A long long time ago when we were still living in Korea and couldn't alter the walls of our home, the Silhouette store had the entire USA shape for free as the shape of the week. I knew right then that I had to download it and use it in our new home. See, my son is obsessed with his states and countries, and I knew a giant map of the United States on his wall would not only be awesome, but something he'd love.
Fast forward like a year, and after recovering from my painter's block from the Stenciled Bathroom I did, I was finally ready to do their room. This was a BIG project, and took a lot of planning.
My first step was to decide how big I wanted it, thus figuring out how much vinyl I needed. I had this assortment of vinyl on hand and I ended up using almost all of it. Go big or go home, right?
Then I had to decide my color choices. I did this by making a sketch of the Silhouette USA shape and then labeling each state with the color of vinyl that I was going to use. The only color choice I had to make was to put my kids' favorite colors as the states they were born in. From there I just tried to have no colors touching, of course, and then at least one bigger state and then a few smaller states in each color.
I think I ended up with about 2-3 states in each color, depending on size. Texas had to be split in two, since I didn't want to limit the size of my project to the vinyl sheets I had. Texas is just so big!
After my color choices were decided, I made a document in the Silhouette software for each sheet of vinyl. I love how you can make your page to the exact size of your material. Most of my sheets of vinyl were 12x24, but a few I had used already so they were a little shorter. I just made my document size exactly how I needed it and cut and pasted the states to each document. Here's a screenshot. I saved each document as the color corresponding with it.
Now that all the prep work was done it was time to actually tackle the room! I picked a great color for the wall to look like the ocean.
Then, since I knew the dimensions of the complete shape, I found the measurements of the center of the United States, and centered it where I wanted it on the wall (i didn't want their dressers to cover it). Since Nebraska was my center state, I started with that and worked my way outwards, moving to the west coast first and then back to the midwest and finally finishing with the East. Getting Nebraska 'just right' was crucial to my whole United States not ending up crooked.
It was a little tricky in spots, and if you were to look really really close, you'd see some states that didn't line up exactly perfect, but I think it turned out GREAT! My son was with me the whole time telling me which state needed to come next and just giving me someone to talk to. I painted the room one day and did the vinyl the next, so overall not a bad project!
After I put all the states up, it still didn't quite seem complete, so I added a title and a compass. Perfection!
What do you think?
I'll be linking up to some of these parties this week- come check them out with me!