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Thursday, May 24, 2012

DIY Nautical Chart Art

Ever since I was a youngster drawing countries for my book reports, I've had a fascination with maps.  That fascination carries over into decor.  I'm all about showcasing a map in the home and if you haven't noticed, so is the rest of the home decor world.  We've seen them in vintage, modern and contemporary forms of all shapes and sizes.

We've long displayed a world map in our home with pins to showcase where we've traveled and now we're rocking another map to show another important place in our lives.

The hubs, while in addition to being an amazing teacher, is a commercial fisherman.  He spends his entire summer break in Alaska out on the Aleutian Chain catching halibut and black cod.  It's incredibly difficult having him gone for months at a time, but it allows us to raise our son the way we want ~ with Mama at home.

To make the transition easier and to help our {almost} two-year old son TRY to understand why Daddy is away and where he is, we picked up a couple nautical charts of the fishing grounds where he typically fishes, so we could show him exactly where Daddy is.  You can pick these charts up at most marine supply shops, ours was Longship Marine in Poulsbo, Washington.

Rather than just throwing the chart up poster-style, I created a piece of art that is both practical and beautiful by cutting the chart into four panels and framing them with simple glass frames.

  1. Use the frame's backplate as a template when planning and cutting the chart.
  2. When lucky, the chart's existing lines provide great straight guidelines for easy cutting.
  3. Once cut, place within the frame and move on to the next - repeating steps 1-3.  {One chart will provide four 16x20" panels with a bit left over, so you may even be able to go larger.}

The color palette reminds me of vintage maps with their subdued hues and it's a perfect neutral piece that anyone could use in their home.

These charts could also be cut to fit on a desk with a glass piece over the top to protect them.

Or adhered to canvas.

Or pick up a few and use as wallpaper.

And don't stop at nautical charts.  You could also do the same with brightly colored world or national maps, or maps of the stars...absolutely anything your little heart desires.

So, what about you?  Do you share a love for maps, like myself?  How do you display them in your home?



  1. Great idea. It's great to know where Daddy is - and it teaches your son about his small little place in this huge, beautiful world!

    1. Thanks Bronwyn! What a great way to put it. :)

  2. I love maps, and I LOVE these! I'd love to find maps of my favorite places and frame them somewhere.

  3. This is a GREAT! Love it! Thanks for sharing your ideas on "Strut Your Stuff Saturday!" We'll see you next week! -The Sisters

  4. These are so cool, Meg! I love the look of having all 4 together, too! It definitely has much more of an impact than just hanging a map on the wall :) Thanks so much for sharing at HiH, girl! Have a great weekend! :)


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