Through a crazy set of circumstances my 14 year old son traveled from one US coast to the other, mostly by car/bus, over a 4 day period. When he returned I wanted to give him something to commemorate his adventure by making a personalized road trip map art for his room.
When I see second-hand picture frames that are in good shape I pick them up so that I can replace the existing pictures with art of my choosing. Many people will get rid of a frame because they no longer like the picture, so this can be an inexpensive way to pick up frames in perfect shape at a fraction of new cost. I chose one from my stock that had a black metal frame and an off-white mat.
I wanted to make a stylized map of the US, not something too precise. Fortunately, I found a great printable copy of a simplified US map at TimVanDeVall.com (no affiliation to site). I put it into Powerpoint and sized it to fit nicely in the selected frame, then printed it. Card stock would have produced a higher quality result but I used regular printer paper because I wanted to be able to easily see through the paper for the next step.
I then went to the MapQuest web site, put in the multiple stops (Orlando, Atlanta, Wichita, San Diego) and selected ‘get directions’. I took a screen snapshot then put it into Powerpoint and sized it to be identical to the stylized map. I printed it out and lay the printed stylized map over top. Using a medium-tip permanent marker, I traced the route onto the stylized map.
I cut out the personalized road trip map and put it in the recycled picture frame.
That was all it took – zero cost and 30 minutes start to finish and my son now has a personalized road trip map to commemorate his travels, and it is an easy and fun DIY piece of art for a teen boy’s room.