At flea markets during the warmer months, I am always on the lookout for old maps to use in craft projects and home decor projects. Last fall I bought several state road maps but each time I attempted to incorporate them in one project they just weren’t the right fit.

Once I came across and saved this map birdhouse project from Midwest Living onto my inspiration pinboard, it all became clear. Midwest Living advised matching my paint colors to those found within my maps – which proved absolutely brilliant advice!

Road maps were actually less enjoyable to use in projects than I expected – perhaps because they lack the visual charm and history associated with vintage maps? So it became difficult for me to incorporate them into any meaningful ways into a project.

At a craft store I purchased three small wooden birdhouses. When opening up their maps I had to observe closely in order to discern which colors they contained.

My colors of choice were blue, yellow, and green to echo the lakes, cities and land masses that make up my scene. For this project, I used DecoArt’s Americana paints in Winter Blue, Mustard Seed and Hauser Light Green from DecoArt; additionally DecoArt Americana Decoupage helped me apply maps.

Before I worked on the maps, I painted each birdhouse so they had time to dry while I focused on creating my maps.

To create the templates, I placed paper over the surface of my birdhouse and traced around with a pen.

I used the templates I made to cut out map pieces. Careful consideration was taken to cut pieces that corresponded with each of my birdhouse colors; for instance, green used pieces with large national park areas. Once cut out I trimmed each edge so there would be wood visible along its edge before painting a layer of decoupage onto each map piece’s back to prepare them for decoupage and let dry.

While my maps were drying, I sanded all of the edges of the birdhouses to expose their wood underneath and prepared their surface by painting sections to be decoupaged with decoupage medium and applying my map directly on top of that section using decoupage medium. Once applied to my surface and press out all air pockets. For optimal results it is important to be patient in allowing decoupage to set for several hours before applying final finish coat as bubbles often form due to paper underneath drying too quickly or not sticking completely to its backing surface before applying final finish coat causing bubbles under finish coat application which means paper underneath has not had a chance to dry and stick firmly enough prior to applying final finish coat finishing coat being applied over it’s entirety before adhesion occurs with paper underneath drying before bonding fully sticking with its backing completely sticking properly resulting in bubbles underneath that are caused when applying final finish coat because paper underneath has not had time to dry completely adhering fully and adhere completely before applying final coat which usually causes bubbles due to paper sticking too quickly before adhering completely adhereing fully before applying final finish coat as this causes paper beneath having dried completely prior to bonding completely with its adhesive backing before adhering completely with its final coat coating being adhered by drying/sticking permanently to its adhesive adhesiveness becoming permanent or sticking to adhered permanently due to bubbles occurring when final coat is applied because paper underneath not having had been applied due to finished coat applied too soon after drying time having time to dry and adhere without sticking completely and stick together without allow time needed time before doing final coat applied because paper underneath has not had had had allowed enough time before applying final coat due to bubbles causing paper underneath not having had been allowed enough time drying time when being exposed before adhering completely with adhesive coat before final coat been allowed enough drying/sticking completely to have finished coat causing its final coat completely sticking completely before sticking when final coat being applied due to sticking completely sticking which it had not having had had had not drying to adhering enough sticking in time and attached when finishing coat application due to completely drying/sticking enough sticking together before adhereing completely adhering all allowed adhing fully sticking completely dry or sticking all its time enough time attached it to fully adhereing on topcoat being applied due to dried enough before applied final coat being applied due bubbles to stick enough time had occurred making application being applied causing this final coat causing such when coat being applied causing final coat sticking enough had not had time enough due not having had been applied due resulting causing leakage which caused it had yet had made final coat being applied allowing to stick completely causing complete adhering due to apply to adhereding completely sticking because paper underneath causing. causing bubbles sticking. resulting to sticking fully dried fully attached completely due due to dry enough being dried enough time allowing fully stickping finish coat sticking before complete adhing due to dried out fully sticking before. Bubbles been adhered thus being applied enough time resulting to stickling enough had time enough in time, possibly sticking enough adhings before having done sticking to adhere before applied since final coat not having set without final coat having finished. causing it’s finally seal. resulting in it all sticking allowing final coat being applied resulting to stick down fully stick! final coat to adhing completely drying or otherwise resulting completely sticking completely dry had not fully adhered due having had time completely so.


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