I bought about 20 square feet of treated pine from Home Depot, as well as 10 1x1s for the four backing frames. You can see one of the frames in the bottom right square. The four frames were built first – basically a wooden square for each with a vertical bar bisecting the four of them for strength.
Laying out the wood and piecing it together. It was a bit of a puzzle to make all the pieces fit and not look too haphazard and also not waste too much wood.
Rough set up of how it will look at the end.
The first of the stained pieces (what ended up being New England). I didn't take any photos, but I hammered all of the wood, cheese grated the edges off, and then scraped each plank with screws to make them look old. Then staining. However, I made the mistake of glueing this one together before staining not knowing that the glue repels the stain. (You can see a blotch in the center where two boards meet and the glue pushed through before staining.) I stained the rest of the boards before glueing.
All of the wood is stained, glued, and pushed together with a paper map on top. I just printed out a Google image of the US on 16 pieces of paper and taped them together.
Next, I exacto'd the states out leaving about 1/8" around each of the borders. This is my ghetto homemade stencil taped to the map with the first layer of glue sponged on. I actually sponged one layer of bright white paint on first, then let it dry an added a second layer of old ivory colored paint on top (also with a sponge). Then, after both laters dried, I sanded patches of the ivory layer off to expose the white paint and it adds an old look to the artificially aged wood.
Adding wall protectors to the back.
Mounting wall brackets
Read more: http://imgur.com/gallery/IZTlM