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Gallery Style Map Wall

Create a gallery style wall with maps and travel related quotes. Make your walls meaningful, fun and educational with this inexpensive use of maps.

Hi Kenarry readers! I’m Lori from Greco Design Company and I’m back again to share a fun, budget-friendly way to create a gallery style wall with maps. You may not have thought of it but maps are pieces of art. They are usually very colorful, graphic and include lots of educational information that can also be very personal and meaningful. And almost anything can have visual impact when framed and hung in a grouping. 

create a gallery style wall with map art and quotes

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 stuffy. Maps are a great solution – they’re fun and simple – and the fact that they’re educational was a bonus.

Create a gallery wall with map art and quotes

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 our area, and a map of Connecticut {where some of our extended family live}. I had a map of the United States and a fun, graphic map of Boston. Then 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 went old-school and cut out the pages of a driving map book we had in our car for some smaller map options.

Create a gallery wall with maps and a handmade EXPLORE pennant banner.

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 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 use just the wood structure. I used small tack nails to attach the maps to the wall in the middle of the frames.
  • Lamination – 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 like 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.

Use travel related quotes and art for a gallery style map wall

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 and I made an EXPLORE pennant banner with chalkboard and scrapbook paper. Here are a few tips on how to hang a gallery style wall:

Detail of maps for gallery wall

1. Start collecting meaningful art. In this case, the maps were of areas that had meaning to our family. I also included some big scale maps for reference and educational purposes. Other ideas include grouping artwork, photographs, or children’s creations. Then add in other objects of interest such as postcards, ticket stubs, stamps, inspirational quotes, metal hooks, initials and anything that personalizes your collection. When selecting items, think of similar elements they share – shapes, colors, subject matter – these are all things that can make your collection feel cohesive.

2. Pick your focal piece. I like to have one larger dominant element. For this wall, the large U.S. map is pretty prominent. This was a good place to start and I knew I wanted all of the other pieces to build off of that.

Use travel and trip quotes for a gallery map wall

3. Measuring – a.k.a. organized chaos. Nothing needs to be exact or symmetrical {unless you want it to!}. You just need to experiment with what looks best to you. I find it’s best to lay out all the pieces on a nearby table or floor to get a rough idea of what should go where and how much space you have to work with. Then adjust things as you go. And it’s never perfect – if areas look empty or unbalanced, move things around or add something new. Vary the space between the pieces as you hang them too, but keep them within a few inches of each other. And pieces can overlap. I think this helps the elements relate – but I would only do this in a few places. Too much overlapping and not enough space just makes the wall look overcrowded.

4. Gather your hanging tools: tape measure, hammer, nails, pencil, level. I also recommend Scotch Adhesive Putty. Use a small bit of this on the back of each piece. It will help your artwork stay in place and can be removed easily when needed.

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.

Create a gallery style map wall that’s inexpensive, meaningful and educational.

Here are a few other related links for you to enjoy:

make your own pennant banner

Make Your Own Pennant Banner

gallery wall

How to Hang a Gallery Wall

What’s Next?

While you’re here be sure to check out other home decor ideas on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® –

5 Comments

  1. Hello~ I LOVE your ideas!! This map wall is fantastic. My daughter has been to Europe three times and would love to live there one day. I have taken maps and framed them as a background to put photos of her friends from Europe in a scattered design (collage). I have used maps as gift wrap for her. I have used maps by wrapping them around a wooden frame and put pics of her foreign friends in them. So much fun!
    ~Marilyn

    1. Marilyn, thank you so much for taking the time to visit us today. Didn’t Lori at Greco Design Company do an amazing job with this wall? I bet with all your daughter’s travels she could have quite the extensive gallery wall!

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