Saturday, February 8, 2014

Personalized Photo Map {for our Paper Anniversary}

I'll be honest with you... I ws going to blog about cookies today. Olympic cookies. The problem is, I completely messed it up. Let's just say, they don't look like the Olympic Rings... at all. 

{They were "stain glass" cookies that flattened and bubbled.  Not pretty...}

Luckily, I have been saving an amazing craft that I made last June that I can share with you today.

I made this "One Year Anniversary" personalized map for my husband for the "paper" year.



I'm not a great gift giver and my husband isn't big into receiving gifts (it's #5 out of 5 for both of us our our Love Language scale). However, he was speechless (in a good way) when he saw this!

To make it, I completed these simple steps:

1- Purchase a map. I bought this one at Staples.

2- Purchase foam board. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby. You may have to get more than one piece to make it as large as the map. I had to tape a few pieces together & it holds up great!

3- Purchase short ball map pins.

4- Print your pictures. Don't forget that they might need to be different sizes to fill/fit into the state. On mine, Indiana was 4x6 and all the others were 5x7. Measure the states before you print!



To add meaning to your map, match the pictures to the state. For example, the picture in Indiana is from our wedding because we got married in Indiana. Alaska is made from a picture of us on our Alaskan fishing trip. Montana has a picture of us skiing in Montana, etc.



I did not cover every state that we have been to because I wanted the pictures to stand out (we've been to almost every state together... It would be very full!) Use your discretion and make it however you would like.



5- Cut the pictures in the shape of the states. If you are artistic, just go for it. If you're not (like me) copy the shape from the map to some paper or clear plastic and then use a cut-out version of the paper/plastic as a tracing piece on your picture. 

{Don't worry about cutting it exactly like the state- just follow the basic outline so that it isn't too fragile yet still looks like it}


6- Using hot glue, create globs of glue onto the back of the pictures. While it is still hot, press the ball of the pin into it. Remember to place pins in different spots on your picture. The fewer the easier to put into the map, but the more strategically placed the better your picture will lay on the map.




7- Cut the foam board to the exact size of the map. If need be, tape or glue multiple pieces together. I used duct tape because it's strong but won't show through the map paper.

8- Attach the map to the board. Use whatever glue you are comfortable with. Spray adhesive is super strong but gives you little room to re-adjust. If you decide to use a lesser strong glue, the pins will help to hold it down as well.

9- Place your pictures onto the board, pressing the pins gently (and evenly) into the map/board piece.  Don't press all the way down though, so that the picture "jumps" off the map!



Viola! You now have a perfectly personalized map that shares the story of your lives together. Perfect for anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's Day, Christmas, home decor or just because!  Use the left over pins to mark the other states you have visited.



I came up with this idea because my father-in-law has a map where everyone puts pins in the states they have visited. My husband always wanted to get a map like that and so I planned to surprise him with one. When going through our pictures together, the idea to mix them hit me! Our anniversary was coming up, so I thought it would be the perfect "year one" gift since "paper" is the tradition. FYI, he planted a tree for/with me for my anniversary present. Beautifully perfect.

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

90 comments:

  1. A wonderful gift that you both will always cherish

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    1. Thank you so much, it's true... It means so much to me as well!

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  2. My daughteris 4 and I've wanted to do something with a mapsoshecanseethestateswe'vevisited...thisit'sperfect!!!thankyou

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    1. Oh I'm so happy to see it being used for a little girl. 4 is such a beautiful age! Thanks so much for sharing! I hope she loves it!

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    1. Thank YOU for stopping by & for the sweet comment :)

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  4. What a fantastic idea! Our one-year wedding anniversary is in November, and I have to admit to feeling relieved to already have a game plan. :) We love to travel, and this will be perfect. Great job!

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    1. Oh how exciting Meg! Congratulations on your new marriage. I don't have much time on you, but I can tell you that is the best thing. Marriage is beautiful, keep enjoying that time and enjoy all the new places that you will see together!

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  5. Question: what are the dimensions of your map? I want to buy one offline but I want to make sure I don't get one that the pictures will be too big/too small for

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    1. Mine is 50x32. I would suggest waiting to print the pictures until after you have received your map. Some states require different sizes pictures (on mine, Alaska, Montana, Oregon and Arizona are all 5x7 but Indiana is 4x6. When I go to do some of the small east coast states, I might need wallet sized or a 4x6 cropped down.) If it helps at all, I bought mine at Staples for around $15. Hope that helps!

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  6. We have had a lot of my son's friends move in the last year, and I'd wanted to do something with the map I hung in his room, but this now gives me a fabulous gameplan. If I can ever get up the time to do it in the midst of other things. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Love that! I understand being in the midst of other things. I have a slew of "half finished" projects that I never seem to get around to! haha Sorry to hear that your son has had so many friends move away. That is rough :( I bet he will appreciate this map! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Hi Kelsie,

    LOVE this DIY! Do you mind if I reshare it some time on our blog? I run blog.postalpix.com and we are an Android/iPhone app that you can print your mobile photos for home delivery!

    Thanks!

    Tina | PostalPix.com

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    1. Hi Tina,

      Thanks so much for the kind words. Please feel free to share the post, just please make sure that information is not distorted across blogs. I checked out your website, what a great idea! Good luck with everything :)

      Please let me know when/if you decide to share! Thanks!

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  8. I want to adapt your idea....I have a spare room and I've welcomed guests from all over the world so hope I can find pictures of them all to put on their country - although I've had several from some countries so not sure how that might work!

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    1. I LOVE that idea! Maybe you can create a collage from the pictures in the countries that have multiple people! Good luck! Sounds awesome :)

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    1. Thanks Natalie! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  10. I love this idea as we are avid travelers. Whenever we make our cross-country trip, I love this idea. I think i might make it smaller, though...

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    1. It could definitely work on a smaller scale as well! Love to meet a fellow traveler :)

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  12. What a fantastic idea! It's an amalgam of two of my favorite things: maps and photo collages (the type in which you use the coloring of a bunch of photo or magazine pic, cut them into small pieces, and arrange them to create a larger image from the photo palette). I have been an avid vintage map collector of all types (road, arial, topographic, etc.) and regions (US, international, etc.) since I was a little girl and have accumulated an abundant compilation (ok, excessive! Lol); I'm talking hundreds! I'm rather obsessed, but I do out then to good use and I repurpose them in a myriad of ways including the obvious such as wrapping gifts, making cards, d├ęcoupage, tags, photo mats, covering gift/trinket/storage/jewelry boxes & a million more! With that, I cannot believe I never thought of this! It's brilliant!

    While I certainly love the idea of this as an anniversary gift, my first thought was to turn this into a family project, as I've passed on my love of maps to my three girls (8, 7, 5 y.o.). They are going to be so excited for this activity. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to travel much with them since they were born. But we have a lot of plans for he future, so I think I'll add a twist to your idea: create little labels and write down specific sites we hope to see, and pin onto states we haven't yet visited. I'll also consider perhaps pinning small photo cut outs of relatives and people we know who live in the respective states (both being small enough so as not to cover the beauty of the map graphics!). Then, over the course of our travels, replace those with larger photos of our journeys. Of course this will be a perpetual project, and take potentially years to complete. However, I think it's so beautiful that I would gladly incorporate it into our decor and hang it as a permanent installment in our home! Thank you for the extraordinary idea, and the hours of fun we'll have!

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    1. Wow! What an amazing story, I am so blessed that you shared that with me. I absolutely LOVE hearing things like that! I love the idea of doing what you suggested. Congratulations on three beautiful children that are passionate about the same things you are. That doesn't always happen but it's a blessing. Me and my mom are about the same person. Haha! Although I don't think I have quite as much as you, I certainly appreciate the fact that you use it for all sorts of crafts. I tend to do that with the printed word in newspapers, books, etc. I wrap presents, use type font on home decor, etc. Mod Podge becomes your best friend!

      Thank you so much for all the kind words. It brings me joy to know that a similar craft will bring years of fun in your home! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  13. I love this!! Where did you display it at in your house? Like in the living room? My one year anniversary is coming up and I think this would be a sweet gift, but not sure where to place it in our house!

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    1. Ours is placed in our office. It is sort of my husband's "man cave" (if you don't count all of our buildings outside!) There was a big space on the wall there, but it would be great anywhere in the house! I think the bedroom would be a great place too.

      Congratulations on your 1 year!

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    1. Thanks revizje! So glad you stopped by :)

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  15. This is such an brilliant idea! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

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    1. Thank YOU for the kind words and for stopping by!

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  16. Hello,

    Just curious, how did you hang/display this? I'm thinking it can't be framed due to the foam board... Could you just use the pictures to the map and then frame it?

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    1. The foam is pretty thin (at least the one I used was) and could probably be framed, but I imagine it would work just fine to frame the map by itself. Just make sure to keep the map supported somehow so that the pictures don't cause it to droop. We actually nailed it into the wall on the 4 corners and covered the 4 corner spots with white map pin heads. Visually, it just looks like we finished off the corners decoratively. Hope this helps!

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  18. I just ordered my map! Been planning this for a while! Would just using a hot glue gun to glue the pictures on work? We are going to fill it and frame it and don't want it sticking out. I don't get my map until Tuesday so I'm not sure about the material vs. the hot glue gun and pictures. Thanks!

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    1. Eee- exciting! I am sure that hot glue would work GREAT! Most maps are a paper material but even if it were laminated or something, I would imagine that hot glue would work just fine. I'll let you in on a little secret... I hot glue EVERYTHING. Seriously, I once didn't have time to hem a pair of pants by hand and didn't have any hem tape so I HOT GLUED my hem... I swear! It actually worked just fine. I went back and stitched it later but it worked and that was on fabric! My sewing leaders in 4-H would kill me for saying that :P haha

      Let me know how it turns out. I would love to see pictures!

      Thanks,
      Kelsie Ann

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  19. I totally think I will be doing this!! My daughter is 12 and though she has not been to that many places.. I think it will be neat for her to see!!! :)

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    1. I think that's a great idea! Plus, she can add to it for years to come. :)

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  20. So cute!! Might make one for myself :)

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  21. Thank you for the amazing idea! I want to take our girls to visit every state before they grow up and leave the nest. This would make a wonderful graduation gift for them!

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    1. I love it! How old are your girls? I didn't get that accomplished before graduating but my husband and I hope to see all the states together.

      Kelsie Ann

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  22. This is a wonderful idea!! I am definitely going to do this! Pinned it
    Thanks for sharing,
    Kelly

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    1. Thanks so much & thanks for stopping by!

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  23. Love this--our family is seeing the states in alphabetical order and we're up to M this year--this is a fab idea!

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  24. I can't figure out how to pin the map, the cookies come up when I use the pinterest button. Ideas?

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    1. I'm not 100% sure, but here is the link to my pins from this project. They are all the same project, just different main pictures. Hope this helped!

      http://www.pinterest.com/pin/49750770858004901/

      http://www.pinterest.com/pin/49750770858004897/

      http://www.pinterest.com/pin/49750770858004900/

      http://www.pinterest.com/pin/49750770858004903/

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  25. This is SO amazing!! I'm totally going to share the idea with my friends (who will love it too!). Thank you for sharing!!
    - April W

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    1. Oh, thank you so much. You are too sweet! Thanks for sharing too!

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  26. This is a great idea!
    We're travelling West to East in a just over a weeks time...this is a great idea for the photographs once we're back in the UK.

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    1. Sounds fun! Take lots of pictures & have a blast!

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  27. I love this idea! I want to make one for my husband too... maybe when our baby is a little older and I have time again. ;)

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    1. That made me chuckle. :) You've got lots of time to make the map and make the memories!

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  28. Thank you for this great idea!! I have a travel room and this is going to be a perfect addition!!

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    1. Love the idea of a travel room (how fun!) Thanks for stopping by!

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  29. I love this idea. I can't wait to get a map and start this project.

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    1. Hope you enjoy your map as much as we do :) Good luck!

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  30. Kelsie Ann, I just wanted to say Thank You for such a terrific idea. I've "twisted" it a bit for my map, though. I've used several pictures to represent the states I've been in (as in "lived in" or visited). I'm a picture taker from way back so I've dug through albums and pulled out some of the older pictures. I traced the outlines of the states on to plain paper, made small prints of the scanned photos and then arranged those into the state outline. I will have to admit that they don't always fill the state, but that's okay. I cut out the pictures and then used double-sided tape to attach them to the map. It's been fun doing what I've got so far, and I'm looking forward to doing the ones I still need to get up there. Again, Thank You, a gillion times for the idea.

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    1. Love the "twist"... it sounds very neat! You are more than welcome, I am just happy to see so many people inspired!

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  31. This is an awesome idea!

    My brother has made it a goal to run a marthon in each state and has been to quite a few states already. I thought it would be a neat idea for him to take the picture from the finish line of each marthon and put it in the state he ran it in and to put it up in his house for everyone to see or in his training room for motivation.
    Thanks for the idea!!!!

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    1. Oops...Marathon

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    2. Oh I love that idea! I wonder if you can work in a little pin with a flag of his "time" or something. I'm not much of a runner (meaning: I can't run down the driveway without being winded!) so I'm not sure that's something he would want, but hey... it's an idea! Love the idea of making it about his Marathon events though... how thoughtful!

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  32. I love this! I tried doing something creative for my paper anniversary gift. I came out happy with it, but now I am a little stumped on what to do for anniversary number two...cotton! haha

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    1. Lauren- hoping you get this reply (if not, I might be messaging you on your blog!) but when is your anniversary? I will probably be posting some ideas and a finished product for our 2nd but I can't post it until after my husband receives it! If it's after June you might be able to stop by the blog again for some ideas! Let me know :)

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    2. Oh, and what did you end up doing for your 1st? I know I wont have that again but I LOVE hearing creative ideas!

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  33. My sister's boyfriend of 7 years died just recently passed away due to a snow shoe skiing accident. They were both very adventurous and traveled all over. I can't wait to surprise her with this idea to encompass all the wonderful memories they made together across the united states. Not sure how to include their European trip so if you have any suggestions that would be great!!!!

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    1. Oh, how heartbreaking. That is such a beautiful gift for you to give her and I'm sure it will mean so much to her. Please let me know how it turns out. As for the European trip, you could do the same thing (I'm not sure where all they went/if you could do a smaller map or have to get an entire large one again- depends on their travel... I've never bought a European map before!) but if it is a few places that could fit in a smaller map, maybe a framed version of it that could hang next to the larger one? If they went all over, you might have to just do two biggies! I will be praying for your sister during this time.

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  34. Just came across this from pinterest! amazing idea :) thanks for sharing! can't wait to get started on my own!!

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  35. thanks! Your pin addys helped a lot!

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    1. Wonderful! so glad they were helpful.

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  36. This is such a fabulous idea! Can't wait to try it!

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  37. Hi Kelsie,
    I'd like to include an image and link to your “Personalized Photo Map” post in my weekly Pinterest update on Simple Sojourns. 
    Your link is: http://cutcraftcreate.blogspot.com/2014/02/personalized-photo-map-for-our-paper.html
    The image is the 4th map photo in your post.
    I'd be giving full credit to you but I wanted your permission to do so first. These are samples of what the post will look like: http://simplesojourns.com/category/pinterest
    Thanks so much,
    Cathi Crismon

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    1. Cathi-
      Sorry for the delayed response. If you are still interested in using this, please go right on ahead. Thank you for asking and for sharing my information with the picture! I couldn't get the link to work but I would love to see it when everything is up. Let me know :)

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  38. Replies
    1. Thanks! I love your name "sheloves4paws"... I do too!

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  39. I know you talked about spray glue for adhering the map to the board. Is that what you used? I am in the middle of making this for my one year anniversary. This is such a great idea!

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    1. Actually, I only glued randomly along the outside edges and the pins throughout the map hold the middle section flat against the board. I did this because I am NOT good at getting things on straight the first time and spray adhesive dries fast (and it is such a large piece of paper/map). If you think you can get it on straight without a lot of adjusting, spray adhesive is AWESOME! If not, take the easy route and only do the edges. You could also add little blots of another glue (or even something like Zots if a picture will be going over that space) in sections throughout the map (think of how quilts are often "tacked" down- that same idea) if you choose. I also put white pins at each of the 4 corners for stability. Besides that, there is very little holding mine together and it is still going strong a year later!

      Does that make sense? Hope I didn't confuse you with all my talking ;)

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    2. Oh, and Happy Anniversary <3

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  40. Hi Kelsie Ann,

    My name is Laurie Davenport, and I'm a trend reporter for Paper Crafter's Library. I'd like to feature this awesome project on our blog and would like your permission to do so. Please contact us at customerservice@papercrafterslibrary.com to let us know if it's okay!

    Thank you!

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  41. Hi Kelsie Ann, I love love love this idea. My nephew is getting married in about a month and I am going to get them a map and get them started on this project. They love to travel and also just moved into there first house. This will be a beautiful addition to their new home for them to build on for many years to come.

    Thank you and congrats on your marriage.

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  42. THANKS SO MUCH! I made one for my husband for our first Anniversary. I made a frame out of wood and engraved it with a wood burner. If anyone has problems finding a map, get a jpeg picture and have it blown up, the internet has LOTS ;-) I bought a 24x36 map from our local print shop. I also used double sided foam tape {4layers} on the back of my pictures instead of the pins... worked great! Love this idea, hope everyone has fun making it their own! ~Courtney

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  43. Really amazing blog, I’d love to discover some extra information. Dylan - ButtonBoy

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  44. I stumbled onto this on pinterest and I love it! My favorite thing to do is travel to follow a band and see new places while doing so, so this is perfect for me. I keep a blog about it (travelingfan.net) and when I get enough free time to create my own version, I'd love to post about it on my blog and of course credit you and link back here for the original idea :-)

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  45. can you tell me what size this is? Thank you!!

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    1. I think I read in a earlier comment that her map is a 50x32

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  46. What size do you suggest for a smaller map? I love the idea but don't have room for such a big map

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  47. I saw your Pinterest post of this and knew I HAD to make one of these as well. Wish I would have seen it sooner to make it for our 1 year anniversary (what a fantastic idea!), but either way my husband loved it!! He wants to put a picture for every single state we have been to together. This summer we took a road trip and he was very adamant about getting "good" pictures for our map in each state! Recently we had a friend over who had to a take a picture of our map himself because he thought it was "the coolest thing I've ever seen!" Thanks for your inspiration! We plan on hanging ours in our guest room to provide a great conversation piece for overnight guests.

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  48. wow.. great ideas .. thanks for sharing bit with us.. i like your way dear.. i want too these surprises gives to my partner... you are fantastic.. like your site .. have a beautifull life.. ;)

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  50. I actually did this same thing for the Hubs and I for our first anniversary too. We love globes and maps, they were a big part of our wedding decor. We had a Pixar Up wedding theme. So naturally I wanted to incorporate that into our first anniversary so I thought to do this. We plan on filling up our map in the years to come. This is such a great idea, I never thought to use push pins. I directly glued our pictures on the map and framed it. I just add more pictures as we travel new places.

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