BONUS POST! Hand Stitched Route Frame

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I stumbled across this pin not too long ago, and I put it on my secret Gift Ideas board. Muahahaha I have all these awesome secret gift ideas that you’ll never know about 😉 Unless of course, you get one of them.

I thought this was going to be a super easy craft, because it looks pretty self-explanatory. I honestly didn’t even click the link to see if it took me to a tutorial or anything. I have a haiku for you that reflects on my experience:

Really, what the hell

There are no maps anywhere

Its 2013

                Here’s another one:

Needles are complex

Sharps, quilting, ball point, chenille

Oh my God wait, what?

Well apparently there’s a tiny little map section near the travel books in Barnes and Noble. Heads up: they’re like six bucks. I paid $6 for a giant map of the ENTIRE northeast so I could cut an 8×11 rectangle from Philly to Boston. It’s like they’re antiques now or something. And I used red embroidery floss to stitch with, because I wanted the line to be more noticeable than regular thread would allow. However, I had literally NO clue about what the right needle would be. I was already at Michael’s when I realized that this might pose a problem, so I bought myself a cheap pack of five assorted ones. Here’s a really basic description of the five needles that came in the package I bought.

Sharps- They’re sharp. I didn’t use this one because the eye seemed too small for my embroidery floss, but apparently it’s the most basic kind of needle, and the most popular one for most projects.

Quilting Needles- These are good for projects where you’ll be doing detailed work. They’re short, and they have a small eye. Since I was looking for something with a large eye, I eliminated it right away. Also though, it was hard to hold because it was so small.

Embroidery Needles- Apparently, this is the one that I was supposed to use, because, well, duh it’s called an embroidery needle and I was using embroidery floss. Its eye is supposed to be large enough to accommodate the floss, but I like to go big or go home, so the chenille’s eye seemed more appealing.

Ball Points- These needles are basically the opposite of sharps. They’re rounded off on the bottom so they’re better for projects that use knit fabric. This was no good for this project because I wanted a sharper one.

Chenille- tadaaa! This is the one I ended up using. It probably wasn’t ideal, because it’s a thick needle, but it did have a sharp point so it went through the paper easily without ripping it. It’s supposed to be used for things like ribbon, so that’s why the eye is so large, but it worked for what I was using it for. In the future, I’ll know to try to use an embroidery needle, but this worked just fine.

For the overachievers out there, you’re technically supposed to use a thimble too, but I didn’t. That’s just supposed to protect your fingers from getting poked when the needle comes through the fabric, or in our case, paper.

The next hardest part of this project was finding the actual roads that you’re supposed to take. I’ve never actually had to use a physical map to get from point A to point B, so it was seriously overwhelming. It’s a generational problem, I know. Judge me. So I was on Google Maps looking at their route and trying to find the same roads on this dumb paper map. I think I hurt my brain. In the end though, it worked out okay because I figured no one was going to REALLY check up on the route to Boston and call me out on it.

Please don’t do that.

Once I got the hang of it though, doing the sewing was actually really relaxing and therapeutic. I wanted to keep going, except I think the friend I was sending it to in Boston would have been kind of confused.

The next step was to find a frame. Michael’s has a large selection of frames that range from gargantuan to minuscule, ornate to boring, and everywhere in between. I settled on a plain metal one. It was cheap and it was kind of masculine which was important because it was for a guy. It’s the one in the picture at the top of the post. However, if you choose to toss your purse onto the same chair that is housing the glass picture frame you just bought, know that it will probably shatter. And if it shatters, no one will want to drive you to Michael’s again to get another one. So you’ll have to wait until someone wants to go to Goodwill, and then you’ll buy a used frame there that has scratches on it. And then it’ll be like a week past your friend’s birthday which is kind of an awkward situation. But don’t worry, it’ll get there in time for his next birthday.

Personally, I think that even though I ran into a couple roadblocks, this craft came out pretty well. I would lovelovelove to do it again. My friend loved it, too. His exact words when he got it were “I adore you,” which is always lovely to hear 🙂 It’s so great because it’s not too expensive (it ended up being less than $10, even with the frame mishap) and it’s something that has a lot of meaning if you’re sending it to a friend who is far away. It shows a decent amount of creativity, too! I won’t tell anyone you saw it on Pinterest 😉

See you next Sunday morning!

Stay wonderful ♥

-Nicole

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