Canvas Map Wall Art

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For my first ever participation in the great Pinterest Challenge from Young House Love and Bower Power with guests Ten June and Centsational Girl, I decided to tackle a project I have been wanting to do for a while…creating a World Map art piece for our living room.  What better time than now, while we are in the midst of our living room makeover!  And here we are with a glimpse at the finished product:

Finished Map Canvas

Alex and I love traveling and have great pictures and memories from our trips; from backpacking Europe to weekend trips in California.  A few weeks ago we went to Yosemite National Park for a few days and hiked the Panorama Trail.  It was so awesome!  We like to utilize our travels in our home decor, like this Ticket Stub Album Cover, so what a better way than a world map surrounded by pictures from our travels. Going through my pinboards on Pinterest, I was able to draw inspiration from others as to how I wanted my map to look.

Here is my “Pinspiration” from my home decor pinboard….

Map Inspiration

1. How amazing is this 6 panel canvas world map from ModernCanvas on Etsy.  I love the simplicity of just using green and white. Sells for $185.

2. Also from ModernCanvas, I liked the idea of going horizontal on 3 canvas panels and adding in multiple bright colors. Currently selling for $200.

3. LOVE the rustic feel of this one from Picture Sensations. Framed Huge 3 Panel Modern Canvas Art World Map Giclee Canvas Print currently selling for $99 on Amazon.

4. And finally, a DIY option! This one is from the blog of Christy Wright.

5. World Map Accent wall!! I just love the idea of wallpapering a room with a world map, maybe for a playroom someday?!? From Maps International and selling at £325.00.

So, how was it made? Here is my World Map Canvas Tutorial

After seeing the price tag on most of those beautiful options, I opted to try and make a great DIY World Map art piece for our living room. I gathered my materials including 3- 12″ x 24″ canvas art boards, one 24″ x 36″ world map, assorted paint, spray adhesive, Mod Podge, scissors and a yard stick.


Next I took my 3 art canvasses and black fabric paint.  Using a paint brush, paint the edges of each canvas.  You can probably use basic acrylic paint if you have that laying around, but I opted to grab some fabric paint to make sure it went on smooth and thin and would dry well on fabric.

Painting Canvas Edges

I made sure to overlap onto the front of the canvas by about 1/2 an inch. This way if my map poster was slightly smaller than the canvas I will not see a white line/gap of the blank canvas. Allow paint to dry (recommended 4 hours on the bottle).

Working on my map art

While the paint was drying on my canvas, I prepared the map.  Using my yardstick (perfect size since my map was 24″ x 36″) to measure 3 segments of 12″ x  24″ to fit my 3 canvas panels.

Measure 12" Pieces

To make sure my cuts were straight, I was used my yard stick and drew a light pencil line to cut along. Make sure to use good, sharp scissors to ensure a clean cut.

Measuring Map Pieces

After checking my measurements twice, time to cut!

Cut Map Pieces

There we are; three even map pieces!

3 pieces for map canvas

Next up, I grabbed my spray adhesive and gave each panel a quick coat to make them tacky.  This way I could position each map onto the canvas.

Glue map to canvas

To make a nice antiqued look to our map art, I used black and metallic paint and dry brushed the edges of each canvas before coating them in mod podge.  It gives an aged almost burned look to the edges which I really love.

Antiqued Edges

As the Mod Podge was drying I kept working the edges of the map to make sure it laid down and adhered.  My map came out with a few ripples in it, but Alex was nice enough to say it adds to the vintage feel :)

So, with the maps for purchase running anywhere from $99-$200, here is my breakdown on cost:

Not a bad savings and a fun little project to complete for this Pinterest Challenge :) Here is one last look at how my map turned out with other photos around it:


Click here to see our finished living room with this great art piece on display.  It looks so good being the vintage shade of yellow along with our new grey and yellow living room décor!

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51 thoughts on “Canvas Map Wall Art

  1. Hi! I am about to try this project to hang in my new apartment. I have tried many canvas projects with Mod Podge in the past and always end up with bubbles on my finished products. I have a few questions if you don’t mind helping me out :) Why do you use spray adhesive instead of mod podge to attach the maps to the canvases? When you used mod podge at the end, did you brush it only on the edges or over the whole canvas? Matte or shine mod podge and HOW in the world do you avoid bubbles?! Finally, do you have a certain technique (brush, strokes, etc.) for the black and metallic paint on the edges to get the vintage look? Your project is beautiful and I can’t wait to try!

  2. Love this project! We followed your instructions and had the same problem with the Mod Podge causing wrinkles in the map. Next time I think I would skip the Mod Podge and seal using something else. Thanks for posting this!!

  3. I have acquired several vintage pull-down wall maps — that are unfortunately ripped in several places due to being tied with strings for years–that I’d like to somehow feature on my walls. Because they all are backed in canvas already, should I use a different material than canvas to mount them? Perhaps 1/4″ plyboard–or would that warp?

  4. The map looks amazing! Ive done a lot of traveling and I want a map to pin everywhere I have been. could you make me that exact one? how much? you are awesome!

    • Thanks Matt! Life has taken a turn for the insanely busy, so I am not currently creating and selling my crafts. I would recommended taking a look on Etsy, and I bet you can find a great vendor on there to make you an amazing custom map. Enjoy your travels :)

    • Hi Matt – I’m going to try this amazing project that these ladies have shown so well here. If my work turns out as well as theirs did, I’d be happy to make one for you. I’ll let you know…

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  6. I know this is super late, but I’m dying to try this for my boyfriend’s birthday. Would using the antique matte mod podge yellow and brown the poster too much? Should I have bought plain matte mod podge instead? Thank you!

    • Hi Sarah,

      When I mention “dry brushing” the edges I mean take your paint brush and dip it into your paint. Rub off most of the paint so that you have a very limited amount of paint/ almost dry brush. This will help you get thin paint onto the edges of the canvas giving the antiqued effect. If you use a brush with too much paint on it you will just see black without getting the map peeking through. Let me know if you have any other questions :)

    • Yes, I did coat the whole map with mod podge. I used the matte finish mod podge on the shiny map so I did it mainly to appear even in sheen. Hope this helps :)

  7. I tried this project and the map look perfect… right up until I put Mod Podge on top of it. It was completely ruined. I’ll have to start all over again but this time I’m just going to seal it-No mod podge for me!

    • Sorry to hear you had such a rough time with the mod podge! Mine came out with a few wrinkles in the map, but I tried my best keep smoothing it as it dried and the end result is “rustic”. Let me know what you use to seal it instead and how it turns out!

    • Same here! Thankfully I only applied mod podge to one panel but now I have to order another map to redo that one. I’m just spraying them with a sealer…curious to how yours held up?

  8. I am in the middle of this project…help! My map pieces are a pinch bigger than the canvas pieces. Do I trim up the edges so it fits perfectly or will the glue hold the paper down if I wrap the map over the edge of the canvas? Thanks for your thoughts!!

    • Hi Jen,

      I would recommend trimming the map to fit the canvas. If you are just slightly over it will be hard to get it to stick down nicely. Let me know how it turns out!

  9. Fantastic project. This reminds me of the huge restoration hardware framed maps that are billions of dollars, so a little out of my price range. Thanks for the inspiration. love your blog

  10. I love your project, I think it looks fantastic! Just so you know for next time, if you wet your paper for 10-15 seconds before gluing it down, it will not bubble as it dries. Check a corner first to make sure the colours don’t run before you stick the whole paper in the water.

      • Looks great!! I have a large map that I am trying to get ideas for on how to hang. I’d like to use pins to mark places we have traveled – do you know if you can use pins on art canvases and/or with paper that has been modpodged?

        • Thanks for stopping by! I was considering using pins to mark the places we have been on this canvas too, but did not want to leave little holes in my canvas after all the work. I plan on mounting a different map onto a cork-board at some point to pin our travels and hang in a office. Pins will definitely go though a modpodged map just fine, but they will leave holes if you decide to remove them later.

          • Holly should use magnets that look like pins. She can place a magnet on both the front and the back of the canvas to stay in place but won’t damage the art if she decides to remove the “pins” later.

    • Hi! I am wanting to do this project and saw you saying to wet the poster?

      Do you mean let it soak for 10-15 seconds submerged in water, OR do you mean paint it generously with water and let it sit for 10-15?

      Thanks (:

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