Monday, September 7, 2015

Blog With Friends-Back to School

Welcome to September's Blog with Friends- Back to School Edition!

This month we've got 8 great posts/projects all surrounding the Back to School theme. Below you'll see mine and after that you'll find the links to all of the other great posts.

I've decided to create a travel map. Up front, I'm telling you that this is by no means complete. It's going to take me months to get the past trips and life events onto the map, and many years to get the future one in. This is a project that I hope to continue for life.

The first thing I had to do was find the right map. This one I bought from Family Dollar for $1. I also bought a world map that I plan to hang so we can plot Bob's trips when he was in the Marine Corps, and any future out-of-country trips we may get to take. Down the line, I might buy a new, better map. But, in the interest of getting this post done in time, this map will do.

The supplies that I used, so far, included a map, 4 pieces of foam board, push pins of different colors, packaging tape, white yarn (not pictured) and Gorilla tape (not pictured). I had considered using the foam, double-sided sticky things that are in the picture, but Bob said he'll make me a frame sometime in the future and I can hang the project from that.

I taped the four pieces of foam board together (purchased at The Dollar Tree). I taped the back seams together using the Gorilla tape, then just some of the front seams using the packaging tape.

Temporarily, I hung the board on the wall using nails at the corners. Again, Bob is going to build me a frame when he has some time to do it.

I taped the map to the boards making sure it was as centered as I could get it.

Let me stop here and tell you that you can put your map on the boards however you want to. As a matter of fact, you don't have to use the foam board. The foam board, I found, is a little too thin for the push pins and they're still going into the wall, which was what I was trying to avoid. Bob and I are still trying to find a solution to this that isn't going to cost an arm and a leg. I could buy a piece of thick cork board, but it will cost around $50 or more. We're exploring other options before we go that route.

I wanted something that I could hang on the wall, but it would be removable for painting or moving without having to remove every push pin and have to start from scratch every time we had to take it down. I found a cork board at Wal-mart that might be big enough for the map itself, and I may still go that route in the future. It just might not be in time for this post.

I made a legend of what color push pin represents who.

Right now Clone of Bob and Boo don't go very many places by themselves, but they'll have their representative color in the future.

Just to start it off, I pinned a few of the places we've been or where life events occurred. Like where the kids were born and the trip to Chicago we took in 2012.

Then I found some corresponding pictures or memorabilia to "string" to the pins.

You'll see the kids' baby pictures and the drawing below it was done when my mom took me to Florida when I was a child.

I have a bunch of pennants, pictures, and other memorabilia to put with this. I also plan to go through my mom's stash of pictures from our trips to see what I could add.

Needless to say, when I'm done, this will probably take up a whole wall. Unfortunately, the only wall I might be able to put the whole project on is in the den. Not everyone will see it, but that's okay.

I planned to print the saying, "Take a Trip Back in Time" to hang above the project. I haven't decided exactly how I want that to look yet.

The point of this post is to just give you a starting point, or an idea. It can be changed or customized however you want to do it. You could hang the map directly on the wall if you don't mind a bunch of little holes in the wall behind it.

You can add memorabilia, like the puppet my mom bought for me when we visited Mexico for a day (Tijuana) or the tickets and picture from when we visited Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in 2012 if you happen to save that kind of thing.

I'm also working on photo books from our trips. I thought about making small shelves, or ledges really, to hang on the wall so we could set the photo book on it and run a string from the photo book shelf to the pin.

The options and styles are endless!

The reason I thought of this for back-to-school was so that if you're the type of family that takes a trip every summer, you could have your kids help you pin the map and pick what gets hung with it. Then, when they go back to school, they can show their teacher right on a map or globe where they went that summer. It's a small geography lesson every summer.

Now for the other great posts!!!

Karen at Baking in a Tornado tells us about her Kit Kat Brownie bars. She says, "Our back to school tradition has always been to make favorite meals and treats the entire week before school starts. Kit Kat Brownie Bars are a new addition to the line-up."

Rabia at the Leiber Family Blog shows us how to make a Personalized Pencil PouchYour kids can personalize their own, easy to create, pencil pouch to use all year! Plus, you can get organized to stay on top of things this school year!

Lydia at Cluttered Genius shares her Favorite Sites for Teaching Online. which is a list of favorite web 2.0 tools from an online teacher!

Stacy at Stacy Sews and Schools shows us how to make a Cozy Cover, which is a nap mat cover.

Joy at Evil Joy Speaks shows us her Back to School Homework Table that gives your kids a place to do their homework.

Melissa at Home on Deranged tells us which apps to use and which apps to avoid during this back-to-school season with her Back to School Apps blog post.

Last, but not least, Robin at Someone Else's Genius gives us a tutorial on Back-to-School wreath making.


  1. That map is super cute! I used to have a much smaller version with travels my husband and I took early in our relationship and marriage. I didn't keep up with it very once once we had kids and I regret that.

    1. I didn't decide to make one until my kids were almost grown. Of course, we didn't travel much when they were little.

  2. This is such a brilliant idea!! I hope to do this one day! We can include all the places we've lived!! Lol

  3. I love that this map keeps changing all through life as you continue to travel. Then you have a record all in one place. Great project.

  4. This is genius. We have a bucket list and part of that is to go to every state in the US. This would be so fun to keep up with!

    1. That would be fun! I don't see us visiting every state, although when I was a child, we got through about half of them, I think.

  5. This idea is fabulous! Makes me want to travel more.

  6. I can't wait to try this. We drive all over the country and have a million pictures and such to go with each location. I'm dreaming of the snowboarding places we can go and the stickers to go with those locations. I may have to make one of these just for myself!

    1. I was thinking I needed one for myself from when I was a child. My mom and I drove across the country to California (from PA). I have so much stuff from that trip. Then DH and his military travels; he needs a world map.