Not one to back away from a challenge, Michell from Girl in Air was all in when a customer requested a larger-than-life US wall map.
Her projector was key to transforming a bunch of pine boards into this Pottery Barn knock-off masterpiece.
Michell estimates the cost of her planked map to be between $50 and $70, which is pretty awesome for a piece of wall décor that measures in at a whopping 80”x 60”!
What’s Involved in Making a Big Wall Map?
This is a large wall project that involves wood, screws, paint and stain. Pretty basic.
A little cutting and sanding, and you can create your own look-alike Pottery Barn USA wall map to fill up your wall in all its glory.
Michell used to have a tutorial up for this one. It’s no longer available but honestly, there isn’t much to it.
That said, Michell runs her own Etsy business and now just makes these exclusively for clients. Her’s run quite a bit less than the Pottery Barn version.
So, in a sense you now have three options for getting one of these amazing, rustic wall maps up in your house.
Michell says that you can put together one in just a few days, but that if you were to start in the morning and work continuously, you’d have a completed map by the end of the day.
What about the wood?
For the wood, it’s just a bunch of 1×4’s. You can pick some rough cuts up at the lumber store in pine 1×4’s for around $4 per 12-foot piece.
Cedar is also a nice option for around $1 per 6-foot piece. Michell used 9 12-foot pieces of pine.
Another option is to get ahold of some pallet wood. These planks will be perfect as they’re the right size and come in that rough and raw shape you’re after.
I love this project when it comes to cutting the wood pieces because you don’t have to be precise. Random lengths to just match the inspiration photo is all you have to do.
You’ll end up with about 16 1×4 strips when you’re all done.
For the nifty effect you get when you slice this up into four quadrants you can use a square if you’d like it even like Michell. Again though, there’s no reason you can’t just wing it with a circular saw. Any skew intentional or not, will only give this more character.
Do you need a projector?
So, clearly Michell gets her perfect drawn map done because she shines a big map image on her completed wood plank backdrop. Unless you have some crazy mural-like drawing skills, you’re going to need a way to project an outline to trace.
If you don’t have a projector, try Googling ‘DIY iPhone projector’. There are tons of videos on how to turn your phone into a temporary projector. You may need to buy a large magnifying glass but it’ll be a lot cheaper than a real projector you plug in. Plus, the kids will think it’s really cool!
Plenty of Options
As with anything stained, it’s up to you what stain color you want to go with. Michell’s Etsy page offers several different options based on what you want for your decor.
Michell also offers the choice of painting a chosen state (or multiple states) a different color. For a little extra, she’ll fill in your state with an accent color of your choice.
Something to also keep in mind if you venture to make your own.
Michell was inspired by Pottery Barn’s Planked USA Panels. See, it’s not too hard to mimi imperfection now is it?
Go to Michell’s Etsy page at: Girl In Air for a full look at everything she has to offer.