DIY Map Love Hearts

Have you ever wondered how someone came up with "that" idea? I'm giving you a glimpse into how I came up with my DIY Map Love Hearts, and how easy it was to make. I used ours to show the three locations of where our grown children live; but you can make map love hearts of places you've traveled to, places you have lived (especially if you've traveled around with the military), or any other way that has a significant meaning for you.
This is my finished DIY Map Love Hearts, but follow along for my inspiration and how I made it.
This was my inspiration. Even though it was on clearance, it was still costing more than I would have paid, plus the maps were of no significance to me.
Shortly afterwards, I was this frame on clearance and knew I could transform it. If you have old frames laying around your house or you see any at flea markets or second-hand stores, know that all you have to do is to paint it to give it a new look.
I primed mine, then painted it with white craft paint. After it was dried, I put a coat of craft satin varnish over everything.
Once I determined how big I wanted my hearts, I made one by folding it and using that as a template for the actual ones. For the background hearts, I used a heavy-weight computer paper that felt more like business cards. You need to use something with a tad more weight to it so the paper won't curl after painting your hearts.
I wanted my hearts to be gold, so I found some 18 Karat gold paint on Amazon. Other than the frame, this was my only additional cost, but now that I have it, I can use it for so many other projects. I painted one extra heart, JUST IN CASE.
For my map hearts, I took real maps and copied them in black and white and then enlarged or made smaller depending on what I needed for the size of my hearts. In my case, I used AAA driving maps and ended up enlarging them 110% to get them to the size I needed. Then I printed that area with colored ink.
My frame had the above printed paper in it and I made a grid of the area that was going to show in the frame so I could determine the placement of my hearts. When cutting out my map hearts, I also cut them just a tad smaller than my gold hearts and folded them in the center.
For my background paper that I was going to glue my hearts onto (and that would also show in the frame), I used 140# cold press watercolor paper. I have tons of it at home, but any craft store sells small pads of this. It's heavy and it has a texture to it. I couldn't really draw lines on this watercolor paper for my heart placement, so I took my paper with the grid and after determining the center of each heart, I used a straight pin to make a hole.
Then I used a pencil to mark through the hole onto my watercolor paper. Make sure everything is exactly where you want it to be and then using Mod Podge, I glued my gold hearts on. Don't use too much, you don't want it to seep over the edges of your heart.
For the maps, I only added Mod Podge to the center fold of each map heart. You want the hearts to remain folded and fluffy looking.
You can see here that I also painted the inside edge of my white frame, with the 18 Karat gold. If you use no glass or double-mat your frame, your hearts that are folded will be more pronounced.
Now I have a beautiful frame with map hearts that show the love we have for our family!
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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2 of 38 comments
  • Arizona Craft Mom Arizona Craft Mom on Feb 20, 2016
    Great idea! I love recreating a more expensive idea into a budget-friendly one. Love the personalized map idea.

  • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on Feb 20, 2016
    that's just enough room to use the 6 states I have lived in would be perfect for my on going wall of goodies.