Clean and Modern Wall Map: A Tutorial

Putting art on walls is hard. I like decor, but I also like open space around me. I like lightness and brightness and room to think without being distracted by lots of visual noise. When we moved to this house over two years ago, I wanted the walls of our living room to stay light and bright. 
We renovated the kitchen and the laundry room area as soon as we moved in. The laundry area adjacent to the kitchen had big folding doors that were more in-my-way than helpful, so I took them off, chose one, turned and hung it in the living room as a large blank canvas. 
To make your own super-sized art, all you need are:
  • a source image
  • a big wall space
  • thread
  • tape
  • a ruler
  • markers and/or paint + paintbrush
In choosing my graphic, I did a quick google image search for “world map” with the “line drawing” option selected.  I chose one that I thought was a good fit for the clean and simple look I was going for, and set about enlarging it. Enlarging via the “grid method” really doesn’t require much artistic skill. You’re concentrating on one little box at a time and it’s fairly forgiving. At least I hope Australia and a few other countries will forgive me for what can be called “creative license”.

I measured my “canvas” and then drew grid lines on the source map to correspond with the size of the canvas, an easy task because the proportions were so similar. To create the grid on the canvas I taped all four sides of the canvas with masking tape and used a ruler to mark the grid lines on top of the tape. 
Then I taped thread at the horizontal lines all the way across, and worked with just two vertical lines at a time that I moved across as I worked. Why thread? In smaller works you might just draw the lines with a pencil and then erase them. Obviously, that creates another step in the process that’s time-consuming. Thread creates a thin, movable line. Easy to remove when you’re done.
To keep the thread from drooping in the center I added tiny bits of tape. Even if the graphic were a lot more dense, these bits wouldn’t be in the way. Once your grid is in place, you’re reproducing each square from your source image on your larger canvas.

I drew the entire map with a Sharpie, but for whatever reason (light exposure? acidity?) it faded pretty quickly. As a longer-lasting solution I painted over all of the drawn lines with a gray acrylic and a small, round nylon brush. When finished, it’s a nice, light, open space.

It still offers plenty of room to add something seasonal or celebratory, like the sweet banner that Minted Party Decor sent over.

My favorite scene, of course, is the sleepy old beagle enjoying his spot.

Bright, light and happy. My kind of hang-out space. We’ve spent a lot of time snuggling on this couch over the last few days. I can’t even bring myself to write about Sandy Hook, it just hurts too much. I burst into tears at the mention of it. For now, my coping mechanisms are crafty things and hugging my children until they tell me they can’t breathe. 

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