how the magnetic paint worked? I tried it on some craft projects and I had to use very very light magnetic pieces before they would stick to the project. Too heavy and they slid right off! We were even told by a clerk at Lowes that the

    • Ashley@Biggerthanthethreeofus

      @Sharon Harrison You nailed it. Very light magnetic pieces with the magnetic printer paper. Although, we have super heavy duty magnetic balls for a magnetic World map and they work great on the wall. There is one or two spots that we didn't get

  • Jwzedmonds
    Jwzedmonds North Charleston, SC

    Not only a great wall decoration but a wonderful educational piece as well. Great idea.

  • Katherine Howard Jones

    I love maps. And I'm not a little boy but a 66 yr-old woman. I love it!

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!