I’ve always been a lover of Ikea.  Yes, I agree, some of their furniture is not the best quality, but there are so many other diamonds in the rough when you walk through that store that make up for it.

When I was younger, every December, my mom, dad, and I would make a big shopping trip up to King of Prussia, PA.  My brother and sister used to go, but they lost interest in it over time.  We would hit the King of Prussia Mall, Guitar Center, and Ikea.  David joined in when he was in the picture, and we added Crate and Barrel to the list then, too.

Ikea was my favorite stop.  I always got so many ideas for things there, but was limited by the fact that I could only fit so many things in my dorm room.  I remember looking at this map every time I went, thinking that one day, I’d buy it and put it in our house to keep track of all of the traveling that’d we’d do in the future.

Well, three houses later, I finally found the perfect spot to put it.  We have a large room off of our main living area that we decided to make into an office and playroom combo.  The ideal spot to teach Connor a bit of Geography.  We made the trip to Ikea to pick up a long list of things, and I finally got to the art section, walked over to the canvas area….. and it wasn’t anywhere to be found.  But they did have this map.

@!#%!@#%!!# Seriously???  After probably like 6-7 years of looking at this map, the time that I finally decide to buy it, they don’t sell it anymore?? The replacement was a piece of junk.  I decided to do some research to try and find it, as I saw the one listed on Amazon, but refused to pay that price.  It’s a funny story actually… apparently Ikea discontinued the production because of it’s controversial labeling of the “Sea of Japan.”  Damnit.

So my search continued.  With the help of Pinterest, I found this large map with decent colors on Wayfair for a good price (with a coupon of course!). The only problem was that it wasn’t a canvas.  And I wanted to stick pins into it and not ruin the wall.  So with David’s help, we came up with a pretty good idea (if I do say so myself!).

We were unable to find foam board the size of the map, so we bought a 6×8 ft piece of home insulation, cut it down to the size of the map, nailed it into the studs, and attached the map to it with some double sided tape.

I wrapped the edges of the map around the insulation and pinned it in so that it would sit nicely behind the frame.

We also needed a way to finish off the edges since it wasn’t going to look pretty.  We bought some 2.5x.75″ pine wood to surround the edges, and meet the thickness of the insulation board, and then some 3.75″ window and door mdf casing to lay on top of that to finish it off. You can see it in the below picture, where the pine wood is sitting against the wall on the top of the frame, and then the door molding lays on top.  I pre-painted the molding before installing it on the wall so that we could just touch up the nail holes when it was up.

For the finishing touches, each person got one of their own flag colors.  We bought these flag push pins off of Amazon, and we have some other colors for when we want to make any additions at some point. 😉

We had a lot of fun reminiscing about all of our past vacations and trying to remember all the states that we visited when we were kids.  And our absolute favorite vacation….

2 weeks in an RV around New Zealand was pretty much amazing.

The map was the perfect addition to the playroom and really filled up the big wall nicely.  We decided to pull an Ikea storage unit out of Connor’s closet that wasn’t getting much use to put underneath of it for future toy storage.  With Christmas coming up, I’m sure it will fill up quick. Plus, it hides our router and security system panel. Double win.

How do you keep track of your travel and vacations?

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