So, while my bedroom makeover drags on and on at least I can share some insightful snippets of the journey thus far to (hopefully) keep you keen.
I know a lot of you have been hanging out to know how I was going to create a massive wall map on a budget – cause, dang, those things can be super expensive.
Well, it all started with this image…
Which got the cogs a-turning, and then evolved further when for $40 I scored this…
It was one of those, “Honey, stop the car!” moments when I spotted it outside our local charity store. You might think $40 isn’t all that cheap though this frame is MASSIVE – 150cm x 80cm (60 x 31 inches)!
And finally, after some deliberation, I settled on this map…
So gorgeous. Who doesn’t love vintage cartography?
And now, after some further research and a little bit of work I have this…
(Okay, still to actually be hung though you get the idea – BTW, that’s my TV bench it’s sitting on and overhanging…it’s biiig!).
And all for just $70 total (that’s $40 for the frame and only $30 for the massive map!).
So, here’s how I did it…
1. Find a high resolution, zoomable map somewhere on-line.
Map History is a great resource for this kinda thing. Just remember to make sure the map isn’t copyright protected and reproducing it is permissable.
2. Here’s where the ‘zoom’ feature is important. If you simply tried to copy and paste the whole map in one go the image resolution would be way too small to enlarge it without massive pixilation. So, starting in one corner, zoom in (as far as you need to depending on the size of the map you want to create) then copy that one section or save it as a picture file.
3. Once saved or copied, open up your map segment in an editing program like Photoshop (if you don’t currently have an editing program you can use this program which is free to download).
4. Still in your editing program, make the canvas size the same as that you want your finished poster to be (in my case 120cm x 60cm (47 x 23 inches) – which is the size of the opening in my frame) and assess, based on your initial map segment, if after you copied the entire map in comparable sections it would be large enough to cover your desired area.
5. Sound complicated? It may take some playing around though it is actually pretty straight forward. Trust me, I’m no computer buff (or maths expert) and I managed to work it out somehow :-)
6. Go back to your on-line map and move from segment to segment, copying and saving each section so it overlaps slightly, then pasting it all together, like a jigsaw puzzle, in your editing program to form one giant image (some sites will be more user-friendly than others when navigating from segment to segment).
To make up my completed image only took around 15 map segments and around 1 hour of copy-pasting so, while it sounds like a lot of effort, it’s actually pretty quick and easy.
7. Once you have completed your digital image, edit it as necessary (i.e. change the colour, add a border etc, etc, etc) then save it as a JPEG file. To double check that once printed-out you will have a good quality image, zoom in to relative size (use in-built rulers as a guide) and check for pixilation.
Very slight pixilation can only be seen in my map from as close as around two inches away which is really nothing to worry about.
8. Save your JPEG file to a USB and take it to your local budget printing store to be printed.
Depending on the size of you map you may also be able to print it at home in sections.
9. Do with it what you will!
I simply attached mine with Mod Podge to the existing oil reproduction print already in my frame then sealed it with a burnt umber glaze.
Seriously, this was waaaay easier than I made it sound though I was just trying to be thorough. I am now hooked and am making massive maps for everyone I know!