How to Frame a Folded Map

Maps are visually-striking decorative objects.
Maps are visually-striking decorative objects. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Maps are well-suited for display. If you have your heart set on framing a map that has creases, you can prepare the image for framing in a way that minimizes or eliminates the evidence of folds in the paper. Paper-flattening methods range from basic to elaborate, and you may need to find a professional to execute certain treatments. As long as the map is intact there is a way to prepare the paper for display, and you can have the framed map you envision, even if it was creased or folded in the past.

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Press the map under heavy objects to smooth out the creases. Lay the map on a flat, solid surface. Cover the map with heavy books. Leave the map covered for a couple of days.

Affix the map to a solid backing by having it professionally dry-mounted. Framers can smooth paper for framing by mounting it to matboard before assembling the frame. The process is permanent, but it will flatten the map.

Scan the map to restore the image digitally. Print the restored version on new paper and frame. Many copy shops and photography stores perform tasks like this routinely. Restoring a graphic or illustration, like a map, is simpler than restoring a photo because there is less detail or color variance.

Treat the paper with humidity to remove the creases. Professional paper restorers will be equipped to perform humidification. They will place the map in a chamber that holds steam while flattening the paper under rollers. Contact photo shops, framing shops and local historical groups to find a professional restorer.

Place the treated or enhanced map in a frame behind glass that downplays the paper's previous condition. Glass that reduces glare may make flaws in the paper less noticeable.

Hang the framed map on a wall that receives light the flatters the map's fine qualities and obscures its flaws.

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