DIY Map Art

I just love maps.  And I love to decorate with maps.  Apparently, I’m not the only one.
Have you checked out Pottery Barn recently?
image via
This beauty retails for $349.  That requires some serious money.  To DIY, you’d have to have some serious wood skills.
There must be an easier way!
Enter the humble 50 cent wooden yard sale puzzle.  With a little investment of time and elbow grease, and not a lot of money, you can turn this…
… into this!
Turning a Puzzle into Art

Let’s get started, shall we?
Step 1:  Paint over your entire puzzle with spray paint with primer for excellent coverage.  It took 3-4 thin coats for the black words on my puzzle to get covered completely.  I used a spray paint with built-in primer.
Step 2:  Prep your backing.  I used a $2 frame from a flea market.  It had backing, but no glass.  You could also use scrap wood, or the hard cardboard insert from a cast-off frame.  Anything will do, as long as it’s large enough for your puzzle.  You can always “pretty it up” a bit.
If your background piece needs some added charm, you can paint a simple design on it with acrylic paint, as I did.  First, I used spray adhesive to attach my burlap to the frame backing.  Once it was dry, I used this free template to make my own chevron stencil.
Step 3:  Paint your frame (if you’re using one).  I also used primer & spray paint for this.  It was an easy, quick way to add a great pop of color to the piece.  Consider coordinating or contrasting your frame color & puzzle color.
Step 4:  Adhere the puzzle pieces to your backing.
Set your puzzle pieces out on the backing to line them up the way you want them.  Start gluing with the center piece to keep your whole map lined up correctly.
And you’re done!  I can’t wait to use this to add some fun color to my house.
My Price Breakdown:
{Total Cost:  less than $10}
Frame $2.00
Wooden puzzle $.50
Spray paint, preferably with primer $3.47
Burlap (optional) $2.98/yard
Acrylic Paint  $.56
And you’ve probably noticed that I still have the empty puzzle board left.
You can actually make a second DIY art piece out of that!  What would you do?
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Abby is a pastor's wife and busy homeschool mom to four boys. Her family is thrilled to be Making Room 4 One More through the blessing of international adoption. This has been her longest "pregnancy" ever, but she has been amazed to see God's faithfulness, direction, and provision through it all. In her free time, Abby enjoys crafting, reading, playing the piano, thrifting, organizing her household, and spending time with all her boys!

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  1. says

    It would be fun to take alaska and hawaii and make little matching frames to go beside or under this. 🙂 i love the colors you chose too! I think i would like to try this with ric rac or scrap ribbon instead of the burlap…

  2. says

    i know, poor alaska & hawaii! really should include them. definitely could do this with other backgrounds to change up the look – great idea!

  3. says

    I just love this simple DIY solution! I love maps and globes as well, this is right up my alley. Thanks for sharing at the WWDP!! =)

    • says

      Just wanted to let you know that I am featuring this post on this week’s Weekend Wind-Down party! Come over to the blog at 6pm Friday night to see your feature and grab a button, plus link up new posts! Thanks for giving us great content to feature! =)

  4. says

    Thats a fabulous Project and the two colors tan and blue are my favorite colors.. Thans for entering my Fabulous Friday Party Hope you had a great weekend.

    • says

      it’s a great way to get fun color in your decor! i’ve been pushing myself to embrace more color, and this was an easy way to do it.

  5. says

    Found you via Small Victories Sunday & so glad I did! What a super cute idea! Will have to keep my eyes peeled for one of these somewhere….and whoever mentioned Alaska & Hawaii that is hilarious!

  6. says

    I have tons of these wooden puzzles in my basement from when the kids were little (hoarder tendency??) and your lovely idea here makes me wonder if any wooden puzzle could look as cool hanging on the wall. Off to check it out…. Thanks. Visiting via “SmallVictoriesSunday” linkup

    • says

      i bet you’re right — you could make a work of art from almost any old puzzle. go for it! it will be the color and texture that make all the difference 🙂

  7. says

    Cute!! One of my friends actually made the PBK version herself and I thought to myself…noooo waaaay. This looks more my speed. Very creative, and I love re-purposing!

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