yes, sweetie, that’s prince edward island

4/20/11

Adventures in Dexedrine, Chapter CXVI

As many of you know, I’m a sucker for “fucking with walls”, and that includes the many houses I’ve rented. I’m also a sucker for “doing things that weren’t allowed in my own room as a kid”, so I dreamed up a little project for Lucy’s bedroom that has worked out pretty well.

First off, I wanted a full-wall dry erase board because then you can draw all over the place without any sort of repercussion. But I also wanted it to be magnetic so you could stick all kinds of things on there. But to keep it from looking like a blue-sky meeting at a failed dot-com, it needed a theme. And of course, I’m always gaga for maps.

So I found a nice company that makes magnetic dry erase sheets cut to your desired length, and fit three strips on Lucy’s wall with nice non-toxic glue. I don’t recommend doing this part all by yourself like I did, because you’ll end up gluing your nuts to the ceiling, but the material is pretty forgiving.

DryEraseWallLucyRm3(bl).jpg

Then I borrowed a cheap digital projector, hooked it to my laptop, and projected an image of North America onto the wall. I was going to trace the borders with permanent marker, but Tessa wisely countered that it would smear, and tests proved her correct. So I got some very adhesive gaffer and duct tape, and made long, thin strips with a box cutter. Then came the painstaking part: going along each border and deciding how accurate I wanted this thing to be.

DryEraseMapLucyRm(bl).jpg

DryEraseMapTapeLucy(bl).jpg

I would have done more, but I also wanted the wall to be clear enough for Lucy to experiment and make her own mark, so I traced the outline of the United States, and part of Canada and Mexico. Then, with red duct tape, I outlined the states where we have family or history, so that later we can put pictures around it.

DryEraseMapStatesLucy(bl).jpg

The best magnets, in my long and storied opinion, are the Rare Earth Cube Magnets, which are strong enough to cleave to anything remotely steel-ish, but small enough to negate itself with its own weight. If you know what I mean. A few packs of these, and a few magnetic letter alphabets, and we started putting things on it a few nights ago. Every bedtime, Lucy and I talk about a different place on the map.

LucyDryEraseWallStart(bl).jpg

As a counterpoint, this is the other thing I’ve made over the last two weeks:

ThorGarageCabinet(bl).jpg

Yep, it’s a box-framed cabinet to hold large objects and emergency supplies in the garage. Total time to make the dry erase magnetic map: 2 days. Total time to make the garage storage cabinet: 4 days. No, I don’t understand it either.

0 thoughts on “yes, sweetie, that’s prince edward island

  1. killian

    Such fabulosity–am going to copy the magnetic dry erase wall for my study. . . fortunately i don’t have a garage, so won’t have to tackle the box framed cabinet. Kudos to You!

    Reply
  2. Caroline

    That’s fantastic. I want that in my room. I’m sure you have also seen the paint that can make your walls like a chalk board which is also cool but maybe gives you cancer?

    Reply
  3. Ian

    We’ve got plans for Europe, which would accurately go on the other side of the door. But Asia would run into the closet and the windows, so we probably can’t do it and remain true, you know, cartographically. That, and I’m culturally insensitive.
    Caroline- that stuff is awesome, but very hard to paint smooth enough for decent chalk writing. There’s also the magnetic chalkboard paint, but magnets don’t stick to it unless you do, like, 5 layers- and my patience usually runs out after 1.

    Reply
  4. Lisa on Maui

    @Caroline: They sell spray chalkboard paint–I covered over a crappy dry erase board and it works really well.
    I love the wall sized dry erase. Awesome!

    Reply
  5. monheric

    Wish you were my dad. Well, my second dad – my first dad is an elementary science teacher so we had some pretty great experimenting/toxic/dangerous/fun times.

    Reply

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