Posted on: September 18, 2013 at 10:00 am. 3 comments
This is not a new project. At all. I started and finished this the first weekend in July, and I just never got around to posting it. I never even took a nice ‘after’ picture until writing this post (though I have taken many of my adorable cats sitting on it).
Old rolling/bar cart (I got mine for $5 at a secondhand store)
Acrylic Paint- I used white & blue (you could also use spray paint)
Foam paint brush(es)
An old map that you don’t need anymore
Mod podge/spray adhesive (I did it with mod podge, but I would recommend spray adhesive)
Total cost of this project: $5. Actually, $5.10 because I think I paid ten cents for the map a few months ago at Wastewise. Paint was from the dollar store I believe, and not an entire bottle was used so I didn’t count it towards the cost. Start with your cart:
Wash the cart with warm, soapy water. Depending on what cart you have, it may be a mix of wood/metal. Mine had wood vaneer on the trays, and the handles were metal covered in a wood vaneer. I peeled it off the handles so that it would be less likely to chip off later. For the vaneer that was peeling on the trays, I just stuck it back down with mod podge and used binder clips to hold it down to dry while I started painting the handles.
My map had a lot of whites, blues and greens (like most maps) so I chose to paint my handles white. I’m sure many people would have much preferred spray paint, but I was doing this all inside so I just used a small foam brush (I stocked up when they were $1 for 10 at Michaels) to paint over the handle. By the time I had painted all sides of both, it was dry enough to go back and do a (very necessary) second coat. I think I did 3-4 coats just to be sure.
Next, start painting the edges of the wood trays. I used a blue, just incase any of the map was slightly off when I mod podged it on. If you want to be cute like me, write a nice message in paint on the tray and send it to your boyfriend. He’ll really appreciate it, though will put up a bit of a fuss when you say you’re going to cover it up soon.
Since the map will be covering the trays, it’s not necessary to paint the entire thing. I just did the edges + random writing, because I was really bored. On the top shelf I wrote something about loving maps. One day, if/when I ever take this map off to redo it, I’m going to laugh at my past self.
While your paint dries, cut up your map. To save yourself the trouble, take your time and measure it carefully before cutting. My map was very old (from a 1952 National Geographic) and was not in the best shape. It had a lot of tears and folds so I was trying not to create any more, so I was going pretty quickly. I didn’t notice it at the time, but even this picture shows how crooked my cutting was.
Hopefully you cut yours a little bit better than mine.
Measure both trays (mine were the same size, yours may not be) and cut your map accordingly. It took me awhile to find a map big enough, but you could always do a collage of maps as well. I love the look, but I’m terrified of ripping up maps and then not liking how it turns out. This has been one of my favourite maps for awhile now and it was the PERFECT size for the cart. Make sure you account for covering the sides as well, unless you want them to be left with the wood/paint showing.
Once your paint is dry, place the map over your cart to make sure it fits (I knew shortly after this that mine was going to be a little off, so I saved end pieces from the too-big half to cover over the edges later). For this part, I would highly recommend using spray adhesive1. You can use mod podge, but mine came out extremely bubbly and I know it could have looked better. Start at one side and paint on mod podge with a foam brush. It’s much easier if you do it piece by piece, and only glue down small sections at a time and you can work out the air bubbles as you go. Keep going until you’ve got the entire map glued down, and then go over it with a coat of mod podge over the map to seal it. Do the same for the bottom tray (if you have one on your cart).
When it’s all done and dry, wait for your adorable kitten to fall asleep on it and take pictures of how adorable he is2.
If you’re an unlucky bum and don’t have a cute kitty, just wait for it to dry and take pictures of it on its own, I guess. I’m not really sure what people do without cats to ‘help’ them with their projects, though I imagine it’s a little similar to having tiny children that ‘help’.
Honestly, I will probably end up re-doing this cart at some point because I don’t like all of the air bubbles. This was the first ‘big’ mod podge project I did, and after a few more I have learned quite a bit. It looks alright from far away, and I’m sure if I put things (other than my cat) on it, it wouldn’t be as noticable. I love the cart, but I don’t have anywhere to put it so it’s currently sitting in my sunroom, holding a few old atlases that I stole from my mom.
- I knew OF that product before I did this, but I had never bought it. I decided to use it for a project I started on the next day and it was so much easier ↩
- Oh sorry, your cat isn’t as cute as Chuck? Well then you’ll just have to settle for looking at pictures of how cute MY cat is. Excuse me while I cry over how tiny and fluffy he was when I took that picture ↩