Gallery Map Wall

Lori Greco
by Lori Greco
Gallery walls are such a great way to decorate your walls. And here’s a budget-friendly way to create a gallery style wall that with maps. Maps are beautiful, educational pieces of art. They are usually very colorful, graphic and include lots of information that can be very personal and meaningful. And almost anything can have visual impact when framed and hung as a group.
I needed something to fill an empty wall in our kids’ playroom. Since the room was mostly used by the kids, I didn’t want to put anything too valuable or fancy on the walls. Maps are a great solution – they’re fun and simple and you can find them everywhere. The fact that they’re educational was a bonus. Maybe the kids – and I, ahem – will get a geography lesson too!
There are a lot of places to get maps without spending too much money – and some are even free! First I went to AAA and collected maps of places that were meaningful to us: a map of Massachusetts {where we live}, a bike map of the surrounding towns, and a map of Connecticut {where some of our extended family live}. I already had a map of the United States and a fun, graphic map of Boston. I found the world map at Staples for $7.99 and bought a piece of 12×12″ scrapbook paper from Michael’s showing North America for under $1.00. I also cut out some pages of an atlas we’ve had in our car.
I wanted the maps to be displayed in a fun, creative way. And I didn’t want to have too many glass frames in the room since it’s a playroom and that could mean lots of broken glass frames. So here are a few options for non-glass, kid-friendly frames:

• Purchase frames with plexi glass versus real glass. These are usually less expensive and much lighter to hang.

• Plastic box frames {very inexpensive!}.

• Remove the glass and frame from standard frames and use just the wood structure. I used small tack nails to attach the maps to the wall in the middle of the frames and then hung the frame as usual.

• Laminate – the large U.S. map is laminated and mounted on foam core with grommets added for hanging. You can get this done at any copy store such as Staples.

• And my favorite hanging option: washi tape! So simple and playful. I laminated one smaller map, trimmed it with teal washi tape and hung it on the wall with a coordinating tape.
When it came to hanging the maps in this gallery style, I tried to balance the shapes of the maps along with the colors and styles of the frames. I added some travel related quotes that I found online to fill in some empty spaces. You can also add postcards, ticket stubs and any memorable items you brought home from recent trips. These tokens will make the arrangement even more personal.
I made an EXPLORE pennant banner with chalkboard and scrapbook paper. This is a nice way to break up all the maps and framed items and add a phrase or title to your wall.
I hope you enjoyed my gallery style map wall idea. Maps are such a fun and clever way to decorate. They can chronicle a family’s travels or history and I know we all could use a geography lesson now and then! Add in a few meaningful quotes or travel keepsakes and it can truly tell a story. Enjoy!
Lori Greco
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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