Monday, September 23, 2013

September Craft Challenge: Anja's Amazing American Paper Art

  Anja is rapidly becoming my craft idol. Having visited her beautiful home in the summer and seen her creativity in action, this month's craft entry came as NO surprise to me whatsoever. I absolutely love this and am totally stealing it for my table centres at the wedding. I had another idea to do with maps...and this has just blown it out of the water. Thank goodness I hadn't already made them, hey? Remember that you can vote for your favourite paper project next week and link up your own.

Vacations are awesome. I guess I don't have to tell you that. But the buzz of holiday happiness wears off so quickly once you get back to work and into your daily routine. That's why I always try to find a cute way of remembering the holiday, besides just framing some of your favourite photos. That's why I decided to make some state art from paper and the state quarters that I collected.

Of course, this also works fine for your trip around Asia or Europe or whatever, just that in Europe you'll have to collect the different Euro coins from the respective countries you visited. (We have the same currency in most European countries, but there are different pictures on the back of the coins.)
This month's Craft challenge topic is paper, so besides having had a couple of paper projects so far (for example the paper flower lamp and the DIY mini book) this idea worked perfectly for the topic. Which is a good thing because I wouldn't have had the time to come up with something completely out of the blue. The state art was something that I had been planning to do all along.

When we were in the states this summer, we made it a habit of trying to collect as many state quarters as we could. Of course, we also tried to get all the quarters of states we have been to which wasn't all that easy. I chatted up hotel concierges and bartenders and ended up with lots of quarters, but I am still missing Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia. I love state quarters!
Here's how you can make your own state art:
First, you have to find the outlines of the states you want to use. There are lots of resources on the internet, for example. For mine, I used a kids' colouring book. Cut them out. Don't worry about every little island or inlet because that is really trouble (I'm talking about you, Maryland!)

Use those outlines as templates on pretty coloured paper. I decided to use different hues of blue, some with patterns, some without.

I bought a bunch of simple white frames at Ikea. As you want to hang your frames together, you'll want a bit of a uniform look. So I used two makeshift templates: I folded one paper to designate the highest and the lowest point where the state outline could be glued. And I used the scrap paper in the frame as a template for where the coin should be. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it really helps with a nice and clean look of all the frames.
Glue the state outline and the coin onto a white paper. Basically, now you're done. Pretty nifty, right?
The only thing left to do for me was hang the frames on the wall. That's a lot of measuring, but it's not all that hard.

Wait, this is not a wall, right? Well, no it isn't. We have had two weeks of terrible weather, so I didn't get any good pictures of this project on the wall. The photo on the floor isn't super professional, either, but I guess you will have to live with that!

Besides displaying your vacation destinations, there are so many great things you can do like that. For example, if you move around a lot, why not create a frame for each state or country where you lived? I can also imagine a wall of all the fifty states in a kid's room to learn something about the USA. After all, the state quarters have dates and symbols on them.

This is a perfect way for us to make our 'significant' places centre pieces, don't you think? AND it gives me a reason to head to Ikea for frames. Whoop! In other news, I am still packing....or I should be right now, but I am putting my head into a number of chores that must be done today - including a load of school prep. Up next, I am booking my one-way flight to Germany. Can you believe it! After 3 years and 4 months of commuting between countries, we'll finally be in the same place - AND married to boot. 4 weeks and 5 days to go until I'm a Mrs (not that I'm counting at all.). Any marriage advice I should follow from Day One?
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Cocalores said...

Marriage advice? Never stop seeing the good things and never stop making an effort! :-)

Glad you like the idea! It didn't even occur to me that this might be perfect for you guys, too!


ifs ands Butts said...

I want a Texas one!!

Bright and Beautiful Life said...

What a neat idea. It would be so fun to make these for each state we've lived in. Thanks for the idea and the tutorial. Do you think you could share this project and any other great projects you have over at our link party? Lori @ A Bright and Beautiful Life.

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