Memory Project: Places We’ve Lived Boards

I’m so excited to share with you a project I’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks!

How many places have you lived?  Us…in our married life we have lived in 5 places.  It’s our family history.  Why not memorialize those places, pay tribute, so to speak? You can purchase these from L.L.Bean for $34.95 each.  Yikes!  I didn’t want to spend that much!

I was up for the challenge to make my own, but as usual tweaked it a bit.  I immediately thought of the perfect place for them to go.  My entry way needed something special and I’m thrilled with the results.

Want to know how I did it?  I was able to use all supplies I currently had on hand, so there weren’t any out of pocket expenses…score!

First, remember the barn door shutters I made?

I had left over board pieces from making the Barn Door Shutters.  I pulled those out to begin.  They were already painted with my Annie Sloan’s Old White Chalk Paint.  This helped me skip the painting step.  Next, I decided to add a little black border similar to the L.L.Bean signs.

I used a little pouncer sponge brush to lightly brush the edges with black acrylic paint.

I used QuicKutz’s Revolution to cut out the letters of the city names {12×12 Black Card stock}.  The font is Blossom.

I used the Cricut to cut out the state names and numbers.  The Cricut cartridge is Plantin SchoolBook. {1 & 1/4″}

I absolutely LOVE re-positionable dot glue.  I use it for almost all of my craft projects.  I took the letters and added a small amount of glue.  I would then get a ruler and position them straight.  It takes a lot of moving around to get it just right, but since the glue is re-positionable it doesn’t hurt anything.

Once I had the letters the way I wanted them, I added the Mod Podge.  Since the re-positionable glue is mainly for placement, the best way to add the Mod Podge is to take your foam brush {get a pack of these for a $1 at your dollar store} and dab it gently on top of the letter.  This will ensure some of the Mod Podge seeps underneath the letter a tad.  Once you have dabbed all over the letter with Mod Podge then you can wipe the Mod Podge gently across the letters without the letters wiggling and getting out of place.  I’m sure if you are a pro at using the Cricut with vinyl, there is probably a much easier way to do this, maybe without using Mod Podge.  I haven’t expanded my knowledge on cutting vinyl yet.  Therefore, this is the method I chose to use.

Using Maps for home decor is really popular now and I really like it.  I decided to incorporate the map of the city we lived in on the boards.  This is how you can take advantage of old maps, now that most of us have GPS.  I found it’s a good idea to paint on the Mod Podge before adding the map.  I would then take a tool and spread it over the map to get out any bubbles under the map.

I just tore out the page and cut the map in a rectangle around the city.  Instead of using Latitude and Longitude I wanted to have the dates from when we lived in the particular cities.  Some of the dates were not exactly centered because I didn’t want to cover up the name of the city on the map with the number.  Doesn’t bother me to have it that way.  Let the Mod Podge dry on the map before adding the numbers.  Dab on the Mod Podge over the numbers just like on the letters.  Make sure to spread the Mod Podge over the whole sign in the end.

I used Picture & Frame Hanging Command strips to attach the boards to the wall.  I LOVE those Command strips.  SO much easier than nails…take your level and put it on top of the board and makes for level hanging every time.  The last board which represents where we live now was not completed when the photos were taken.  I’m adding it to the bottom today.  From Pinterest pin to reality.  {Doesn’t accomplishment feel GOOD!?}

Here they are in my entry way.  Seems like they were meant to be in this space.  It was worth the time and effort.  🙂  What do you think?

Linking Up:
The DIY Show Off

Celebrate where you live,


  1. I love it!!! This is on my “to do” list – I have it pinned several times from several different people. Your’s look fabulous 🙂
    Stephanie Click recently posted..Project Life 2012 – Week 1

  2. We have lived WAY too many places, so think I should start this tradition in our family too! Great idea!

    Warmest regards,
    Pardon My Poppet ~ Pip Squeaks from the Mummy-verse!
    Joy recently posted..365 Days of Blessings – Day 71 – My Bread Maker

  3. Cheryl Beaty says

    I love it and think this was a wonderful idea. You did such a nice job. I didn’t know you had all those machines to use now. That is great. Good job! Love, Mom

    • A very generous friend of mine gave me the machines! They were hers and she didn’t want them anymore. It’s been fun using them. Thank you, Mom. 😀

  4. Christie Daugherty says

    I love it! So very cool….

    Christie Daugherty recently posted..So you think you can dance?

    • Christie, this means A LOT coming from one of the most creative and talented ladies I know! Thank you for taking the time to comment! Miss you friend 😀

  5. Those are awesome! I just looked at the LL Bean ones and I definitely like your tons better!!!!! Love the map and the dates, it makes it more personal, instead of a generic sign. I would love to see a picture with the last sign on the wall 😉

  6. Love your new signs. We just moved from Temple to another part of Texas not to far from Tyler, so I guess we’re kinda following you around Texas. I’m your new follower.

  7. I saw this on Pinterest, so I had to come visit your blog. It’s a little weird how much we have in common – I grew up in Houston, now I live in Temple! (Belton, actually). Small world! I’m a new follower!
    Suzie @ The Accent Piece recently posted..No More Google Friend Connect

    • We had lots of friends who lived in Belton! It is a small world. I am so excited to have you as a new follower! Just hopped over to your site and it is BEAUTIFUL! Boy I can learn A LOT from you in regards to photoshop! {hate that software!} You are quite the DIYer and can’t wait to browse around more! Thank you so much for leaving me the comment. Pinterest has been good to me and I am very grateful to find friends like you from there. Talk to you soon! 😀

  8. Who are you?! I’m from Temple!

  9. Hi, saw this on Pinterest and the idea is so unique and cute, then reading where ya’ll have lived was funny cause my hometown where i grew up is Palestine, Tx and my husband grew up in Athens and Palestine and went to college in Athens! Small world!

  10. I LOVE IT!!!! We are a military family and boy could we use something like this! THanks for the inspiration!

  11. Donna Wells says

    Do you make these for sale? If so,I am interested. My husband and I have lived in nine places and this would be a wonderful way to display that part of our wonderful life together.

    Thanks, donna

    • LOL…ha ha ha ha. No, Donna, I don’t make these for sale. If I did, I would have to charge like $100 per board. It took me a LONG time to make these. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to pay $900 for them. Thank you for the compliment, though. 🙂

  12. Heather McM says

    What are the dimensions of the boards you used? I am going to try this but am not very crafty!

  13. Loving these, too — and cracking up at how many of us wish we had met up with you: you and I lived in Temple at the same time. I was 1992-2001! Went from there to Abilene, now in McKinney. Hopefully will get these boards made — each of those places are so very precious to me.
    Sarah S. recently posted..Book Review: Diary of a Mad Fat Girl

    • Sarah, what a small world it is, huh? Sigh…I miss my home land. Very happy you decided to connect and leave me this sweet comment. You will be the first to know I am considering opening an Etsy store and taking orders for these boards. I’ve had so many inquiries I am tinkering around with the idea. I’m currently making some boards for a reader who just wouldn’t take no for an answer. Fortunately, she’s generous with her compensation and has given me a big time allowance. It’s hard to refuse that and knowing they will be a gift for her parents…makes my heart melt. Can’t wait to visit your site Sarah. Thanks again for stopping by and hope you will continue to visit/comment. Have a wonderful day! Shan

  14. What kind of boards did you use? Also, how did you hang them? I am hoping to do this project with a friend and want to decrease risk of failure….

    • Tina, I think they are pine, but I’m not sure. I will look the next time I go to Lowe’s and email you. I also hung them using 2 command velcro strips. I need to take a photo of that and add it to this post. Good luck on yours…can’t wait to see them! 😀

      • Finished! Sent you a pic. Thanks for your help!!

        • how do you see the pic of the velcro strips you added? I must be missing it. we are also military ( I saw other posts) and have lived in lost of places, this is on my to do list today!!! love it!! but I hate rehanging every time we move, genius idea with command!!!

  15. Love this! Especially the maps! I grew up in Tyler and most of my family is still there! My parents actually live in a small town near Waco now. Small world! I came from iheartorganizing and love your laundry room!

    • Mary, welcome! So glad you found me via the awesome I Heart Organizing. It is a small world. How’s the great state of TX doing? Oh how I miss it, let me count the ways. Buy some Tyler roses for me next time your there visiting your family. Thank you for stopping by and leaving me some blog love. Hope you come back again soon. Happy New Year! 😉

  16. So far I’ve moved 13 times, I’m 22. I lived in Athens TX for a while!!

    • Jamie, you are definitely well traveled. Welcome to the club…move around a lot one. 😉 The ones mentioned on this board are only the moves after I married my husband. I moved probably 13 times before I was married too. I have to say Athens was my favorite out of the list above. I have very fond memories from our time there and miss my friends from there. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  17. Wow… add me to the list of East Texas mamas!! It was weird to see this on Pinterest with a bunch of cities surrounding me! lol
    BreeCan2 recently posted..Bad Blogger

    • I absolutely LOVE hearing from all you East Texas mamas! It makes me smile and a little homesick. Being as we live in OK now I miss Texas desperately. I can’t believe we will be here for 6 years at the end of this month. Happy you found me on Pinterest and hope you come back soon and say, “Howdy!”

  18. Found you on Pinterest, but clicked because I’m in Tyler! But now I know that I’ve seen your site via iheartorganizing. You have lots of great ideas!

    • Casey, oh how grateful you found me via Pinterest and remembered me from Jen’s awesome site I Heart Organizing. {blushing} I was beyond excited when she contacted me about featuring my laundry room. Thank you very much. I love sharing my ideas with everyone. It was very kind for you to take the time to leave me this comment. I miss Tyler so much. We live in OK now. I’ll always be a Texan though. 😉

  19. LOVE these!!! Awesome job, girl!

  20. Great idea, thanks for the DIY! Love that you added the maps, it lends great visual texture to the signs. ^.^ Though I think this really only works if you’ve actually lived in more than one state…or at least more than 500 miles. Otherwise, it only makes you look embarrassingly UNtraveled, which is pretty much the opposite effect of what the original picture was going for. I’ve lived in several “cities” in the same metro area, but if I bothered putting all of them down it would just look like I’m trying to pad it, because anyone looking at it would know that they’re really all just the same.

    • Miranda, I understand what you are saying. However, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I made these boards for me & my family. It’s just a fun way to document our family history and where we lived. I say if you like them and want to make them, go for it! It’s your place…no reason you can’t celebrate where you have lived, no matter how many miles away. Thank you for coming by and leaving your 2 cents. 😉

  21. I love this and can’t wait to get started! What did you do for your present city?

    • I made the same board design with my current city. I don’t like to advertise where I live on my blog.
      Hope it turns out well! Thanks so much, Shan 🙂

  22. I am going to try to make these this weekend. Super cute! We have lived 5 places too. Started in Tyler and now we live in OK as well. I agree with the above comments that I love the maps and dates, much more personnel!

  23. Hi, thanks for the cute idea! We are a military family and have lived overseas and lots of places around the world. I have just brought home a palette and can’t wait to start on this project!

  24. Thanks for the cute idea!! Love yours much more than the LLBean ones!!! Can’t wait to make ours! It’s our weekend project!! Thanks again for sharing!!

  25. Hey! I popped over from Pinterest. This project caught my attention because I’ve lived in all these places, expect Tyler. 🙂 I hope I get a chance to make this soon because it’s so adorable! 🙂
    Kristina recently posted..Purpose

  26. Hi!

    Love these! Was wondering if you take orders? Would love to buy some.

  27. These are so great! I’m also wondering if you take orders! These would be perfect in my new apartment (in another new city!)

  28. Perfect idea! My husband is medically retired from the Army, so we have a few pcs’s under our belt lol. Love the Temple, TX one…we spent 2 summers at Belton’s “water park” going up and down those never ending stairs.


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