I have been looking for an antique map of Lancaster County to go above one of my guest room beds for over a year.
Easier said than done!!! So I decided to make my own...
This DYI took me into the wonderful and sticky word of Mod Podge! Can you believe I had never used the gooey stuff until now!
The map turned out even better than I expected! Here's a very detailed tutorial on AGING A MAP...
This is an EASY project, but it does take a few days to complete... mostly dying and drying time.
Let's get stared...
HOW TO AGE A MAP
1 photo copy of a map
small flat brush
1~ I bought a map from ebay. I decided on a map of Pennsylvania from 1770. It was a HUGE black and white copy. Not very authentic looking, but a really great early map.
2. It had a very nice detailed image of Lancaster County...
So... buy or copy a map and stretch it out on a covered surface. I put a drop cloth on the kitchen table to work with my map.
3. I tried to tea dye it first... don't waste your time!!!! Go right for coffee!
Brew a STRONG cup of coffee.
Saturate a small piece of paper towel in the coffee and gently run it across the entire map. Do this several times drying between coats. (I used 1 cup of coffee over 2 days on this phase of the antiquing.)
Use a fan directed on the map to help cut down on drying time and help the map lie flat.
4. After the entire map begins to take on an antiqued look, drip small pools of coffee on the map and put the fan directly on those area to dry.
5. Keep moving from one area to the next, dripping coffee on the map. It creates a really nice antiqued look.
6. Let the map completely dry.
7. Now it's time to adhere the map to a canvas.
8. Cut the map to fit the canvas. Leave enough map to fit around the edges and a 1/2~ 1 inch width of the back .
9. Using a sponge brush quickly paint a t-h-i-n coat of Mod Podge on the canvas.
(Can you believe that I have never worked with Mod Podge... ever!!!! So I was really winging it!
I ended up using WAY too much!!!! But in the end, it all worked out fine.)
10. Lay the map over the canvas and work out the bubbles and as many creases as you can.
(This is where I went wrong. Because I actually poured Mod Podge onto the map it created big pocket of trapped glue. If you are new to Mod Podge I would suggest finding a video on youtube to help you.
Because I wanted my map to have an old worn, scarred, wrinkled look I was not that concerned.)
11. To get the major pockets of Mod Podge from under the map, I pricked the map with a pin and squeezed the Mod Podge out.
12. To secure the sides of the map, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the side and back canvas. Cut the map, as shown, and work in sections to adhere the map flatly against the side and back of the canvas.
Press down all the edges, front and back to make them crisp.
13. The corners are very easy to do. Cut off the excess paper at the corners to make a nice, clean edge. Glue each side down to just cover the edge.
14. Brush Mod Podge on the top of the paper at the corners and press corners to make them crisp.
15. If you are happy with how your map looks at this point, give it a thin top coat of Mod Podge and let it completely dry. It is ready to be hung
If you want your map to have more "age"...
Mix glazing medium with paints to achieve the color and consistency you like. This is NOT rocket science, just go for it!!!! Go for a loose consistency.
(I used Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna and a touch of black with glazing medium.)
16. Working with a sponge or paper towel dab the paints onto the map and wipe it around.
Try the effect on another piece of paper first.
(I went with lots of glazing medium mixed into the paint so I could wipe away what I did not like. Just play with it. If you want to achieve an old well worn look there is really no mistakes.)
Make map folding lines if desired.
(I think it makes the map look old and well used.)
My map came with folding lines on it. If your map does not I would probably not add them.
To make map lines look authentic, load the glazing medium/paint mix on a small flat brush and paint down all the existing lines.
17. Use your finger and the sponge and dab the lines to diffuse them and make them look less defined.
( If you notice in the image, I did NOT paint each line completely. I thought that would be quite distracting. So I painted partial lines...
Again, just play with it.)
Let the map completely dry.
Add a thin top coat of Mod Podge and dry again.
Now your map is ready to hang!!!
I just might put a very rustic and thin black frame around the canvas... but I'll live with it awhile to make sure that's the direction I want to go.
This room used to be my sweet daughter's. I hung the map of our area in here for a sentimental reason.
You can read my message to my daughter, HERE.