Summer projects have become a tradition in our household. Previous years, have included make your own longboard, and paint your own skateboard deck. Most recently we gave my younger son’s room a complete makeover. Elliot graciously let me choose the design, and looking for a way to incorporate all the photos we take on our family adventures we decided on a travel photography theme.
He’s a tween, so we wanted something that would take him through the next few years, and still feel “cool” or at least until he decides to move into his older brother’s room, when he leaves for college in (sob) 2 short years. We gave it the full Do-it-yourself treatment. We made own shelves, painted the walls, created a mural, and applied decals, photographs and a DIY bulletin board.
I should mention that Elliot’s room is tall and narrow with the sleeping area below and the hang out space above, (which makes it difficult to get great photos). The upper portion of the room has a long narrow walkway, and that seemed like the perfect spot for our world map mural.
Where in the World Photo Mural
Having done years of extensive travel both separately and as a family we were looking for a fun way to display where we’ve been. Unable to find exactly what we had in mind we created our own.
Deciding which photos to hang up was probably the most difficult task. My family takes bets on how many photos I’ll take in any given location, so you can imagine that narrowing it down to just one per destination was near impossible, but I almost did it.
Tip: Order the photos before you start the painting process as they will both take a few days to be ready. My favorite online photo company is: MPix.
Elliot chose the paint color, mega blue, a perfect representation of oceans, but I swear I didn’t influence this choice. Here are the before and after photos of the wall:
Tip: Prime the wall first, and wait until the paint is completely dry before the next steps. Depending on the time of year, and the weather, this could be days, we waited four.
Once the wall is completely dry its time to hang up or apply your map. Although any map, or even paper cut outs would work, we chose a vinyl world map from Wall Need Love. In our case we planned to add a lot of photos, so I really like the simplicity of the map silhouette*.
Again your photos can be any size and mounted directly to the wall. I mounted ours to 1/4 foam board, which gives them a little punch and allows me to remove and replace easily, should we change our mind.
Your chosen destinations might seem obvious to you, after all you took the photos, but I thought it would be fun to have the location printed onto each photo.
Tip: Use photo mount to apply your photos to foam boards. Use double sided foam tape to apply them to the wall.
Tip: Practice your layout using scrap paper and painters tape.
We opted not to string lines between the photos and their corresponding locations, but we did use map pins. We assigned a color to each family member, which we stuck directly into all the destination photos that each individual had personally visited. Red pins representing the countries and cities we stuck directly into the map.
Would you like to make a world map photo mural? Here’s what you’ll need:
World Map Photo Mural Supplies:
- Blank wall
- Indoor Wall Paint
- vinyl map decal (or any map)
- String (we opted not to use string)
- Map pins
- Foam board
- Photo mount
- Double sided foam tape
- Exacto knife
Because Elliot’s room is two stories tall we needed some fairly large prints. This time we chose street art and graffiti photos from around the world. We had them printed 20 x 20 and mounted onto 1/4 foam board.
Tip: Use double sided foam tape to hang your prints.
Because the room is narrow it was difficult to find furniture that fit between the bed and the wall, so we made shelving that works as both night table and storage.
This next project does require some power tools, and an outdoor space to work in. We purchased the wood, the pipes and all the supplies at a local hardware store. If you don’t have power tools you can have the hardware store cut and drill the wood for you, and finish the project at home. Here are photo directions to the DIY Pipe Shelves:
Pipe Shelf Supplies:
- pumping pipes
I used a plastic wire tie to attach the charging cords to the shelving, as this seems to be an item that is easily lost. The lower bar, started out as nightlight storage, but has since become a place to hang headphones, and I’m sure it will evolve again over time.
We finalized everything with a custom bulletin board and some “graffiti style” vinyl murals.
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*Ireland was missing from my map, but was sent along later.