In this instructable I provide a comprehensive guide to my process of making these wood-metal maps which look great on a wall. It doesn't even have to be a world map. It can be a country map, or a state map, or maybe not even a map. I actually plan to make some machinery blueprints into decorations of this nature.
Only a few tools and cheap materials required!
Let's get started!
Step 1: Materials/Tools
(I used 1/3" plywood, but use any you wish)
- Sheet Metal
(I used Aluminum sheet metal, but use what you will, be it copper/brass/etc.)
- Small nails/pins
(I used 3/4" weatherstrip nails)
- Shears for Sheet Metal
(I used shears 18gauge sheet metal, which can cut in any direction)
- Tin Snips
- Cord/Twine/Strong String of some form
(I used leather cord)
- Two Small Screws
- A Screwdriver for those Screws
- Protective gloves
(Remember that sheet metal is sharp)
- Wood Stain (I stained the edges of the wood in a circular pattern for that circular globe look)
- Sandpaper (I used sandpaper to give the metal a texture)
Step 2: Find a Template
Find a template online of a vectorised image. If you're making a map like I did, then find the best-looking image you wish to cut out. It can be as complex of a design as you wish, but remember that you'll be cutting this out of metal with shears. So think about your cutting ability, and think about your shears' cutting ability. Also remember to scale the template to the size of what you're building.
Step 3: Cut Wood (and Stain As You Wish)
Cut out the preferred shape of wood, according to how big your piece will be. The image you see is the piece of wood used for the tiny map I recently made.
Optional.) Stain the wood however you like. I used dark wood stain to darken the edges and essentially brushed in a circular pattern to have that circle design.
Step 4: Cut Metal Shapes
Trace the template onto the metal, and use the shears to cut out the metal shapes.
Step 5: Glue Metal Shapes to Wood
Use Superglue/GorillaGlue/Epoxy to glue each piece upon the wood.
Step 6: Nail Metal Shapes to Wood (sand Pieces for a Texture As You Wish)
For extra support, and a nice rustic look, hammer the nails into the edges of each shape.
Because the nails will be longer than the thickness of the wood, you'll notice that the nail penetrates through the wood and emerges from the other side. All you do is snip the excess length of the nail with the tin snips, so that there's nothing sticking out of the back of the wood.
For even more support, once you're done nailing the pieces into the wood, add a drop of glue on each nail stump.
Optional.) Once all of the pieces are nailed in, you can use sandpaper to give the metal a texture.
Step 7: Make It Hangable
You will need a way to hang it on the wall. The way I did this was as follows: On the back of the wood, screw one of the screws into the far left of the board, and screw another screw into the far right of the board. Basically you will have a screw on each end of the wood. With your strong lace/cord, tie each end of the lace/cord to one of the screws. Once you finish, you'll essentially have a strong string with each end tied to a screw on each end of the back of the wood. That's how you will hang it on the wall. You will rest the string on whatever tack or nail you have on the wall.
You can do whatever you want to hang it on the wall. This is just what I did.
Step 8: Admire the Finished Product
Hang your project upon the wall, and enjoy it as a conversation starter, or just something cool to look at. A nice thing to display in any man-cave/living room/mantle/anywhere.
Once again, it doesn't necessarily need to be a map. It can be any design you wish! Have fun!