DIY Map Art From Old Pallets

Custom framed art can be VERY expensive and is definitely out of our budget. Our family room has giant wall without any windows that needed art so we needed to create some without spending a ton of money. We created these stunning framed maps using old pallets and hung them from a pipe for a super cool industrial look. We chose to make them in a way that will allow us to change out the prints for Christmas or other seasons if we choose to :)
First we ripped the pallets down to a more narrow width using our table saw. Then we cut them down to length using a chop saw. We used old plywood to create strips that were half the width of the pallet pieces and painted them gray (not necessary--it just looks better). Then we glued one strip of the plywood the back of one of the pallet pieces. We avoid drilling or nailing into pallet wood whenever possible because it can be brittle, so we use wood adhesive for this step. Our favorite wood adhesive (aff link) is Dap Rapid Fuse.
We then added hinges and another strip of plywood. Making the back of the frames hinged will allow us to remove the map prints and change them out for seasons and holidays, like Christmas. Or, if we ever tire of the map prints, we have the option to change them out for whatever we want!
We then drilled horizontally through the pallet and attached some old rusted screw hooks to the top of each frame.
This is what the back of the frame looks like with the print in place.
We then made a 10 foot rod out of iron pipe, elbows, nipples and floor flanges that we found at our hardware store.
We hung the rod and then placed the maps on it. We were able to attach one end to a stud. The other end required us to use wall anchors. We found that the rod sagged a bit in the middle, so we used a simple curtain rod support in the middle to keep it nice and level.
We ordered all of our map prints (aff link) from this Etsy shop and they were very reasonably priced. We are over the moon happy with the results. For a small budget, we filled a HUGE wall with gorgeous art made from reclaimed materials.
Another shot of the finished product.
Another shot of the finished product.

Resources for this project:

Plaid Unpainted Wood Craft Surfaces Shape, 90542E Square Pallet
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 66 questions
  • Rita Luna
    Rita Luna
    on Oct 5, 2019

    What sizes of maps did you use?

  • Lori
    on Dec 28, 2019

    It is a stunning project. Thank you so much for sharing. But the tutorial leaves me with a few questions. Why not show how you attached the picture (map) to the back? You say you used hinges but it doesn’t really make sense. How is the picture attached to the pallet? How do the hinges make it removable? You say that you drilled a hole horizontally to insert the screw hook but the picture shows a bolt going through. And the pic is shot too close to give any perspective as to its placement. I’m not trying to be rude but it’s frustrating when you see a project you love but the tutorial doesn’t really make sense. I can figure out a way to do it, but why not make it clear? I can’t be the only one who has these questions.

    • Rim27340000
      on Sep 29, 2020

      Yes, the outcome of the project is beautiful but the instructions are very unclear.

  • Jane
    on Oct 3, 2020

    What size maps?

Join the conversation

2 of 460 comments
  • Elizabeth Fernandez
    Elizabeth Fernandez
    on Sep 29, 2020

    Very nice. Might work for hanging all sorts of art work and/or pictures as well. No random holes on the wall, and heights can be varied with fishing line. Really good idea.

  • Susan Beery
    Susan Beery
    on Oct 2, 2020

    Clever idea

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