Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mount and Hang Large Maps with Ease

My husband is a map guy. If it was up to him, we'd have maps covering most of the walls of our house.  I like maps, too; but I also love art.  And up until today, we have had all art and no maps hanging in our home. Today, my husband got his way. 

And so did I...because the maps actually look GOOD. They are mounted and hung like art. They really are art, just not original canvas paintings. But definitely pleasing to the eye, and educational to boot!

I can't take credit for coming up with this method of mounting and hanging on my own. I have a good friend who told me about doing it herself, and I used portions of this tutorial from Sugar Bee Crafts to get started. 

FYI: Right now at Costco, they have a great deal on nice maps. For $15, you get 2 laminated maps. The World Map is 61" x 38", and the USA Map is 48" x 38".  My husband had been shopping around (which means he had checked Amazon) when I came across these. He said they were an incredible deal. 

Now on to the tutorial: 

You'll need duct tape, spray adhesive, and 3M Command Strips. These look like Velcro and are pretty much genius. We live in a new home, so putting holes in the walls hurts a little each time. With these babies, you rarely need nails. 

You will also need a sheet of rigid insulation cut to the size of your map. This can be purchased from large home improvement stores. A 4'x 8' sheet cost $7.  We bought ours from Home Depot, and an employee was nice enough to cut it to size for us there (otherwise it wouldn't have fit in our car!).

 If you need to cut it yourself, use a utility knife to score one side most of the way through. Then bend it along the cut, and finish by cutting along the fold from the other side. 

1. Cover the edges of the foam board in duct tape. Carefully place it along one side of the front edge and wrap it around to the back. Do this on all four sides. This took two of us to do well on maps this large. Rub the tape to smooth it out as you go.
We chose white tape because the edges of our maps are white.  The fibers in the duct tape give the edges a canvas-finish look. It doesn't look at all like you duct taped the edges when you are done, I promise!

2. Lay the board out to spray with adhesive.  Read the labels on the adhesive you purchased to see exactly how to spray. You'll want a drop cloth down because you'll need to spray all the way to the edge.  Spray about 1/3 of the surface of the foam board from the top edge down. Place the map carefully on the sprayed portion, lining up the edges. While one person holds up the unattached portion of the map, spray the rest of the board generously. Carefully lay the map down, smoothing as you go. 

Here is our first map after mounting.

Here is a close-up of what the edges look like.

The map mounting is complete! Now to the hanging!

3.  Decide where you are hanging your map, then measure and mark the wall lightly where the top corners will hit.  Place the command strips along the edges of the foam board's backside.  The directions on the package were sufficient for us. Easiest picture hanging EVER.

Here it is with one strip stuck to each corner.  
4. Peel off the paper on each strip and press it to your chosen place on the wall.  My husband and I each pushed on a corner for a count of 30. Then we were done!

The family IMMEDIATELY began enjoying the new maps!

I love education--especially the spontaneous, informal kind--in my home! 

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  1. This is awesome! We have a huge map in my sons room that is just thumb tacked to the wall. This is a much better solution!

  2. yay for map guys! i love the colors, they are gorgeous.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this! It really is perfect timing! We have been discussing hanging on since we moved to Europe to track our travels, but weren't quite sure the best way to hang it! :D Can't wait to make this!

    1. Kate, I'm so happy you are planning to put it to use! We are surely enjoying our maps--I'm sure you will, too!

  4. Love love love this tutorial. Pinned. Now I want to get a giant map and mount it somewhere. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday.

    1. Thank you! I hope you do! And thanks for a great link-up!

  5. I love decorating with maps and globes. What an awesome tutorial for hanging a gigantic map! So fabulous, we decided to feature it at Share It Sunday this week.
    Michele @ Our Rosey Life

    1. Thank you, Michele, for the compliment and the feature! I am sharing the party on social media.

  6. I have a map of Europe stuck on the wall with bluetac....I had it when I was travelling and highlighted everywhere that I went. I should take a leaf out of your book and mount it!!

    Thanks for sharing at Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

  7. How do you prevent bubbles under the map when placing down on the adhesive sprayed board?

  8. I bought these EXACT maps at Costco and thank you so very much!

  9. Great info ! Thanks so much ...this is genius !

  10. I bought the same maps from Costco and tried so many stores to find poster of that size. No success until I came across your tutorial. Thank you very much!

  11. I need all information regarding the set up of a risk assessment as well as risk tape direct