DIY Ultra Dye Map

Jul 6, 2016 By Jo-Ann
DIY Ultra Dye Map

Hey Creative Spark fans! I’m Abbey from The Cards We Drew and I’m super thrilled to be here today sharing my project from last month as a Plaid Creator! Plaid recently came out with an awesome new product, FolkArt Ultra Dye, which is used for dyeing porous surfaces such as unfinished wood, baskets, burlap and natural fibers. And the best part about it is that it comes in tons of amazing, bright colors…so I thought, why not create something fun for my son’s room and this DIY Ultra Dye Map was born!!

DIY United States Wood Map from The Cards We Drew

Here’s what you need for this post:

• 36″ x 24″ United States Map

• 36″ x 24″ piece of cedar plywood cut at local hardware store

• 2 – 24″ pieces of trim for sides

• 2 – 33 1/4″ pieces of trim for sides

wood glue for trim

• FolkArt Milk Paint in Monument Gray for trim

• FolkArt Ultra Dye Satin Varnish

• FolkArt Ultra Dye in colors of choice (or ALL of them for lots of color)

• 2 – Jumbo Sheets of Graphite Paper (for tracing)

• pencil and tape (available in-stores)

 Plaid’s Wood Burning Tool (optional, but creates more depth on the map)

You’ll notice that I opted against using a cutting machine for this project and that was on purpose. While I own one, I really wanted something that everyone could make, regardless of the tools they had. All it takes is an inexpensive map, some tracing paper and a little patience!!

DIY Map board

How to:

Step One: Take a 36″ x 24″ piece of cedar plywood cut at the local hardware store and gently sand it and all its edges. Then wipe clean.

Step Two: Tape two sheets of graphite paper securely onto the wood, then layer the map over top of it again with tape being sure it’s held in place tightly.

graphite paper tracing

taped down map

Step Three: Begin tracing all the states with a pencil, to transfer the map image onto the wood.

trace map onto graphite paper

Step Four: Remove the graphite paper and the map from the bottom and sides to see how things turned out. I would suggest leaving it taped to the top of your board so that if you have any issues, you can easily flip it back down and re-trace your original points.

hand traced map

Step Five: (Optional) Use a wood burner to burn the image onto the wood. This took a bit of time and you need to go slowly to make sure you don’t make errors. This step is important because it ensures the paint doesn’t overlap or run into each other too states much and it gives the map more definition. I’d recommend completing this step, but it’s not mission critical if you choose not to. Perhaps instead, consider running puffy paint over the edges to create distinct lines?

wood burnt map

Step Six: After the image is burnt onto the wood, I chose my colors of FolkArt Ultra Dye paint and painted each state individually. Ultra Dye Paint is a polymer-based dye is self-sealing, will not bleed, leech or rub off like traditional dyes on porous surfaces; it creates beautiful, lasting results and allows natural wood grain to show through!

FolkArt Ultra Dye projects

DIY Ultra Dye painted map tutorial

diy united states map wall artStep Seven: After painted, apply FolkArt Ultra Dye Satin Varnish to your creation to add a layer of protection, then add finishing pieces onto the sides of the wood.

I really wanted something neutral, so I used FolkArt’s Milk Paint in Monument Gray to paint the trim and then I nailed the trim in place.

DIY United States Map on woodI just LOVE how it turned out…it’s so unique and so happy…and can be used in so many spaces!

We intend to get pushpins to add them to all the places we have visited!


I hope you enjoyed my tutorial! Please stop by my blog, The Cards We Drew, for more fun projects, tutorials, and recipes!!

Written by Abbey DeHart of The Cards We Drew

Addtional Info