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I’m the Map. I’m the Map. I’m the Map. I’m the Map!

March 29, 2012  —  Written by Julia 

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A couple weeks ago, I came across a vintage and extremely well priced world map in this etsy shop.  I put it in my cart and muddled over the possibilities for a couple days and then thought, “It’s $10! Just get it!”  

So I did.  And when it arrived the colors were so rich and spot on with the color scheme in our family room.  Could the size be perfect to hang above our couch in the family room?  Maybe.  The only problem was, it desperately needed protected and getting this huge map custom framed would be mega bucks.  Then, I found this great tutorial on Little Green Notebook about using clear plexiglass to protect and frame art and I got on the phone with a plastics company, Delvie’s Plastics, about an hour away from our home who gave me a great deal.  $40 for a clear sheet that would cover and protect the map.  
Last night, we decided to hang the whole shebang.  First, we marked off how high our couch will be and then taped off where the map will hang in relation:
Following Jenny’s recommendation, we used Poster strips to hang up our map first. 
There were 12 in the pack and I just went nuts with them and used the whole package.  
Once the map was hung, we started prepping the acrylic frame.  I measured and marked the exact location of each hole.  Twice.  :)
Then, we held our breaths and started drilling pilot holes in our 1/8″ clear plexi-glass.  We kept the paper covering over the plexi-glass while drilling and started out with the smallest bit and gradually got larger to prevent any chance of our acrylic cracking. If you look closely, you can see the importance of measuring twice–my first line was off.  Whew!
We used simple white screws that double as anchors–which we just discovered and love!
It took 8 screws in all, 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom.  The jury is still out if we need one more on each side:
Honestly, the jury is still out on the whole thing.  We love the map, but it is hard to tell if it is going to work here without the couch in place and lamps.  We are even toying with the idea of DIYing a large frame if it still looks like it needs some bulking up once we get the rest of the furniture in place.  So now, we are living with it and practicing our geography. 

The color is less blue and more turquoise than shown above–and as cliche as it sounds, it really does look better in person.  But I am still not 100% sold.  What do you think?

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What do you think?

  1. Nicole says:

    Maps=awesome. Wait until you have the furniture in place…that will change the entire dynamic of the wall. But until then, looks great. love the colors of this one, it definitely pulls your space together.

  2. Christy Davenport says:

    At first, I thought the same thing… a chunky frame, but I don’t know… Maybe you should wait and see what it looks like once your furniture is in place.

  3. Dre says:

    Frame it! I’m totally getting on board with vintage maps… I plan to use them in a gallery wall eventually.

  4. I second getting a frame for the map (I really like it!). It feels like it’s missing something right now… I think you should wait until you get the furniture and see how everything gets laid out (it may be too small to be the only thing on that wall).

  5. Ahahahah Patty’s comment. I think the plexiglass is keeping it look like it belongs in an office. Team Frame!

  6. MichelleC says:

    Love the map, I have a few I picked up from an antique store for $5 each that I have been contemplating how to display. I think a frame from some thick moulding would really add to the display

  7. michelle says:

    love the chunky simple frame idea. it does look a tad lonely there all by itself…perhaps the couch and lamps will help it out.

  8. Ames says:

    I agree that you should wait and see once you have the couch! But, I just bookmarked a project from another blog that you could use as inspiration/how-to for the frame (if you decide it needs one). This is also a cool project anyway:
    http://www.thehandmadehome.net/2011/09/how-to-make-a-gigantic-polaroid-frame/
    P.S. I love everything you guys have done so far!!

  9. I love maps as decor! We have one in our bedroom (also from Etsy). I do think yours is a bit too small for the space though – maybe if you add tall lamps on each side they will balance it! And I’d definitely add a frame.

  10. Pattypoulsen says:

    Generally, I like it. But I’m mappy happy.
    And… I know for a FACT that Greenland is not that big. But, is normally green on maps. Which I have always found a bit tacky of the cartographers.

  11. Jessica Christen says:

    Command strips are the best! I’ve been seeing lots of maps lately! It does look a little off now, but I’m sure you’ll pull it all together with what else you put in the room.. As long as you make it go with everything else, if you pull colors from the map out into the room (like on this link, the first picture http://yourdesignpartner.com/blog/?p=3672 -maybe not Quite so matchy-matchy, but ya know..) it’ll look good! And I wonder if it’s too high on the wall, but it’ll depend what else is there with it :)

  12. Did Ryan Briggs just comment on our blog?! I’m so excited right now! In person, the map looks a lot more like the 1961 vintage that it is. Very rich, muted tones. The white is more of a tinged cream. But now you got me thinking how nerdy this room is becoming. Have you SEEN how many National Geographics we have? Hahaha. We’re embracing it!

  13. Really!? I’ll have to check those out.

  14. RyanBriggs2 says:

    I like it and this is just a thought I have because I am a history nerd, but maybe if you are looking for different color tones, look for an old map (brown) or old sea charts and stuff like that. But looks good.

  15. Ems says:

    I’m a huge fan of map art. Just found a vintage, Old World map that I’m going to make into a headboard when I’m more settled.

  16. What a steal, right?! I guess we’ll see!!

  17. emily b says:

    I work at home depot now hehe :) Anywho….I think it would look lovely if it had some company on the wall… pieces of julia art perhaps?

  18. Jessie McKinley says:

    I can’t believe you found that for $10!!! That is awesome. I really like it. A chunky frame could be good…but who knows? Maybe once you have the couch + lamps + everything in place, you’ll like the simplicity of it.

  19. I think you’re right. It’s so nice to get some outside perspective.

  20. I love that you worked at Home Depot! I am already brainstorming how a potential frame will look and what we’ll make it out of, but it probably won’t happen until we get the couch in, so we can make sure it is something we want to do and so that it will fit in with everything. The couch needs to get here!

  21. Iomay says:

    I love it, definitely think it would be better with some sort of chunky frame.

  22. meaganbriggs3 says:

    Awesome idea!!!! I looooove maps in homes. Definitely on my list when we have a house. I agree though, a frame would totally bulk it up. And you guys could make one with just like 1×4’s or something :-) remember I worked at home depot once upon a time. Lol I can’t wait to see the map with a couch underneath though. Basically, I can’t wait to see the couch! Woooo!!!

  23. It’s so hard to tell with no other furniture in place, but you might be right. We have never been afraid to un-do, so we’ll just have to wait and see!

  24. Unhappytomato says:

    Target makes awesome el-cheapo frames that I’ve been using for my posters and other art. Plus size is they’re super light and I use the command picture hanger to hang it because I’m too scared to drill into my plaster walls.

  25. Oh! That’s a possibility, too.

  26. I love map art. For my partner’s birthday I framed small black and white snippets of maps from places we’ve been together. It’s going to look great as a gallery wall but I’ve always wanted to try an oversized one like this. I love the plexiglass idea but somehow I prefer a map in a frame? What about putting some framing around the edge, with a gap so the wall becomes the frames ‘mat’. Could be cool?

    Looking forward to seeing how the room evolves – love your blog! xx

  27. Looks great! I’d wait to get the furniture in place then it should be easier to decide on what type of frame.

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