Instructables
Picture of Customised Map Letters (on the cheap!)
Main Map letter pic.jpg
Map letters_main pic.jpg
While I love map covered letters I don't love the £12+ that they charge for them online and urban outfitters. These letters are super chunky and come in at only £3.75 a letter but for wall mounted letters they would only work out just 75p each. (Website details at the end or in my profile)

Materials needed: Wooden letters, PVA, Computer and printer.

A lot of the letters out there use vintage maps and after looking in every charity shop I could find I was coming up short. This method is dirt cheep, looks cool and as you can print out anywhere totally customisable. I’m thinking:

- Words such as KITCHEN or HOME just for display.
- Initials for a wedding (maybe at the guestbook table)
- A child’s name for their bedroom shelf
- For a summer memento get the word TRIP, SUMMER or HOLIDAY. Print out the places you visit and mount them on different letters. For extra points make them with your child and discuss what you did, where they liked, what happened in each place etc.
- Teachers, when teaching units concerning the local area get each child to write their name on a wooden heart or wooden house shape (we can supply both). Get them to glue the relevant map section to the front and write their name and (possibly) address on the back. This can also tie into discussions such as transport to and from school.


 
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I made a set of these that said "DAD" for a Christmas present. I found white painted letters at a Pat Catan's and glued sections of a world map onto them. It worked pretty well, though I probably could have done a better job cutting the map out. Thanks for the idea!
Etobic1 year ago
cool
If you go to oldmapsonline.org you can find OLLLLLLLLLD maps of places all over the world. When you view them they open up on a different site that lets you download enormous hi-res copies if you're a (free) registered member.
At least, I know the ones that are hosted at the David Rumsey Map collection let you print them in extremely hi-res. I can't speak for the other ones.
nickshum2 years ago
Hi! What material did you use to make your letters? Was it simply cardboard? And if it was wood, what did you use to cut them out?
gmjhowe2 years ago
Map letters are the best.
We should start a club.

I wish I had access to a laser cutter big enough to have done my Ampersand.
Infinite Crafts (author)  gmjhowe2 years ago
lol, I know I still love them and they seem to be everywhere. How big was your Ampersand? since writting this we've got a new milling machine and the other day I made a giant (meter and a half) one for someone. I almost kept it for myself...
This is mine http://www.instructables.com/id/Giant-Map-Ampersand/ taken directly from my company logo.

That milling machine sounds lovely, does it take your standard CAD files?

I see you are also based in the UK! Even if it is a long way from myself.
Do you have plans to visit/attend any of the Mini Maker Faires this year?
Infinite Crafts (author)  gmjhowe2 years ago
Wow your ampersand is pretty huge, I must confess I'm oddly obsessed with the & sign and whenever we have miscut ones at work I squirel them away so I can add to my collection so a giant carpet one sounds pretty cool to me! Maybe I should have a wall collection but I'm afraid visitors would be mildly concerned about my mental state.

We've actually been looking into doing craft faires for a while and have been trying to pursade my boss to go to some as a punter for 'research purposes' but I don't think he's bitting :( Where abouts are you based?

Ps - little bit obsessed with AT too.
You see, having an ampersand in my logo, and being a graphic designer, it's a requirement for me to have them scattered everywhere.

People would think me insane if I didn't.

As for the maker faires, regardless of your boss, you should make an effort to go to one yourself! This year there is a increased bloom of maker faires popping up.

There was three newcastle maker faires, I attended the 2nd, then exhibited at the 3rd. I throughly recommend it.

Last year saw our first 'Mini' maker faire based in Brighton.

This year there are mini maker faires in Derby, Brighton and Manchester.
Pretty much all three are being organised/co-organised by local hackspaces.
bagnitsch2 years ago
Cool!
TXTCLA552 years ago
Looks like bing no longer offers different map viewings. At least not in my region :(
Infinite Crafts (author)  TXTCLA552 years ago
Oh that sucks. They have actually changed how to get to it on mine - where it says roads (in the top left) there is a little arrow and when you hover over it then it gives you a drop down with the options. Hope that you manage to find some maps to use. :)
Yea still no luck on my end. When I hover over the Roads arrow I get only two options. A standard road map view, and an automatic view. Thanks for your help, I think what I'll do is just go to my cities archives and copy some of the old road development maps.
Infinite Crafts (author)  TXTCLA552 years ago
The sounds really cool. Do post a picture up of yours when you've made them, it'd be interesting to see what different effects you will get. I actually made these ages ago and as they are sitting in direct sunlight and I didn't have expensive ink they have faded a bit and was considering staining/roughing them up to look more like old archieve maps!
akcook2 years ago
Was thinking of doing this to a bookshelf, thanks for the post!
morlin3 years ago
These look fantastic! I can definitely see doing these with maps and also photos in b&w and sepia tones. I think I would include a thick coat of varnish or modge podge whether made for a gift or not. Thx for the instructable!
Infinite Crafts (author)  morlin3 years ago
Hi Thanks for commenting. First one ever :o) Yeah I was going to varnish them but am still having an inner debate about if I should paint the sides of them or not! (you can't see in the photo but some of the letters are overcuts from a customer's order and so are a bit bashed on the side). Great idea for the photos - have something writen with lots of other things you could stick on and will credit you for that one.