DIY (huge) Map Wall Art
For as long as I have been designing I have always loved over sized images on walls, the bigger the better in my book, and conversely I love tiny things too. The only problem is the bigger the more $$$ in the case of framed artwork or even commissioned artwork. So here is how I turned one large map mural into a bold and functional piece of art for under $300.
This is a great weekend project! Will take some beginner carpentry skills and some power tools.
Large Map Mural, I used this one World Map in the 116" x 76" 3 panel mural size.
3 pieces of 1/2 inch plywood 4ft x 8ft size.
Framing material- I used 1 1/2" w x 3/4" thick pine stock.
Two part epoxy resin. (see the coverage recommendations on the product you will be using to determine the amount you need) Here is an example of a product you could use although I purchased mine from a home improvement store but can't find a link to it (SORRY).
Heavy duty wall hooks.
Paint (for the frame)
Blow torch (to finish the epoxy, see the manufacturers directions)
Skill saw or table saw for cutting the plywood and frames.
*You can see how the maps were cut to match up if they were put together.*
1. I cut each of the 3 parts of the map 1" larger that the size I wanted to see after it was finished (leaving 1/2" on each side, top and bottom). This will leave enough room for the frame to overlap and hold the edges down.
Tip: The maps were made to overlap so be sure to match all 3 pieces up and then cut them to size.
2. Measure and cut the plywood sheets to the exact size of the cut maps.
3. Apply the wallpaper glue to the back of the map and the plywood being sure to follow the instructions on the glue tub.
4. Once the glue has set up, very carefully applied it to the plywood and used a walpaper roller to be sure that all of the bubbles are smoothed out.
5. Once the glue is dry and you are happy with how the map is applied to the plywood, cut the frame for around the map (I used the pine stock listed above) and nail it directly to the map covered plywood with small finishing nails. Be sure to overlap the map 1/2" with the frame on each side, top and bottom to give it a finished look and hold the edges of the map down to keep them from peeling.
*mitered edge detail
6. After all 4 sides of the frame is finished, mix the two part epoxy and very carefully apply it directly on top of the map to the exact directions printed on container.
Tip: the frame holds the epoxy in but it could leak through any cracks you have between the frame and the plywood so be sure to put newspaper under them to protect the surface beneath.
Note: I mixed 3 batches separately for each of the framed map pieces. (you will understand this when you follow the directions for the epoxy)
Tip: be sure to be very precise when mixing and applying the two party epoxy. I learned this the hard way. On the last batch that I was mixing for my 3rd and final map part, I must have been excited to finally be finished and I didn't mix long enough. I poured it like normal but it NEVER dried completely, it just stayed slightly sticky... and still is.
I also had my husband take a blow torch and he carefully went over the epoxy once completely poured to eliminate all the remaining bubbles per the manufacturer's directions.
7. Once the epoxy is completely dry, apply 2 coates of paint to each of the frames.
8. Finally, once the paint is completely dry, flip the finished maps over and attached the heavy duty wall hooks such as these.
9. Hang and ENJOY!
*You could do this with any large paper art or even wallpaper*
Did you do it? Send me your completed projects to email@example.com.