Vintage map window shelf | DIY Upcycle

I have a major case of wanderlust.   [ Wanderlust = a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world] .

Except my desire to explore doesn’t pull me to explore the entire world, just the back roads of my favorite states like, Wyoming, Colorado & Montana.

Montana won my heart years ago when I was a little girl.  I remember traveling there numerous times, camping, exploring, and soaking in the beauty.  I specifically remember one time when I was about 16 when I re-fell in love with Montana again, and I told my dad , ” Dad, I want to go to college here & live here..” and he replied , “Oh Kelly, you could live anywhere..”     I’m a simple soul to please, and for as long as I can remember on all of our family road trips growing up, I said many times, in many places & in many states, ‘Dad I could live here.’      But -Montana stole my heart.   You know when you are in love & being with that person feels like a breath of fresh air to your soul?!  The mountains in Montana give me that feeling- it fills my heart up!   & just makes me breathe easy, think freely, & feel completely fulfilled.

This quote explains it all ;  “I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.”~ John Steinbeck.

Last year I picked up several Montana maps, knowing how much I admire the state, I figured I would do something with them someday.     Now that I have my own home office , I want to fill it with things that inspire me and items that I love.

Today I woke up with no plans to create a project, when I was looking for something else in our attic and I came across a Montana map.    Then my little project creating wheels started turning.  I went out to the barn, grabbed an old window, and started creating my own vintage window map.   Read below to see how I created it & how you can too!

Project Supplies:

*Old Window (or picture frame) *Map  *Coffee (if you desire to age your map)* Paint  *Screws *Drill *Old board *Screwdriver *Wood glue

Project Time: Several hours (including time for paint & map to dry).

Project Level: Easy!

Project directions:
1.)  Gather your supplies, find an old window (or a picture frame will do, if using a picture frame you can skip to painting step).
You can get maps at travel centers, or by requesting one from online visitor sites for different states.

2.) Clean your window! Wipe free from all dirt , debris and peeling paint.

3.) Paint window your desired color.   I painted the first coat in a soft blue and topped it with a bright yellow.

A behind the scenes look at what happens when I start a painting project in my house :)

4.) Age your map. (If desired). Wrinkle it up, allow a few tears along the seams.   Make up a cup of instant coffee & brush it onto your map, do this several times until your map reaches the look you like.  You can also sprinkle some of the instant coffee grounds onto your map and brush with warm water.  It is okay to let it pool up in some areas , this will create darker spots in those areas.  There are several ways to age maps, this is just a way that I found worked good for me.

5.)  Wait  for your map and window to dry.

6.) Age your window (again, if you desire) I scuffed the window in a few places to reveal some of the underlying blue paint.

7.) Attach your map to your window.  There are several ways to do this -I used the easy way-  good ol’ tape.

The following steps apply if you’d like to add a little shelf onto your window map to place some of your treasures from your favorite state!

8.)  Purchase, find, or dig out of the hay pile in the barn (like I did) a board that will fit your window.  I didn’t measure, but found a board I liked, and brought it in and liked the way it looked hanging over the edge of the window-sometimes you just need to go with what you like and set the perfectionism aside & it all works out  ! :)

9.)   Drill 4-5 holes into the back of your window & shelf.  (In the exact same places on window/shelf) Next screw 4-5 screws into the back of your window & into your board in the holes your just drilled.  If it is a longer shelf, apply more screws.  You may also want to throw some wood glue between your board & window for extra hold.

10.)  Hang up your new window map shelf & enjoy!

You could even draw your favorite routes, circle your favorite towns, or plan out your next trip on your window with a dry erase marker…

…Have fun with it!  After all – the best creations are both beautiful and functional!
After all of this writing about wanderlust, maps and Montana.. I think it is time to plan my next big trip for 2013!

Thanks for reading & happy traveling!

~Kelly

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