DIY Restoration Hardware Map & Frame

2 Tutorials for the Price of 1!

Restoration Hardware Map Hack - Frame from Reclaimed Wood

I knew from day one that we were going to have some kind of map art in our vintage industrial basement.  Maps and art can get unduly expensive.  So let’s make our own.  I have such longing eyes for all things Restoration Hardware, especially their maps.  I took their maps and used it for my inspiration.  Welcome to my Restoration Hardware Inspired Map Hack.

This site has TONS of free map images.  Maps are literally oozing all over the place.  Maps here, maps there…  Thousands of old maps, new maps, any kind of map!  Here is the map I picked.  (If you do this, make sure you save your image in the biggest size possible.)  I used Poster It to print it to the size I wanted, on multiple sheets of paper.

DIY Restoration Hardware Map Hack

I’m challenged and unable to cut straight lines with scissors.  Sing hallelujah for paper cutters!

Restoration Hardware Map Hack

Next step: Have a board cut about 3″ bigger on each side than the measurement of your map.  We had an old piece of plywood laying around.  Free projects=best projects.  Then, Mod Podge away!  Except, let me tell you something I learned.  First, I just dumped a whole bunch all over the place, and tried to smooth out the map-pieces.  Nope.  Fail.  Big fail.  What I learned:  Mod Podge the back of the paper, stick it on, smooth it out with an old library card.. then set the next piece.  Once all the pieces have been set, Mod Podge over the whole thing.
Had I done that early on, I would have avoided these unsightly cracks.  No one likes a crack in their face (unless you’re weird into that).

Restoration Hardware OLD Map Hack - Frame from Reclaimed Wood

IF YOU DO GET CRACKED:  here is how to fix it.  Just print another map in “landscape” mode.  Cut it out, Mod Podge it over your cracks.

Restoration Hardware Map Hack - Frame from Reclaimed Wood - Make an old map

Pre-Mod Podge: Cracks covered!

Now let me teach you what being cheap resourceful means:

Here is our house.  And here is our fence.

Where to get free reclaimed wood

Our fence is old.  20+ years.  So, a new fence is in planning mode.  We have a lot of fence.  So much OLD FENCE.  I was hit with a ghetto brilliant idea.  I am sitting on a seemingly unlimited pile of reclaimed wood.  This old fence is cedar, and perfectly weathered.  The wheels be turnin’.

Where to get free reclaimed wood: OLD FENCE

Let us throw some stain and polyurethane on these slatty-slats.  I’d like for no one to get slivers.

Where to get free reclaimed wood: OLD FENCE

Once the poly was dry (over night) They were ready for cutting.  I measured the map, and cut the fence slats accordingly.  I cut them all on a 45 degree angle using the miter saw.  It took less than 10 minutes.

DIY Old Map frame in reclaimed wood

When you’re ready to attach your frame to your map, make sure you go ask a grown up for help with the power tools.
Use a finish nailer and put those suckers in their place.

DIY Old Map frame in reclaimed wood

You’re almost done with this almost free project.  We just gotta put hanging material on the back, and that’s it!  (If you don’t already have this kit, you can pick one up at the hardware store for extra cheap.)  You just twist the eye hooks into place, and secure a line of wire between the eyes.

DIY Old Map frame in reclaimed wood

picture hanging kit

DIY Old Map frame in reclaimed wood

Now be proud of yourself, and go hang it up!

DIY Old Map frame in reclaimed wood

Ta da!  I love the way our map-baby looks on the corrugated metal wall.  The contrast of old and new is the perfect balance for the Vintage Industrial Design look we want.  Yeah mama!

DIY Old Map frame in reclaimed wood - vintage industrial design - restoration hardware inspired

I’m a map, I’m a map, I’m a map, I’m a – Oh, you’re still reading… oh, I thought no one actually read these posts.  Now I’m just embarrassed.

This project literally cost me nothing but time.  All the supplies used were things I had laying around.  If I had to estimate a cost for this map it would be:

  • $5 to print the map
  • $8 for the Mod Podge
  • $10 (or less) for the plywood
  • $5-10 for the frame-wood

So all in all, roughly $25-35

But if you’re like me, you’ll want to do this as ghetto cheap as possible, and you will take down your fence (and strategically leave gaps) for the sake of your design.

What ghetto things have you done lately?

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  • Caitlin

    Hey Kenz! When you printed out your map, did you print it out just on regular printer paper, or on photo paper? I’m doing something similar using pics from Rome onto canvas, but I don’t know what sort of paper to print on!

    • I printed it on regular old printer paper. Nothing fancy at all! Email me your pictures when you’re done. Can’t wait to see it!

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  • Angela

    Love it! I’ve been searching for a way to get the Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the cost. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Deborah Williams

    You are amazing and definitely have a new follower!! I love outside the box (or fence as the case may be). Including the photo of your fence just made me laugh. Thanks for sharing this project.

  • I love it, I also know that you can take your image to Staples and they can print out you map in one piece for a few dollars. Just a thought for next time, but it came out great. Where did you find the map?

    • Yeah, I’ve head of Engineer Prints at Staples. I am actually going to try that out for another project this week. The thing is, they are only B&W, and I wanted mine to have the aged yellowish look… and I wasn’t in the mood for distressing it 🙂 Here is a link to the site that has all the map images

  • Bobi Jensen

    Love your style – I’ve been using old boards from re-building our deck. You start to see everything as a potential craft, right? 🙂

    I started my very first “Weekend Warmth” Linky party…and there are no rules. Please join in!

    • Oh yeah, I constantly have my “this has potential” glasses on. It’s bad news 🙂 Thanks for the invite to the party

  • Sarah K

    This looks amazing! I love the unlimited pile of reclaimed wood, I mean fence. Can’t wait to see what else you come up with!

    • Thank you! I’ve got some other projects up my sleeves, so make sure you keep coming back 🙂

  • di @ musings

    Love the finished piece and especially the price. I’m pinning this one!

  • melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

    The map looks great. But, I my wheels are spinning with all of the possible projects that fence holds! You are going to be able to crank out some serious projects! Life to the full! Melissa

    • Agreed. My constant question to myself is “Can I put reclaimed wood on this? How ’bout this? This?”

  • Jaymie

    What a fun idea! I’ve wanted something similar forever. So excited to give this a shot!

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  • Dang! Thought you were gonna’ teach me how to make a picture frame without a miter saw! I’m trying to avoid buying one but I need to be makin’ some picture frames right quick for my new shop! Looks like I’m headed to Home Depot tomorrow! Dang! I love all your fencing….lots of projects ahead. Can I have some? Lol, be blessed Lisa

    Check out my blog…

    I found you via Knock Off Decor….

    • Oh man, I wish I could think of a way to tell you how to make a frame without a miter saw. I can’t think of any. But I have done SEVERAL projects with the m-saw, and I feel like I have totally gotten my money’s worth. It’s a must have tool for DIY projects. I’ll share my fencing any day! I’m a giver lol

      Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for sharing your blog. It’s great 🙂

  • Guest

    I’m trying to locate the map on the website you gave below, not sure what I’m doing. What tabs did you find it under? Thanks for your help,

  • Lucky

    Thank you so muh for this tutorial, love the cost of the project and can’t wait to hang it in my siding room!

  • Faith

    I love this project. Unfortunately, I took my Poster It file to Staples (twice!!!) and the images aren’t matching up like yours. Did you have any special settings when you used the Poster It program? I am using the same map. Thanks!

    • Oh no! I don’t remember using any special settings. I didn’t take my file to Staples. I did it straight at home on my laser jet printer. I can’t believe the images aren’t matching up for you 🙁 I’ll look into it for you. It could be that Staples is doing something different when they print it.

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  • Bolted

    I love how you do all your sawing, nailing, modge-podging on your dining room table(s)! My kinda gal!

    • Kenz

      Hey there Bolted! You know, why NOT! 🙂

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  • Barbaretta

    K…fabulous….do you happen to know of a poster program I can use with my Mac?

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