With limited wall space in our school room, displaying our maps has been a challenge. The big world and US maps were hung on the wall behind the door, but that was too dark and quite inconvenient. When we took everything down to put the house on the market I installed hooks for our computer backpacks on the wall behind the door. That’s a much better use of the space. Now that we’re not moving, we want our maps back. What to do?
We have a large white cabinet against the wall that stores our curriculum. It’s a great cabinet. And it has a clean white front. It dawned on me one day – why not cut the maps and glue them to the doors? Wait! Cut the maps? What? Are you kidding me? Am I allowed to do that? AND glue them to the cabinet? This is crazy talk woman! As a rule follower and someone who doesn’t want to mess something up for someone else someday, these were rather radical ideas for me. But , after 40-something years, I’m also learning that it’s okay for me to claim my own things and make them my own – just like other people. So, once I gathered up the nerve, you guessed it – I cut and glued my maps on the cabinet!
I have a large cutting mat (courtesy of a friend who no longer wanted it), a large straight edge (leaning against the kitchen wall studs in the midst of its remodel), and a rotary cutting tool (a little sewing and scrapbooking has earned me a few tools, too). I scoured my paint box in the garage for the small roller and roller cover (a new addition to the paint box last year when I painted the stairs), but a simple brush or sponge would’ve worked just as well. Finally, I pulled out the Mod Podge. I was all set.
First, the borders needed to be trimmed off both maps to make them fit on the doors. Finding the center was pretty easy, and the straight edge and rotary tool made cutting straight lines a breeze. I did give the doors a light sanding and wiped them down, just to make sure they were clean and the glue would adhere. Then I simply rolled the Mod Podge onto the door and carefully hung each map section. I even put the world legend inside one of the doors so we can still locate countries on the world map. After things were set well, I put a coat of Mod Podge over the whole map to seal and protect it.
I’ve never hung wall paper, but I got the feeling it was similar. With such a large section of paper, it was a challenge to keep it flat and limit the air bubbles and wrinkles. It’s not perfect: the mountains reflect their topography a bit and the oceans are little “wavy”, but we’re quite pleased. I still don’t have a lot of wall space, but I think we’ve done a good job of using the space we do have to its fullest. And now, any time one of us wants to look at the map for anything, it’s in plain sight.