Friday, November 18, 2011

Home made US Puzzle.

I've actually been working on my Christmas gifts since August, but it wasn't until Tuesday that I finally finished one. Yes, I'm worried. Every year, I will make a gift for my dad, my stepMom, and at least two or three for each of my kids. My dad is hard to please, he will tell you that anything he wants, he can (and does) buy it for himself. Often ruining everyones attempts to get him something he will love. But not me, because he can't buy what I make him. :)
And my kids, well, that started because my husband is a Christmas hog. Every year, he totally hogs Christmas, not listening to my ideas and if I disagree with something he wants to buy the kids, he just gets it anyway. So my Making Christmas started as a protest . But to his amzsement, the kids have told him they look forward to their made gifts nearly as much as their bought gifts. Almost, because hey, I can't exactly make a laptop or a cellphone. But they do look forward to my gifts each year. If you get the impression that my husband and I are one of those clear cut cases of "opposites attract" you would be quite right.

So, here is gift #1, a puzzle map:

I downloaded this map off of google somewhere. It was in color, but I fixed it up for printing.

I chose a piece of mat board, approximately 16 x 20 inches.

I printed my map off into four pieces.

I took a pencil and ued it to graphite the back of each piece, after trimming off the margins.

I taped the four pieces together and taped them to the front of the board. I used a ballpoint pen to trace over the lines and transfer the map onto the mat board. You might tell that I made it a little too big, so I chose a spot at the edge (between NY and Vermont) and moved that section to a different piece of the board.

Once transferred in pencil, I began painting the states using 4 different colors of acrylic paint. 5 colors would have been better.

After all of the states were painted and dried, I took two different sharpies and outlined them. I used the thinner sharpie for areas of New England where the states were so tiny that they would need to be grouped together and not cut out individually.

I wrote the names on with a sharpie. I thought it looked neat to have two different thicknesses in wirting.

Cutting the pieces out with an exacto knife was tricky. I took my time, went slowly and carefully, and didn't try to cut into every nook and cranny.

And there it is. I am not sure which kid this is going to  get this yet, or whether or not I want to put magnets onto the back of the pieces, but's one I can check off my list anyways!

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