wood plank u.s.a
We’re a very patriotic bunch around here (comes with the job, I think) and I’m always on the hunt for ways to add touches of our country to our home without overdoing the whole “Americana” theme. Maps are way in right now. I’ve seen them everywhere and been tempted to jump on board for months. I’d about decided to buy a huge map of the United States and have it framed when I saw this piece of wall art:
It’s from Pottery Barn and it costs $349. Figures. Because I could decorate our entire house with nothing but PB products and be completely happy. And then we’d eat ramen noodles for the next ten years to pay for it all. I’d get sick of ramen after the first two years, so I showed the planks to Caleb and we set out to make our own version with a few adjustments. I wanted my USA a little more proportionally accurate and in two pieces instead of four.
This is what we created:
I created “stain” for this project by soaking steel wool in vinegar for several days.
It’s much cheaper than buying a can of stain and doesn’t take days to dry. This is my new favorite way to age wood. After 24 hours in the vinegar you can remove the steel wool and give your wood a slightly bluish tint. Or you can let the mixture sit until the steel wool starts to rust and your wood will be a reddish color. Ps. it also stains hands, feet, clothes, the garage floor, and my 4-year-old’s face. AND it will make your house smell like vinegar for days. Not the pleasant “I’ve just cleaned the floor” smell, but the “open a window or we’re gonna suffocate” smell.
Caleb says it finally looks like the cedar branch fits into the decor. Ironically, I am planning to get rid of it this weekend. But what a conversation piece it has been! Seriously, hang a branch over your table and invite someone over. Not a single person has come to this house without commenting on the branch.
Anyway, back to the Pottery Barn knockoff.
This special little touch is just to clear up any confusion for my littlest man who kept pointing to Florida and saying “My house is here!”