DIY: Panel Map Wall Art

With reno finally wrapping up in the basement, we are getting to the fun part: decorating! We need a new couch for the basement as our living room couch would not fit down the stairs. We waved a craigslist goodbye to Dan's bachelor couch and headed to the furniture store. While we were there, I saw a wall art display that would fit both my husband's and my idea for the basement decor. It was a little large for our space but it was separate pieces. It was a large map of Boston that was sectioned up, framed separately, and hung on the wall as a full map. I loved the idea! As I got closer, I caught a glimpse of the price tag: $185 per frame! And there were about 12! If you didn't want to do the math, that is over $2,200 in wall art. Just slightly over our budget. Slightly. But I loved the idea and would have loved it even more if the map had been a local and meaningful place. So I tucked the idea away to stew on a way to make the art more affordable and meaningful.

I remembered that Minnesota Historical Society had a large online collection that was available for purchase. After perusing the online collection for a bit, I settled on a map that I thought would be perfect - a Twin Cities bicycling route map from 1899. With the challenging part of finding the perfect map behind me, putting the piece together fell easily into place. Here is what I did:

The Supplies
Digital copy of the map (large enough size to enlarge)
110# weight paper, full sheet (left over from our wedding, purchased here)
Three Ikea frames

The Method
I dropped the digital copy of the map off at my local printing place, where they printed the image on a large "sticker" that they adhered to my paper. They informed me that the size I desired could not be printed directly on my paper without an expense that I was not willing to pay. This was not what I had initially anticipated but I was very happy with the end result.

The next step was cutting up the map and putting it in the frames. I used the the insert from the frame to make the outline of my cuts on the map. I was able to make sure I sectioned the map so that each frame had exactly what I wanted shown.

Taping the inserts to the map held them in place while I used a rotary cutter and guide to cut out the pieces.

Voila! Ready for the frame!

Finished product!

Hanging the triptych was a whole other challenge! I used a level with measurements on the side to evenly space the pieces while keeping them level with each other.

I am extremely happy with the way the map turned out! It is so rewarding to put my time and heart into a project for our house. It makes the finished room just a bit more special.

Vi se senare!

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