Monday, December 12, 2011

Corkboard Map

A couple of months ago I was contacted by Help Us Adopt to do something I had never done before - a 3ft. by 4ft. corkboard map. This project was large and intense, but it was well worth it. I had a smaller version (think 18" by 14") and had it up on my Etsy page, and they were looking to create more of a statement piece for their offices. Below, I'll show you what all I did!

" is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) financial assistance grant program providing qualified couples and individuals with grants of up to $15,000 toward their domestic, international, foster, or special needs adoption expenses." They want this map to be a focal point in their lobby and a spot for them to track all of the families they had helped since they began.

The lovely ladies at Help Us Adopt were so helpful through the whole process. They had a very definite idea of what they wanted, but they still allowed me creative license. Here's how the final product came to be (please pretend you don't notice this all took place on saw horses in my kitchen):

1st - I ordered a large cork board and a rolled map from Amazon. Free shipping PLUS I'd have the box to reship the cork board when I was complete! I cut out the map and laid it out on the board. At this point, I lightly traced around it so I could see how much I needed to paint - I'm a conserver, after all! 

2nd - After I had everything traced, I needed to put the painters' tape on the board so I could make sure the lines I was going to paint were absolutely perfect. You can see that I used by sewing ruler to lay the tape out.

3rd - I began testing the paint colors. This was the longest part of the entire process. They wanted their blues to match the rest of their office which made total sense. However, if you've ever tried to match paint, it's not the easiest thing in the world. They were nice enough to send a card that had their colors on it so I could take it to the craft store. I had tried matching colors by pulling their website up on my iphone, but that failed me time and again. Once I had this little card, I plopped down in front of the paint aisle and started testing paints. I'm sure it's somehow illegal, but I dipped my fingers into at least 20 different blues to make sure I was getting the exact color I needed. I think I finally hit the nail on the head.

4th - Once I found the perfect colors, I just started painting. Easy enough :) I ended up doing 3 coats to make sure it was completely saturated with color.

5th - I used adhesive spray to tack that baby down! Have you every used adhesive spray? It's both a blessing and a curse. It held down the map beautifully. It also made me have sticky fingers for 5 straight hours. I swear wide receivers should just spray that on their hands, and they'd never drop a pass again.

6th - I had my friend, Nichole, help me get it to FedEx. You don't get a picture of that because it's a source of embarrassment for both me and my tiny coupe. We did get it in her tiny coupe, however. I think Nichole must be really good at Tetris.

All in all, this project really stretched me to do something bigger and more intense than I'd had the opportunity to do before!

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