...said in my best Michelle Tanner impression.

The other day I was doing my daily facebook stalking viewing when I came across one of my best friend's status:

Anyone who's a fan of inexpensive Swedish furniture and meatballs knows what those flags mean:

Not a minute later, I was on the phone giving her my "order":

Although I already had a project in mind for this frame, I actually had her pick up a couple Ribba frames, because with the closest Ikea over an hour and half away, you can never have too many Ribba frames.

The specific project I had in mind for the larger frame was something I had seen in a fellow blogger's post:


It's a cut-out of road map of Savannah, GA, where her and her husband spent their honeymoon.  I loved the graphic look, as well as the sentimental value it had.  I knew I wanted to do something similar, and chose to do our neighborhood.  We actually live in a small division of a much larger city and chose to highlight our area, as well as some of the surrounding areas.

I started by using the dimensions of the large Ribba frame and sized a Google map of our neighborhood to fit.  I then used Photoshop to draw each of the streets.  I then removed the map layer and was left with my black and white street map. I then printed it out on 6 - 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of paper and cut and taped them together.  I then taped this map on top of a piece of card stock and taped it to my cutting board.

(The following pictures are actually from my first attempt, which was done in a smaller size and I tried using a three-ply cardstock.  About an hour after starting to cut, I realized that my little fingers couldn't handle the three-ply and went back to the store to get thinner cardstock.  Just trying to keep it real for ya!)

After everything was secured down, I started to cut out everything that was white.  I cut anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour a day, sometimes more, sometimes less.  Pretty much whenever I felt like it, and it took me about two weeks to finish.  It may have taken less time, but sometimes I had to take some unexpected breaks due to the working conditions:

You know Benelli likes to help out when he can.  And it never fails, if you're doing something and Benelli wants to join, no matter how many times you push him off the table, he will get his way.  That's why Mike and I finally got smart and got him something that would let him feel like he's a part of the action and still let Mom and Dad work. 

Back to the project.  After I cut everything out it looked something like this:

And removing the template, I was left with this:

I then added some blue paper backing and loaded it into the Ribba frame. 

I'm really happy with the way it turned out, and for those that know the area, it's been fun pointing out our street and finding their houses.

UPDATE:  Not an hour after I published this post, I came across an Etsy shop that features an artist that makes these cut-out maps.  She's even been featured in museums!  Her shop is amazing, and all I can say is, I'm glad we don't live in Toronto.  There's a reason she's selling that for $1,100, wow! 


  1. lovely finished product.
    i think it would be really cool to make Jason one of all the cities he has lived in :)
    think you could help me get started with the correct materials? since i left you hanging on the headboard...

  2. Definitely! That would be a really cute idea for Jason! Let me know which cities you want and we can work on getting a template made in Photoshop. That would be a really cool graphic collection!

  3. Jason saw this posted on my FB wall and loved it-he thought it would be really cool to have one of all the places he has lived....that turkey. He ALWAYS guesses surprises :)
    Well, CFalls, Norfolk, VA and Kansas City, MO --but I want to make sure I get a map that includes the part he lived in of each city. Thank Mal, I knew you would help :)

  4. Love, Love, Love It! I started one of our community, but after 5 minutes my hand cramps up. I think mine will take months to complete. Great job!!!

  5. Ooh, your map turned out great! So glad you found some inspiration from our blog!

  6. 1) That project is amazing! Consider it Pinterest'ed.
    2) I know this isn't the topic of the post, but where did you find that modular organization/storage furniture the map is parked on? I really like it!

  7. Lina T. - Thanks for checking out my project, and for pinning me! The storage cubes I have are the Jetmax Modular Storage units, and I got them at Michael's. I think they are about $30 or so, but I waited until they were on sale for 50% off, which happens pretty often.