Tuesday, 27 March 2012

it’s a cinch: { let’s create } maritime map letters

BThe ladies at Thistlewood Farm, It All Started With Paint, Eclectically Vintage, The Cottage Market, and The Space Between are having another great blog party today called It’s a Cinch. The premise – do an easy-peasy project that you can finish quickly and with minimal effort.

I’m sure this project took way longer than it should have. But thanks to my {1} inability to focus on one thing for more than five minutes, {2} habit of making things 20 times more complicated than they need to be, and {3} an ingrained need for perfection, everything I do takes longer than it should. {Have I mentioned that I’m a little on the OCD side? Picture Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory with boobs. Yep, that’s me.} So overall, I probably spent a few hours creating creating my map letters {not including waiting time between a couple of steps}. But it was super-easy to do.

This is my It’s a Cinch project inspiration:

From Stylish Living Catalogue 2010

I had already bought white wood letters at Michaels for 50% off {I think they were around $3.50 each} I totally forgot to take a “before” picture of them – DOH! I bought the letters B E A C H. These are somebody else’s letters that look just like mine…

wood lettersvia lazy mondays

When I saw the PARIS map letters on Pinterest, I was like, YEAH, now I know what to do with the letters! So I searched the Net for some maps of beaches that I’ve been to. Originally I was going to do use a separate map for each letter, but then I came across this whopper map of the Maritimes:


I like the soft colours and old look to the map. And after I printed it out on 16 sheets of 8-1/2” x 11” paper, I realized I could fit each letter onto an area of the map that I’ve been to – PEI, Cape Breton, and three other areas in Nova Scotia {including my beloved Lunenburg region}.

map with letters

Once I figured out where I wanted each letter to go, I cut each section from the original map image on my computer and printed each one out on its own sheet of paper. That way, I wouldn’t have to cut off the white borders and try to match up seams between sheets of paper.

B mapMap section for the letter B

Next, I traced around the letters and cut them out.

letters cut out

B map 2

I painted the sides of all the letters a light bluey-green. I realize now that I didn’t get any good pictures of the painted letters. DOH again! Anyway, after the paint dried, I used Mod Podge to attach each map letter  onto each wood letter. And voila, Maritime map letters!


I used a little creative license with the A – I turned PEI about 70 degrees so I could fit more of of the island onto the letter.


And I made sure to fit my very favourite part of the Maritimes onto one of the letters – this is the Lunenburg region in Nova Scotia on the letter E:

E close

I still haven’t completely finished the letters – I don’t know if I want to seal them with Mod Podge or the spray sealer that I use on my paintings. And I have to decide where to hang them too.

And there you go, an easy-peasy It’s a Cinch project! If you want to create your own map art, there are some great ideas at Your Decorating Hotline. And check out Jason LaFerrera for a completely different & amazing take on map art.

Don’t forget to do the rounds at Thistlewood Farm, It All Started With Paint, Eclectically Vintage, The Cottage Market, and The Space Between to see more It’s a Cinch projects :-)

Also linking up to Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm ‘cause these babies are definitely coastal! And pretty nifty too, if I do say so myself :-)

kelly sig


  1. i ADORE THESE!!!! i have a map of Italy that i would love to use like this! thanks so much for joining in on the party! your project rocks! hugs...

  2. These are so great Kelly, looks like a lot of fun to make. Hmmmm what will I do?

  3. Kelly - should I email you my address? Clearly these were made for me! I LOVE them. So great...and yet so simple. I can relate about distraction, my easy little wreath was made between many other things...but I guess that's the definition of easy, something that can be done whenever the inspiration hits. :)

    Thanks so much for linking up and sporting the button. You are a wonderful blog friend.

  4. Love this. I may have to try this one out myself. I've already pinned this post to my DIY pinboard on pinterest. Thanks for the great inspiration!

  5. They are FANTASTIC! Love them so much. I have always been attracted to maps, endlessly fascinating and these big letters are just stunning. Great project.

  6. I LOVE this idea! Great project!

  7. I really like these. I was actually thinking of using maps on one of my other letters! Now I know I will. Question - the spray sealer you use for your paintings - what is it? is it water based or oil based? I assume that it doesn't yellow over time?

  8. These look fantastic! My dad recently gave me some of his old flight maps and I'm thinking of using them now to do letters for my boys! Great job!

    Visiting from the It's a Cinch party!

    sara@ applestonedrive.blogspot.com

  9. very cute project, Kelly! great job.

  10. Way cute idea Kelly! Two thumbs up!

  11. Kelly,

    These letters are amazing! I love this project so much! I'm going to facebook it so everyone can see how fabulous you are!

    Thanks for linking up at the party.


  12. I'm in LOVE! These are wonderfully done! So professional looking!!!


  13. I'm in love too...and I've got two books of Nautical charts that have been waiting for a project. Thanks for sharing.


  14. Love this so much! Have pinned a couple of images and now will share on Facebook as well.

    Thanks for linking it up!



  15. Wow! So lovely. The beach is my absolute most favorite place to be, and glass balls are a special part of my life... You have knocked this project right out of the park... or is that the tidal zone ;-)

  16. Wow...now THIS is cool! What an amazing idea! Nice job Kelly~I absolutely love it!

  17. Sheldon - I mean Kelly!
    I love maps and letters and the two combined - fabulous!
    So glad you joined our Cinch party! Will be pinning this!

  18. Very clever idea! My sister vacations there (PEI) every summer you have given me an idea for a gift. I will have to PIN!

  19. This is such a cool idea! I'm guessing you guys really like the beach? I've seen several of your beachy projects ;)

  20. These are beautiful! I might just have to try my own :)

    `A Casarella

    P.S. Love your blog! Total eye candy ;)

  21. i think urban outfitters has some of these and yours look even better. love them.

  22. Such a cool project Kelly and you did a fantastic job! You have to get to New Brunswick now (Shediac, Fundy) to add those beaches on the map (my beloved hometown in Fredericton)!

  23. Absolutely adorable, I love the letters! Beautiful job.

  24. Aren't you the 'crafty one'. :) Of course in a good way ... that is. Super fun project and you did do a great job.

    Re sealing them, IF you printed your map off with an 'inkjet' printer I'm going to suggest Kelly that you do a test sample first particularly if you are using the Modge Podge. In both instances I have had colours run, whereas 'laser' printed material is okay. Lesson learned the hard way ..... Hugs -Brenda-

  25. They look completely fabulous! What a great idea! :) I love that you have been to these areas - makes each part all the more special. Thanks for sharing your idea.

  26. Ok, I have just gotten lost in your blog for about an hour now...you have flawless taste.

    Newest follower via linky!

    amy @ whilewearingheels.blogspot.com