DIY Map Art From Old Pallets

15 Materials
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.

Tasha @ Designer Trapped In A Lawyer's Body
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 67 questions
  • Lori 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.

  • Jane Jane on Oct 03, 2020

    What size maps?

  • SisterLaurel M O'Neal SisterLaurel M O'Neal on May 26, 2021

    It was a great project but I don't see how the hinges/plywood "clamps" are kept closed enough to secure the maps in place. I understand one would open (lift up) one of the pieces of plywood to insert or remove the print at that point, but what holds the hinge/plywood "clamp" in a closed position with sufficient tension to hold a print with a wood "frame" piece hanging from it --- or to hold the bottom piece of palette and plywood in place?

    Also, as another poster mentioned, what is the purpose of the bolt when what you were writing about was the hook? A hook would not need to go all the way through a piece of palette which was described as "brittle", so what is that all about? One final question (just because I am curious), why didn't you use a length of pipe that would have used two studs rather than just one? Were you limited on the lengths of pipe available? Thanks.


Join the conversation

2 of 477 comments
  • Linda Abate Linda Abate on May 26, 2021

    A great way of making a focal wall. Would be great if you had a map of your favorite state, or a map of the country where your parents/grandparents were from to display. A beautiful wall project.

  • Beth Beth on May 27, 2021

    I absolutely love this!! What size are your maps?