We picked up a United States puzzle this winter at a library materials sale that (we didn’t know it then!) was missing two edge pieces. Because the state pieces are all shaped like the states themselves the puzzle wouldn’t stay together with an incomplete border and it frustrated everyone. I couldn’t donate an incomplete puzzle, and didn’t want to throw it away, so it sat on a shelf for a bit until I came up with the perfect project for it. Here’s what I made…
and here’s how I did it…!
Throwing away all the pieces besides the states I made the puzzle and glued the pieces securely to construction paper. I spray painted the whole country white with glossy white spray paint. On a piece of masonite I mod-podged a piece of awesome paisley cotton fabric. I glued the white country to this with liquid nails, placing some heavy books and weights evenly on the puzzle to glue it evenly and securely.
I didn’t have a frame that fit the piece, but did have several lengths of distressed molding in the workshop, so I painted these a lovely green that I used previously here and here, and then cut them to length and attached them with liquid nails directly to the masonite board. The corners did not come out perfectly so I filled in the gaps with a bit of wood putty and then touched up the paint. I attached some hanging hardware and now it happily hangs on our wall.
This was a very simple project that for some reason took such a long time to pull together…but we are so happy it did. I just love the way the focus becomes the shapes and lines of the states when all color and geographic references are removed from the map. The shapes and lines are so interesting and create such beauty together. An added bonus…the littles ablility to identify states based on shape has increased as we use this map in geogrphic exploring adventures. Art to learn from…yup…I love it!