A couple months ago I found put this image onto Pinterest from this Design*Sponge house tour.
I thought it would be perfect for the upstairs spare bedroom that we are slowly decorating. We also saw a bunch of similar maps when we went to Restoration Hardware.
A full wall map would have been ideal, but the largest size I found to print was about 4 feet by 5 feet. I got the print done at Staples in their largest format. It was too big for them to print in store, so they had to send it out. I had converted my map to black and white which saved a LOT of money. The print itself is on normal everyday letter weight paper and cost $15. A print in colour would have been on a heavier poster weight paper, but would have been closer to $75-100. This project was a bit of an experiment and $15 was a much easier hit to take if the project did not turn out.
You can see from the picture how big the map is. Our dining room table has the leaf extension in this picture, which seats 6 people comfortably. I had to use the flash for this picture which explains the glare/lack of contrast in the closest corner.
I had S make a canvas for the map with two support beams. We got the wood from Home Depot for about $7, we already had wood screws to put it together. The fabric we used for the canvas is from a double bedsheet I picked up for $1 from a local thrift store.
We stapled the sheet tightly to the frame. You definitely need a helper for this step.
Then we affixed the paper map to the canvas using a glue stick. This is where I know we went wrong. I should have used the spray glue adhesive. Sure it’s not cheap, but I actually had some. I was afraid that it would be more difficult to get the map on straight because with the spray glue you usually only have only one chance. You can’t go back after you place it if it the first time and it is slightly askew or wrinkled. I may have played it too safe is retrospect, but if/when I do this project again I may try the spray glue (or perhaps a layer of Podge on the blank canvas…)
Then I put a layer of Mod Podge on the print (I had 1/2 a jar of glossy leftover from Micheal’s – always use a coupon!) With the first layer of Podge make sure you get the sides down. In retrospect maybe I should have Podged the canvas first and then affixed the map. Regardless. After soaking the print with Podge I started to worry because the map wrinkled. Luckily it dried and the wrinkles came out. This picture is after the first layer of Podge.
I put on a second layer of Podge, after which I had no more Podge left. It wrinkled this time too. I was pretty worried with the wrinkled that this would be the end of the project. I was glad that I convinced S to put in two supporting beams.
I noticed at this point that the bedsheet had not affixed to the map very well in the back, and I could pinch the fabric away from the map. Luckily the sides were well affixed with Podge. I could have left it like this, but I wanted have the print more permanently affixed to the canvas. So I turned the print upside down and painted a 50/50 mix of white adhesive glue and water on the sheet, which soaked through to the canvas and stuck it together. The adhesive glue I used was a small bottle of book binding glue I got for free at a conference, but I’m sure normal white glue would get the same result. Mixing it with water allowed the glue to soak through the sheet. Luckily this worked. It wrinkled again and I was sure I had just destroyed my project. This step was perhaps a bit risky?
I like how the glossy look gives the map extra character. I would easily have gone with a matte finish, but I had glossy Podge on hand.
You can also see a glimpse here of the paint colour of the spare bedroom and the knobs I chose for the dresser I refinished. The knobs still need to be secured with better washers and bolts, but you get the idea.
Perhaps a peak of the bedframe that is almost finished?
I was thinking the map would go above the bed, like the inspirational picture, but I could end up hanging above the dresser. The layout is not for sure yet, but it is not a large room.