For the past two years I haven’t bought my husband anything for Christmas. This is at his request because the best Christmas present for him is not spending money! Well, this Christmas I decided I would take a risk and buy him a gift. I saw this neat scratch-off map online that I knew he would love. It combines his love of maps and traveling – and it only cost $8 so he couldn’t get too sad about the money!!
The map is really neat – it is covered with gold foil so that as you visit a place, you can scratch it off to reveal the map beneath. I just got it up today, so he hasn’t had an opportunity to scratch off all the places he’s been. Framing this map had a couple of difficulties. First of all, it is a very odd size – 34″ x 20.5″ Second, it couldn’t be under glass because then you can’t scratch it off! I decided to use a solution that I used for this print below that is in our living room.
Basically, I mounted it directly on a board. I learned a few things from the Madrid print above that were useful when I was mounting the map. I DO NOT recommend using mod podge or the like. With large prints like this it will only make your print buckle and wrinkle. This is what happened to the Madrid print. You can especially see it in the bottom right corner.
Here is how I did the map.
1. Choose the color you want to have for your “frame.” I chose gold and so I spray painted a sheet of plywood that I had cut to the correct size at Home Depot. (They will cut it for you for free.) I am refinishing my stairs and I purchased a sheet of plywood for $12 for that project. I was able to get the frame out of the leftovers! How great is that? If your print is opaque, you only need to spray paint the edges that will be exposed. That is what I did to save on spray paint.
2. Apply double sided masking tape to the back of your print as close to the edges as possible. Carefully center the print on your painted plywood and press to stick it well.
3. There are several ways you can finish it at this point. You can leave it as is, or if you like, you can create a “frame” with washi tape. I decided to go this route and wrapped gold striped washi tape around the edges leaving some of the gold exposed to give the effect of a mat. Washi tape is only moderately tacky, so it will not adhere super well to the wood. To help it adhere, I turned the frame over and used scotch tape to tape the edges of the washi tape down. The scotch tape is so clear, you can’t even see it here when I took a picture.
4. Now all you need is to attach your mounting hardware! I really like using picture hanging wire. It makes it so much easier to hang it straight. Since I was using 5mm plywood (less than 1/4″), I had to be very careful that I didn’t nail through the wood. I show two options – hammer in a nail at an angle, being very careful to not go through the wood. Once you twist your wire around the nail, gently tap it down so that it doesn’t stick out and damage your wall. The other option is to use a tack. This plywood is so thin, that the tack went through to the other side, luckily it hardly showed and I simply pulled it out slightly. If you use picture wire, make sure you twist across and then back so that it doesn’t come loose.
And that’s it! Now I have a custom made frame for my husband’s map and it hardly cost anything at all! (of course, this assumes you have spray paint and washi tape on hand!)