For some reason, I have found myself falling absolutely in love with all things rustic, antique, and industrial. Am I getting old? Or maybe just (finally) gaining some maturity? Don’t answer that. Anywhoo, during my (waayy too many) Pinterest scouring sessions, I kept seeing these amazing antique looking maps. I began to feel kinda like that spoiled brat girl in the Johnny Depp version of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory – “I want one, Daddy!” The problem was the price. As much as I was loving the maps, I was NOT loving the prices! With three active teens and only one “real” income, we just don’t have the cash lying around for a map to hang on the wall. So, I just figured out a way to make my own. For about $6. Yes!
We had a couple of large (49×37) paper maps that were once in the kids’ playroom, back when they were learning states and countries in school. They probably came from Wal-Mart. The problem was that they were brightly colored & I wanted more of an antique look. So, off to Pinterest I went in search of a way to make them look more antique…on a budget….and fast. Nothing like immediate gratification!
I found tutorials for antiquing paper with tea and/or coffee and figured I couldn’t mess that up too badly. It was SO easy! I just took a couple of tea bags and dropped them in 1/2 a mug of hot water. Once the tea appeared dark enough, I removed the tea bags. (Actually, I started out rubbing the actual tea bags across the map, but got worried that the little bag would bust and leave tea leaves all over the map.)
I swapped the tea bag for a cheapo sponge brush and went to town brushing on tea. There is no real “wrong” way to do this……I don’t think…. It just depends on what look you are going for. Once the map dried, which is quite a feat in 100 degrees with insane humidity, the brush marks were just too visible for my taste. It also wasn’t quite as yellowed as I was wanting. For the second coat, I decided to put the tea in a spray bottle and spritz the map until it was super wet. Be REALLY careful trying to move a wet map! Once the map dried the second time, it was pretty much perfect for me. Yay! One other note, I wouldn’t do this on a wooden table. I did it on a glass patio table. Your workspace WILL get WET.
Now, how was I going to hang that sucker? Frames that large are not cheap. I loved the old school pull-down map look of the tutorial, so I scoured the hubs’ dowel collection. Too short. I priced the ones I would need at Lowe’s. Too expensive ($13!). So, I asked the hubs about scrap wood. He had some, but it was more cube shaped and kind of warped. I went back to Lowe’s and saw some cute bronze café curtain rods on clearance for about $6. Perfect! I zipped home, grabbed my map, some clear packing tape, and scissors. I pulled off short strips of packing tape and cut them in 1/2 so they wouldn’t show over the edge of the café rod. I seriously just stuck the tape to the back of the map & then to the back of the cafe rod. (You could just put more of the tape on the map if you didn’t feel like dealing with cutting the tape.) Then I just hung the rod with the hangers included in the package and voila! I have an “antiqued” map!
So far, I love it. Eventually, I’ll do something with the blankness on the wall to the left side of the map. Eventually.
It’s 9:30 at night and I use an old iPhone for pics. Sorry for the quality, but you can kind of see the difference the tea made in the color of the map.
What do you think? (Other than thinking I need to get a real camera, that is.)