First of all, welcome to the new and improved DIY Huntress website! Things have gotten a little better looking around here recently (if I must say so myself). I hope everyone is having an easier time navigating the site! You can even use the super easy “search” bar in the top right corner to find the projects you’re looking for!
Back to business though… which is today’s project!
Having a custom sign business is seriously awesome. I get to connect with the coolest people from all over the country. In making signs for others, I’ve been wanting to make myself something fun for a while, but haven’t really had the chance. Recently though, I realized how many states I’ve been sending signs to, and thought it would be cool to make a map to keep track of where my orders are going. So, in true “bargain-huntress” fashion, I decided to gather up some old pallet wood and make myself map as an awesome excuse to start a goal of sending at least one sign to every state!
In all honesty, the materials for this project were completely FREE. But, the best part about it is that the map can double as a vacation log as well. You can use your own map to pin all of the places you’ve traveled to (or make it an excuse to take an epic road trip). Just want to design the state you live in instead of the entire country? Doable. Just swap out your USA stencil for a state stencil.
Here’s what you have to do to make your own!
What You’ll Need:
Kreg Pocket Hole Screws
1. Gather your pallet boards and lay them out to get an idea of how you want them to look. Try to make sure the boards are close in depth for easier assembling later.
2. Print out a map of the US (or a state, if you prefer) and use it to trace your shape on the pallet boards. I printed a large-and-in-charge map in several pieces on scrap paper first, and then taped them all together to get the max desired size for my piece.
3. Once the shape is traced, use your jig saw to cut along the traced lines. For this part, only cut the middle pieces and the outsides of the top and bottom boards. This will make it easier for joining them on the back later (and will also help to make sure none of the states go missing in the process). For example, If I cut Maine out before joining the pieces, I would have had a difficult time getting it to stay in tact.
Disclaimer: The reason I chose to cut out the entire map board-by-board, before joining the pieces, was to make sure that none of the pocket holes would get in the way of the jig saw later. You can join your pieces together first, but make sure to either trace your map backwards on the back of the piece, or measure well enough to know that the jig saw won’t run into any screws when cutting later.
4. Once you have the larger pieces cut out, line them up on a flat surface (as you can see here, my bottom and top pieces are not entirely cut out yet). Next, flip them over, making sure the ends of pieces line up with their neighbors. If all goes well, you should have a mirrored image of your state or country.
5. Measure out spaces on your piece for your pocket holes. Mine were about 6″ apart from one another.
6. Use your Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes on your markings.
7. Join the pieces together using the appropriate pocket hole screws (you can find which ones are meant for the width and makeup of the boards you’re using in the manual provided with your jig).
8. Once all of the pieces are connected, flip the map back over and use your jig saw to continue cutting out the outline.
9. Use a sander to get rid of splinters and rough edges.
10. Add hooks to the back of the map for hanging.
11. Hang your map and start pinning all of the places you’ve traveled to (or sent products to if you have a business)!
This project was a lot of fun from start to finish and took me a day to complete. I love that it just hangs above my desk now and serves as a reminder of how many more places I want to send my signs to! For now, I’m dedicating one pin per state. I’ll eventually start to color code pins based on quantities sent… but that’s a project for another day.
Hopefully one day I can pin all 50 states (I’ll make small floating cut outs for Alaska and Hawaii when the time comes)!
What do you think? Will you be making a state or country sign in the near future? If you do, I’d love to see it! Tag your work to #diyhunted on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for a chance to be featured!
Hope you guys loved this project as much as I did! Until next time…