It’s no secret that I love Doctor Who. I also really, really love travelling. So when my five-year wedding anniversary popped round, I thought that there would be no better way to commemorate such an occasion but by weaving together those things that I love with the guy I love. First, I started with this quote from my favorite Doctor, Eleven:
Armed with that quote, I set out to make this:
A map of the world noting all of our various trips and adventures. So what do you need to make this happen?
1. World Map Vinyl Wall Decal
Normally, folks stick these to an actual wall, not a canvas, but since I am not geographically or artistically inclined, I opted to use one of these vinyl maps for my project rather than trying to draw or trace a map. I also didn’t want to bother with mod podging an actual map to the canvas, but that’s another option if you’re not crazy about the map decal. However, I do highly recommend the decals. I love how the map looks on the canvas, and you can find them just about anywhere. Unsurprisingly, Etsy has tons of great options of wall map decals in tons of colors.
It doesn’t matter what size you use, as long as your map can fit on the canvas. You can find canvases of all kinds of different sizes at just about any craft store anywhere.
The bigger canvases can get to be a bit expensive, so make super, super sure that you are buying a canvas that can fit your map decal. I made sure that my canvas was both a bit taller and wider than my map, just to ensure that I’d have the room I wanted to write in the ocean portion of the map.
3. Paint (and brushes, of course)
I opted to keep it simple and shiny with silver and gold paint. Because I don’t trust my writing with an actual brush, I used paint pens to write the actual text–and to write our various adventure points on the map.
From here, the first step is to get the decal onto your canvas. I’ll be honest, the hardest part of this project for me was getting the map onto the canvas. Though the instructions were very clear, some of the smaller islands didn’t want to transfer onto the canvas. So just take it slow, and pay really close attention to what is transferring and what isn’t. If you have the option to get a buddy to help you with the decal, definitely take advantage of that. I think I would have had a much easier time if I had someone helping me out with the whole thing.
Once I finished transferring the map, I painted the rest of the canvas.
Again, I wanted to stick with a silver and gold theme, so I used a really light, silver glittery paint to act as my water. I really wanted the highlight to be the words written on the canvas, so I didn’t want a really strong color in the background. I also wanted to be sure to have a color that went well with the shade of my map.
After that, I wrote the Doctor Who quote and filled the map in with some of our trips.
Because the map isn’t enormous, the geographic accuracy of my notes on the map are…iffy, at best. However, the goal is to continue adding notes of places we have lived and visited, not to necessarily make it 100% geographically accurate. I make sure to put the actual location we visit in my notes, as well as the year we went there–I’m hoping those notes will make up for the hot geographical mess this thing will turn out to be. As time goes on, I also plan mod podge pictures from various trips onto the map as well. Because I wanted this to be more of a memory board rather than a proper map, I was okay with the geography being a bit sketchy. I think adding pictures to it will help add to that effect of memory over geography. After all, I’m no Buster Bluth.
All in all, the project didn’t take too terribly long to complete, and because it is on a canvas and not behind a frame, it will be easy to add to as time goes on. And now we have a reminder of our adventures and love of travel–and our love for Doctor Who–right above our dining room table.