Large maps can be expensive to frame if you go the traditional route and employ a framing shop to do it for you. Fortunately, economical solutions exist and often look better than their traditional cousins. Whether you choose to frame a map of your hometown, a favorite vacation locale or a series of vintage maps, options are available for any style of decor.
For extra large maps, consider cutting them into sizable pieces. Frame the individual pieces separately. Quality frames are less expensive in smaller sizes and come in a range of colors and styles. Cut the map into three long strips and frame them with ornate black frames in a rectangular shape. Frame the maps with or without a mat depending on the look you wish to achieve. Hang the three maps close together on an uncluttered wall for optimal results. The frames can be hung in a hallway, an office or a bedroom, for example.
Browse local secondhand stores, flea markets and antique shops for oversize frames you can refinish for your map. Clean up decorative frames with a coat of spray paint in a bright cheery color. Choose your color according to the decor of the room where the map will live, or pick a shade out of the map. For an eclectic look, procure a vintage window and use it to frame the map. The map can be affixed to the underside of the window and hung on a wall or turned into a coffee table.
A sheet of clear acrylic can be dressed up with an inexpensive frame made from moldings. Decorative moldings are widely available at hardware stores and can be painted any color. Assemble the frame around the acrylic and affix the map. Switch things up by painting the frame a bright white and use a sheet of blue- or red-tinted acrylic for a modern take on a framed map. Another idea is to skip the traditional frame. Affix the map directly to the acrylic and hang it with industrial-looking hardware or bolts. A collection of maps hung like this will brighten any office.
Look for poster frames, normally used to inexpensively frame posters for bands or movies. Poster frames are made of lightweight metal and are ideal for this type of project. Another idea is to have the map attached to a poster board. You can then hang it without a frame. Or, have the map transferred to a canvas and hang the stretched canvas with or without a frame.
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