If I opened every email that I’ve received from fab.com, I’d be getting fab stuff in the mail on a daily basis. I’d also probably be eating some less-than-fab Ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’m planning something heartier for din-din tonight, which should tell you that I’ve gotten really, really good at being diligent enough to delete the emails from the Fab’s and Joss & Main’s of the world.
Oh, except I succumbed a few weeks ago in a furious I-must-have-everything-and-I-must-have-it-cheap mess.
Fab.com, I adore your curations. (But why don’t you accept paypal?).
I don’t even know what made me check out the site that fateful day, damn it, but I’m happy I did. The I Screen You Screen collection priced at 30% off their Etsy shop price made me swoon. The colors, the technique, I needed it all, and somehow worked my shopping cart down from 15 to just 1 amazing item: This oversized world map that I could simply hug, if I could wrap my arms around it without crushing it into a ball. Maybe just a peck on Alaska.
It’s amazing. In person, it’s more wonderful than the pictures were online. I really love large-scale art in this house (that’s why I invested in these two Buffalo prints last year about this time), and between the beautiful gray (that reminds me so much of the gray walls in my bedroom), and the price (a mere $35 + taxes + shipping, or $46.38 total), I knew it would be perfect on any number of walls in the house.
It did arrive within a few weeks of my order as promised, and during that time I had planned on installing some shelving over the shiplap in the dining room, which is why you see it hung where it was in that previous picture, hovercrafting itself over the blue tape representing a future shelf. I did fully expect to have those shelves installed before it’s arrival, but as you might remember from my trial-and-much-error post a few weeks ago, my original plan to make floating shelves kind of combusted, so I’m still finalizing Plan B. More to come on that, but for now, this handsome map.
Because it’s screen printed by hand, there are natural imperfections. The kind of imperfections that I love, because it makes it feel so unique, personal, and so not the same as your world map (which, if you have one, I probably also covet… turning into a map girl… blame the Dad).
One of the more noticeable imperfections you can see in the above photo, a faint line slicing down though Asia/India (where the white paint wasn’t so thick). The other nuances are more subtle, like on Madagascar below. The whole poster itself was painted gray, and then screen printed again in white, so the layers of paint feel really heavy and durable to the touch. I’m genuinely impressed.
The idea, from the moment I secured my order, was that it could be something I could affix pins to, flagging places that Pete and I have traveled; while we haven’t exactly been beyond Canada and Mexico, we do have some adventurous summertime travel plans in the works, more to come on that as it gets closer.
To transform the map into a surface that would be accepting of straight pins, I searched high and low for pieces of foam core board that matched the dimensions of the poster, mostly finding that the craft stores only carried 20″x30″ pieces. When I found this tri-fold presentation board at JoAnn’s, I knew it was perfect, and definitely a better fit than hacking apart a few $2 tiny boards and taping them into the exact size that I needed; folded together, the high-school-science-fair style board measured 24″x36″ exactly (the same size as the map). Also, because it had wings that folded beneath, it was doubly thick, and hopefully doubly accepting of the straight pins. Priced at $15, it wasn’t cheap, but I did have a 50% off coupon that brought the price down to a more affordable $7.50, making it a better value than the single layer boards that I would have had to tape together, that’s for certain.
I used spray adhesive to mount the poster to the foam core board, picking up this 4oz bottle of Elmer’s product at JoAnn’s while I was shopping around. ($4 after a 50% off coupon.)
I swear, this is no promo for Elmer’s. Clearly, the brand’s making a comeback outside of the white glue category.
At home, I lined up the map on top of the foam core board, secured two corners down with huge chunks of colored glass that float around the house as decor/paperweights (bought at this summertime garage sale), let the rest of the poster coil naturally, and sprayed lightly, holding the bottle about 10″ away from the board to coat both thoroughly and evenly.
Because the board was the same exact size as the art, and because the stock the map was printed on was very thick, it was easy to unfurl it in line with the edges of the foam board and have it stick perfectly in place, no air bubbles, no wrinkles. Only problem? Just a few sticky spots on the hardwoods because I didn’t cover the floor well (or at all, in some areas), but it cleaned up quickly with a spray of Lysol and a towel.
I curled up the edge with the paperweights on it since it was still loose, secured it with a light spray, and then loaded the poster with books to hold it flat while it dried.
I had pipe dreams of making a frame for this map too, planning what it’d look like even before the print arrived in the mail this week. I even bought some lumber from which I could make something crisp and stained Kona brown like the shiplap wall it’ll sit against, but then I remembered that I had a perfectly-sized frame in the attic, leftover from when I was still making and selling frames on Etsy over the summer. As in, it was already made, and totally free-zilla.
I quickly snapped this picture to show you how it’d look, but then decided to sand off the green paint and give it a dark stain all over to make it a little more neutral (it’s still drying in the garage). We’ll see how that ends up looking in comparison.
But now, for show I’ve hung the map itself on display quite simply on the dining room shiplap wall. That’s just two hoops of a light kite string, each hooked over a thumbtack in the wall. Good technique for inspecting the final height of the piece as it would sit on the shelf.
And truth, I moved that lower piece of tape down a board from when you originally saw the game plan – I was beginning to think it felt too high before, but I think it feels too low now? Head a-scratchin’.
P.S. If you need an invite to join this Fab party, you can click here, or leave a comment with your email and I’ll send you one :)
P.P.S. I fell off the bandwagon, also buying a bottle of Adoboloco jalapeno oil/sauce for Pete a few nights ago. My second fab, oi vey. Sale ends at 6PM EST TODAY, buy it at this link and maybe earn me some mon-nay to support this new addiction. OK, cut me off, man, cut me off the fab.
P.P.P.S. Those fab.com links are affiliate-related, but I’m not paid on commission or anything, just incentivized to get you to sign up to their club.