DIY Rustic Framed Map

Happy Friday, y’all! I know I normally post my Friday Faves, but I’m so happy to introduce you guys my friend Erin. She’s one of those interior designers who I’m pretty sure if I walked into her house, I’d feel right at home. Definitely check out her blog when you get a chance!

Well hi there! I’m Erin from Meadow Lake Road, a blog where you’ll find inspiring design ideas, tips for do-it-yourself projects, and even help with design dilemmas in your own home. You can also follow our journey as we turn our brand new house into a home with some cottage charm.

In addition to writing Meadow Lake Road, I also have my own interior design business and am a mom to 6-year-old triplets. Life is crazy, but in a fabulous sort of way!
Anyways, I wanted to share a decor project with you I recently completed that hangs in our house. My kids are constantly asking me about where things are located in the world, so I wanted to hang a world map in our home that we could refer to it anytime they had questions. I also wanted it to flow with the decor in the rest of our home and be somewhat kid-proof, so I made my own rustic frame to hold a world map we had lying around.
This is the hallway that leads to the kids’ bedrooms and where I wanted the map to hang. As you can see, the long wall on the left had nothing on it and was begging for something large to adorn it.
hallway before art
So after picking up some inexpensive 4 inch wide pine boards at Lowes, I got to work creating my frame. First off, I cut pine boards to size using our miter saw, nailed them together with a nail gun, and gave the wood a coat of Minwax Dark Walnut stain.
dark walnut stained wood frame
After the stain had completely dried, I dry brushed white paint over the top. I wanted to use supplies we already had at home, so I used interior white latex paint, but you can also use acrylic paint for this.
To dry brush, spread paint thinly on a piece of cardboard. Then take a completely clean and dry paint brush and dab just the tips in the thin layer of paint. Don’t saturate your brush in the paint! You want to keep it pretty dry.
dry brush technique
Spread the white paint thinly on your wood and try to make it go as far as you can. Get all of the paint off of the brush and onto the wood before you go back for more.
dry brushing wood with white paint
This is what it looked like when I was done dry brushing.
dry brushed wood frame
Once the paint has completely dried, go over it with a piece of sandpaper to make the paint look less uniform and more like old barn wood.
sanding white paint
I didn’t want to use glass in the frame because I was worried about the kids breaking it and I wasn’t keen on plexiglass either because I knew it would get scratched up (I could totally see my kids driving their Hot Wheels all over the map!). So I took my frame and my map to my local frame shop and they suggested that I have the map vacuum mounted on a piece of foam core and then have them apply print guard over the top.
Print guard is a protective layer bonded on top of the print that protects it from dirty little fingers, scratches, and sun damage. But the best part about it is that it’s washable and unbreakable! This is the perfect solution for a piece of ‘art’ that’s going to hang at kids’ eye level.
Since the foam core is so lightweight, I just had the frame shop use their heavy-duty tape and attach the map to the back of my frame.
print mounted to frame with tape
After attaching d-rings to the back, I hung it up on the wall.
The picture on the left below is what the kids’ hallway looked like before and the right shows how the newly framed map looks on the wall.hallway before and after
I am so happy with how it turned out! It blends in with the rest of our house perfectly and the kids love looking at it. I added a tiny black X to the map to show them where we live (Snohomish, WA) so that they don’t have to ask me repeatedly.
framed world map in hallway
hallway with framed map
Thank you so much, Lauren, for allowing me to guest post on your lovely blog! Lauren and I ‘met’ in the blogosphere a few months ago and I am thrilled to have met a blog buddy that I have so much in common with. And it’s such an honor to get to share one of my projects with you all!
If you’d like to see more of my DIY projects and our home, are curious about the wall color in our hallway, or are looking for some design tips, be sure to pop on over to Meadow Lake Road. You can also follow along via Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.
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  1. How big is your map ? I’m trying to make something like this for my dorm but I’m not sure what a good size is!

    1. Hi Bailey! I’m going to forward your question on to Erin since she wrote this post. I’m hoping she’ll get back to you soon. 🙂