Remember this big Texas map?
It only cost me about $30 to make. It wasn’t some once in a lifetime garage sale, antique store, or curbside find either…I’m can tell you exactly how to make it for the same price. Adam and I made it about four years ago (pre-blog) for above our sofa, and it’s been hanging there until I recently moved it to the guest room.
So the first thing I have to share is where we got the map. It’s from a government website, the Texas General Land Office, which happens to sell prints of old Texas maps. Not just a few either, they have over EIGHTY THOUSAND to choose from. They have every type of map you could ever want or imagine….state maps, county maps, city maps, state parks, rivers, railroads… whatever you want, from the early 1800’s and on.
The best part is that they are dirt cheap. Here is a link to the map we ended up buying, a railroad and county map of Texas from 1906. It’s huge (almost 4 ft. X 4 ft.) and only cost $20. Twenty dollars! That’s crazy cheap. I walk through antique stores and see old maps that look identical to these for hundreds of dollars. Sidenote: This site only sells Texas maps. If you want something from another state you will have to spend some quality time with Google.
It looks really brown in that picture, this is a more true to life….
To frame the map I laid it out flat on a thin sheet of plywood and glued the corners in place. Adam made a frame out of cheap cedar fencing from Home Depot, I want to say they’re like $1.50 a pop and he used four.
He ran them through the table saw to cut about an inch off of one side lengthwise, then used the large pieces to make a simple frame with 45 degree corners. The thin strips were turned sideways to make a frame around the frame, which hides any gaps there would have been between the map and the wall. It’s all held together with wood glue and brad nails.
To forever unite the frame and map we simply brad nailed the two together. As you can see we only had really long brad nails on hand, so the ‘ol stapler method of brad nailing had to be used (a highly advanced technique).
To create mounting hardware I put a screw in each side of the frame and ran a piece of wire between them. Then I put two screws into neighboring studs on the wall to hang it, which will keep it from falling or sitting crooked.
And that is the story of the Texas map…giant art doesn’t get much cheaper than that!