Hanging Map Is a 50-State Puzzle

Sunset, November 1984 | Go to article overview

Hanging Map Is a 50-State Puzzle


Young geographers can literally grasp the shapes, sizes, and locations of states as they arrange these foam-core puzzle pieces. Tabs of hook-and-loop fabric (Velcro) attach the states to a painted plywood backboard. Hung on a wall, the map beckons family and friends to learn geography and plan future travels.

It takes about 8 hours to make. Cutting the pieces with a craft knife may seem tricky at first, but you'll learn the skill quickly.

Supplies. You'll need a saw, a hammer, scissors, and a thin-bladed craft knife with extra blades. Buy a half-sheet of 1/4-inch AC plywood or tempered hardboard; two 4-foot lengths of 1-by-1; eight 1/4-inch brads; two #12 eye screws; 32 inches of picture wire; primer and paint; a multi-colored map of the United States that measures about 40 inches straight east from Eureka, California (about $1.50 to $4 in book or map stores); a broad black felt-tip marker; a piece of 32- by 40-inch foam-core (sold in art and crafts stores); spray glue; and about 2 feet of 3/4-inch-wide hook-and-loop fabric fastener.

Assmebly. First, cut the plywood into a 31- by 43-inch rectangle, and cut the 1-by-1s to 43 inches each. On the back side of the plywood, center the 1-by-1 strips about 6 inches from the top and bottom; tack them in place from the front with four brads per board. Install eye screws into the top of the upper strip and string picture wire between them. Prime and paint the plywood.

To make the puzzle pieces, cover your work surface with heavy cardboard so the craft knife won't cut it. With your marker, outline the main body of the United States and the borders that separate Alaska and Hawaii from the rest of the map. …

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