Lately I have two things in abundance: time and empty walls.
The first is because Tara’s in DC for the summer. I’ve gone to visit on some weekends here and there, but for the most part, it’s just me and Oliver here in Harrisonburg. The empty wall space exists because our two roommates have since moved out of our apartment, which means one of their old rooms is now my office / man cave.
The first piece of furniture to go in was the desk:
After that, I also bought a bookshelf, a lamp, and a few other things that almost any room needs. The one thing that I am traditionally not so good at doing is decorating the walls. I set out to remedy that by following this guide to making a giant wall map on the cheap.
Getting all the materials was easy enough, and the guide does a pretty good job of showing you what to do. However, there’s a couple ways it could be improved.
First, it doesn’t mention that most hardware stores will cut the pickets for you. :) This worked out great for me, since we don’t have a saw, and even if we did, frankly I’m not too confident in my woodworking abilities. I think they maybe charge you $2 or something, but it’s totally worth it.
Second, watch how long the screws are! If you use 5/8″ screws like I did, sometimes the tip of the screw will end up poking out the other side of the picket. :( Use 1/2″ screws at the most.
Third, even after you have all the frame pieces attached using the L straps, the two shorter sides of the frame can still rotate laterally. The solution is to take four longer nails and hammer them at an angle, down through the corners of the top and bottom pickets and into the ends of the side pickets, like so:
This will stabilize the shorter pickets on the sides and prevent them from rotating. Just be careful as you’re hammering so that the nails don’t pop out of the front or back of the frame!
Lastly, the guide recommends that you stain the wood, but I ended up not doing this because the cedar smells so good on its own! No sense ruining that with some noxious chemicals. :)
More photos of my giant wall map are here.