Monday, August 15, 2011

mapping the walls

one of my all-time favorite color trios is red, turquoise and yellow. they provide instant cheer and a sense of fun. just look at the packaging of another favorite, animal crackers:

(which i've also used to cover my phone):

but i digress. this is a post about WALLPAPER not animal crackers (one of the few food items in america, by the way, that has not altered its packaging form or materials since its inception...the white string....wax paper liner...don't you just want to run out and buy a box right now?)

anyway....another place that magical trio often appears is in ROAD MAPS (with a little pink thrown in for fun). so when it came time to update the plum-colored walls in the cubbie*, and we knew we wanted to use something other than PAINT, papering with road maps became an obvious option. they were cheap, large, quickly becoming obsolete, and could serve as a reference for the places we've lived as well as the places our friends and family now live. ebay was my main source for the maps (using the word "lot" in the search title, as the "cheaper by the dozen" rule usually applies on ebay), focusing on those produced between the 30's and 60's as those were the years map colors were the most garish, and the illustration styles, most playful.

if you're not that into maps or geography, but like the idea of using something a little different to cover your walls - based on a hobby or interest of yours or your family's;  you could use the kids' many pieces of school art, or pages from novels by your favorite author, sheet music, dollar bills (there was a customer at the bank i once worked at who asked for two new one dollar bills with every paycheck he cashed. when asked the reason for this one day, he informed us that he was papering the walls of his bathroom.) brown kraft paper, dress-making patterns...any other ideas??

 here's how it turned out:

and a close-up of one of the many chicago maps (where three of our kiddos now live):

the one near the corner on the left with the "SEND HELP" panel is one of my favorites. although it was originally intended to serve as a sign one could place in the car window during a roadside emergency, it now serves as a mantra prompter whenever it happens to catch my eye.

let me know if you decide to try this yourself as i have quite a stash of leftover maps sitting in the shed. mostly of places like idaho and latvia as we don't yet know anyone who lives in either. do you?

*our son dubbed the room thus shortly after we moved in; determined to call it something other than "den" or "family room". we liked it and have called it that ever since.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE this. I am gloria's sis-in-law who pestered you on the how to. I tried to do this in highschool, not really knowing how to do it so settling for sticky-tac all over my walls. I am ready to do this in my bathroom where the paper I used (book of japanese realizing it was glossy and therefore not sticking.) excited to know it works!!!