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Sew Girl
"Over the years I have made several of these. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that these boxes -when used in the pictured position- are not strong enough on their own to hold very many books or magazines for very long. Eventually they will sag and become an eyesore. Preventing the eyesore from happening is simple - turn the boxes on their side once they are completed, and Voila! They are an EXCELLENT way to wrangle in all that clutter and chaos we often find throughout our home and office. There is also another way to make them strong and that is to REINFORCE THEM. Personally, I like to do this when I need to use the boxes for flimsier items like loose papers that have a tendency to curl on their edges if stored on their sides or when not packed tightly. Reinforcing the boxes means you can put a lot more weight into them even while they are laying flat like they are in the picture. I reinforce my boxes with a very thin wood that can be purchased at almost any hardware store - it is called Louon (my spelling is probably off but it is pronounced LEW-ON). It is very cost-effective and extremely easy to work with. Add to this that it is VERY VERSATILE and you have a great solution to making even very flimsy projects much more stable. I hope this helps! BTW USPS boxes are legal to use BUT ONLY if you PURCHASED them OR they are USED. IF you are thinking about using new boxes that were FREE from the USPS Priority Mail Services - then you would be breaking the law. New FREE Boxes MUST be used only for Mail. Boxes that are Purchased or Used should be OK."
Road Map Picture Frame

The Road Map Picture Frame will remind you that no matter how far you are from your loved ones, love bridges the distance. For the simple version of this craft, you only need a couple materials, but you can also add embellishments for a personal touch. Recycle your road maps that have been replaced by a GPS with this easy map craft. This DIY frame makes a wonderful gift for any occasion and for almost anyone, especially those you miss due to being apart from them.

Primary TechniqueGreen Crafting

Easy

Materials:

  • Recycled road map
  • Flat wooden frame
  • Decoupage medium
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife

Optional Embellishments:

  • Wooden hearts
  • Scrabble tiles
  • Ribbon
  • White craft glue
     

Instructions:

  1. Place map onto frame and trim areas to be decoupaged to be about 1/2-inch larger than the surface.

     
  2. Prep the map pieces by applying a thin coat of decoupage to the back of the map and allow it to dry for about 20 minutes.

     
  3. Apply a coat of decoupage to the frame and carefully press the map (in sections) onto the frame. Be sure to push out any air bubbles. Let the map adhere to the frame for about 20 minutes.

     
  4. Turn the frame over and use a craft life to trim the excess map along the edges of the frame.

     
  5. Turn the frame right side up again and apply a coat of decoupage over the top of map frame. Let dry.
     

Embellishments:

  • This particular frame was made for two college friends. One attends school in one city and another in a different city.
     
  • The two hearts represent the two cities on the map and the scrabble tiles represent the college students' initials.
     
  • Simply glue a scrabble tile to a wooden heart.
     
  • Tie a small bow from ribbon and glue beneath the scrabble tile.
     
  • Glue the initialed heart to the frame.

     

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This is such a cute idea for travelers, people who fly a lot, and those that enjoy geography. I can see doing an entire office for dad with these cute frames lined all across the desk. If he has traveled to exotic places, you can always print out maps from everywhere he has been and use those to personalize the picture frames even more.

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