Introduction: Giant Map Ampersand

About: I am a British Graphic Designer and Photographer, when I am not working, I spend my time making an array of projects. I used to make a lot of props, but now I spend most my time building crazy cameras and shoo…
Recently I have been putting some time into making my studio a bit more presentable. Now that I can outsource all my messy work to Nottingham Hackspace I can focus on a more tidy space.

When reading my new favourite blog Apartment Therapy I noticed a penchant for giant letters.
As you can see from my logo (my avatar on here) I love ampersands, so it was only natural that I make a giant ampersand.

I also spotted a 'map' letter on Pinterest so I knew I had to make a GIANT MAP AMPERSAND

Here is how I did it with some double sided tape, a knife, some corrugated cardboard and an old military map.
(to make it super easy, it helps to have a projector and a computer)

Step 1: Trace & Cut

There are three ways to trace your chosen letter onto your cardboard.
  1. Use a projector to project the letter onto the card, then trace by hand
  2. Print out a series of pages from your printer and tile them together
  3. Use a small print out with some sort of grid reference and try and free hand it
I used the projector option as I wanted to use the exact same font as from my logo. So I took the computer generated logo and output it as a vector so I could easily scale it on the projector.

If you have a simple letter, like a H, or an N you can get away with drawing it by hand. If there are lots of curves I recommend printing lots of pages from your home printer and piecing them together. Obviously if you can borrow a projector at work, or at school it makes for an easy job.

Once you have your shape traced, use a Stanley knife (box cutter) to cut out your shape. Remember to use a cutting board, otherwise you will have a GIANT CARPET AMPERSAND and a GIANT ANGRY WIFE.

Step 2: Tape & Map

Next we want to attach our double sided tape to the front of our letter. Make sure its the side facing you, with the letter reading correctly.

I found attaching it around the outside and inside edges of the letter was plenty enough to hold the map in place.

Other options you could try are,
  1. Spray mount, an aerosol spray glue that you can use to coat the card and attach the map
  2. Thin layer of PVA (elmers glue), make sure its a really nice thin layer, otherwise the moisture could cause your map to wrinkle
Lay your map facedown on the floor, then carefully press your cardboard letter facedown onto the back of the map.
Carefully press down on the letter to ensure it sticks and makes contact.

If you used a wet glue, lay a large piece of ply and some weights on top until its dry.

Step 3: Cut & Trim

Next we want to trim off our excess map.

I found the easiest way to do this was to hold the map cardboard side up, I then carefully pierced the Stanley knife (box cutter) through, then resting against the card board slowly traced the edge of the letter to cut off the extras.

Every now and then you might want to cut off a lump of the map by making a cut from the letter to the edge of the map.
You can see I cut my out with three pieces around the outside.

Step 4: Press & Display

If you used double sided tape, or spray glue run your hands over the map side of the letter to press it down and ensure it is stuck down.

If there are any bits that you mess up, you can easily use a bit of your spare map to patch them up!

Thats it, your letter is done, find somewhere suitable in your home to show it off.

I decided to put it behind my camera collection on the top of my makers desk.

If you wanted you could either put it in a window, or hand it as a piece of art on the wall.

I hope you enjoyed this nice simple instructable.
Please do post a picture if you make one yourself!
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