We got back from Hawaii a little over a week ago (you can read all about our adventures here) but I swear that I can still smell the salt water and hear the waves crashing. Spending a week in paradise with my family was truly an experience that I will treasure forever.
While in Hawaii, I took a bazillion photos and though sharing them on Facebook was fun, I wanted a better way to showcase them so that I could see them every day and be reminded of our magical week. I was also feeling a little crafty over the weekend so I decided to get creative and come up with my own, handmade vacation photo frame. It turned out even better than I had expected and it was SO simple to put together.
This idea is one that can be used for anyone looking to preserve travel memories–just be sure to pick up a cheap, gas station map when you are at your destination because it will serve as the focal point of your frame. A few other inexpensive materials and a little bit of time are all you need to create a treasured reminder of your travels.
Simple D.I.Y. Vacation Map Photo Frame
Items You’ll Need
-Map from your destination (I got mine from a gas station–it doesn’t have to be fancy)
–Wooden Frame The frame that I purchased had three openings for photos but you can choose any kind of unfinished wooden frame that you like. Just be sure that your frame is smaller than your map.
–Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
-Sea shells, ticket stubs or other small items from your trip
Creating Your Frame
1.) Unfold your map and take a look at it. You’ll want your frame to be centered in the “prettiest” part of your map so decide what part of your map you want to be included on your frame.
2.) Lay your map face down on your work surface with your frame laying face down over the part of your map that you will be working with.
3.) Cut out your map around your frame allowing enough extra map on all sides to wrap around to the back of your frame.
4.) Cut out the map section that is in the center of the opening(s) for the photo(s). Make sure to remove the glass and again, be sure to leave enough room to be able to wra
p the map around to the back of the frame. I cut little slits in the corners to make it easier to wrap the map around the frame.
5.) Wrap your map around the frame. This is the most complicated part of creating your frame–but it really isn’t that difficult. My approach was to treat it as though I was wrapping a Christmas present with the frame being the present and the map being the gift wrap. At first I tried using my hot glue gun to glue the map in place but it was too cumbersome and I kept burning my fingers, so I just started using regular craft glue and it did just fine. Don’t worry about the back of your frame being pretty–no one is going to see it except you.
6.) Modge Podge the entire frame. Not only will covering the entire frame in Modge Podge give it a prettier, glossy look–it will also help to secure the map to the frame. Be sure to let the Modge Podge dry completely before moving to the next step.
7.) Affix sea shells, ticket stubs etc. I didn’t actually end up using the two sea shells from the photo above because instead, I discovered that one of the shell leis that I received in Hawaii just happened to fit perfectly around the frame. Whatever small knick knacks you choose to use as embellishments for your frame can just be hot glued to the front of the frame. This step is optional if you prefer to leave your frame unembellished.
8.) Re-insert glass and add photos.
9.) Hang and admire your handiwork and your vacation memories.