I made this for my parents for Christmas:
Dad's from Texas and Mom is from Pennsylvania so I weaved them together.
And I made this for Trent's mom for Christmas:
1. Gather materials: a board, hammer, pencil, small nails, embroidery thread.
2. Have husband put a coat of polyurethane on board. Or paint it yoself.
3. Hang out with Google for a bit to find an outline of the state(s) you want to use.
4. Run approximately a bazillion attempts of enlarging said outline on your home printer to get it the right size.
5. Cut out your state(s) and tape to your board where you want them.
6. Draw dots around the perimeter where you want to have nails.
7. Realize you made waaaay too many dots and don't want to hammer that many nails that close together. Furiously erase half the dots.
8. Stand back and look at your progress. Realize this might actually be a WIN in the DIY department so you should probably take pictures of your process to blog about later. Pull used materials out of the trash and stage photos of the steps you already completed.
9. Locate the city of the recipient on a map. Attempt to locate on your blank dot outlined state. Draw a heart shape of dots where the city maybe kinda sorta is. If connecting two states like this one for my parents, draw dots making a beeline or winding path between the two city hearts.
10. Seclude yourself in a remote corner of your bedroom with the door closed so your incessant hammering at 8 pm does not wake up your sleeping babies.
11. Hammer nails into all the dots you drew. Try to refrain from cursing when you repeatedly whack your fingers. Try to refrain from obsessing over all the nails being straight or hammered in to the same height.
11. Wind embroidery thread to and from the city heart to the border as you see fit until the state is filled in.
12. Wind thread around and across the city heart to fill it in.
13. Wind thread around the nails that form the connecting line between the states. Do this last so it is above the regular state string and visible.
14. Tie off your thread, tuck the ends under the city hearts.
15. Text everyone you know, except the recipient of the gift, a picture of your result along with "LOOK WHAT I MADE!"