Saturday, May 21, 2016

Pinnable Wall Map Tutorial

My mom has traveled quite a lot in her life, so for her birthday/mother's day (they were one day apart this year) I made her a large pinnable wall map.

I followed this tutorial.

The finished map:

This measures roughly 53"x33". It is laminated, but non-laminated works too. I have just heard that non-laminated maps fade after a few years.  

The purchased materials:
-Map (Barnes and Noble or online from Rand McNally)
-Plywood backing (1/8") - cut by Home Depot
-support wood (mine was 1.5"x1.5") - cut by Home Depot
-Foam poster board
-Wood trim for frame
-Hanging hardware

Materials on hand:
-Wood glue
-Wood stain
-Sand Paper
-X-Acto knife
-Wood cutting tool (I used a jigsaw and a circle saw)
-Nail gun with nails
-Hammer and nails

Here is a breakdown of the cost. 

Note: I used a 40% off coupon to purchase the tri-fold foam poster board and the spray adhesive. And the wood I bought was the cheapest I could find and Home Depot. 

Step 1: Take a LONG time to measure out what size wood/framing you need. I miscalculated and ended up having to trim about 1/4" off my support wood so it would be mostly covered by the frame. The frame covers the front and sides, so the width of the framing wood needs to be the same size as the support wood thickness+plywood thickness+foam board thickness. 

I got home depot to cut the plywood to about 1/2" wider on all sides than the map. That was the only piece of wood that was truly square, since I don't have a table saw. 

Then I sanded the plywood to roughen it up so the glue would have something to stick to. I wiped off the excess wood dust. 

Step 2: I started on my wood framing to support the plywood. 

I cut my wood to 45 degree angles using a circle saw, and used a nail gun/regular hammer and nails to attach the frame to the plywood. 

I didn't cut the 45 degree angles perfectly straight, so there was some overhang. I cut the excess framing wood so it lined up with the plywood. In the cases where they plywood overhung, I used spare wood scrap to create shims and fill in the gap.


No overhang.

This is why a table saw would have been handy.

Nailing the plywood to the frame.

It didn't feel sturdy enough, so I made little triangle support pieces.

Sturdy enough for my liking.

Step 3: Then I took my poster board, cut it to size (one side was too short, the other side too long), added material to the side that was too short, and glued it to the plywood with wood glue.

I put the crease side down against the plywood.

The top hangs over the plywood, but there's not enough foam on the right side.

I marked where to cut with a pencil, then cut with an X-Acto knife.

Step 4: Glue the map on with extra strength spray adhesive. MAKE SURE THE MAP IS STRAIGHT AND CENTERED ON ALL SIDES.

All glued.

Step 5: Work on the frame. 

Sand/stain the wood. I had leftover espresso stain, so that's what I used. I rubbed the stain on with a rag, and did not use any polyurethane on top. (Use gloves!)

Dirty nails. This is after scrubbing and scrubbing. I think semi-permanent dirty nails are a right of passage for any crafter. I did not wear gloves.

Cut side frame pieces to size, nail gun these to the support wood material.

Pretty close. I slightly miscalculated.

Be very careful cutting the front framing wood. Cut 45 degree angles at the corners. This is what the viewer sees, so you want it to look good. 

The first 2 pieces done and nailed to the map.

The second 2 pieces of framing were a little trickier. I had to do some sanding/cutting with an X-Acto knife to really get it to fit. Also, since the map was glued on off-centered, I had to try to hide that as much as I could with the frame by slightly off-centering the frame. This caused for some gaps in the frame (it's hard to explain what I did), but unless you look for it you can't tell. 

Step 6: Last, put on the framing hardware. I used a wire and these triangle framing pieces I got from Michael's. The wire could support up to 20lbs, and my map was 12-15ish lbs. 

(Note, the looser the wire is, the more the map hangs away from the wall instead of sitting snug against the wass right up to  the top)

This took me a weekend to make, and if I had been better about measuring and getting true 45 degree angles a lot of time would have been saved. 

Map tacks can be purchased on Amazon for a few dollars. They have short stems instead of the long stems that normal tacks have. 

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