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DIY Faux Vintage Pulldown Map

This cute DIY project that I created is a faux vintage pulldown map and I will show you exactly how I made it!

Did you get a chance to check out our Main Bathroom Makeover Reveal last week? Well if you did then you may have noticed the “pulldown map” that I had on the far wall in the main bathroom. Did you spot that?

Maybe you were thinking “what the heck is she doing putting a pulldown map in a bathroom with two crazy little boys?!?! That thing will be ruined in two days.”

Well, my friends. I have a little secret for you.

That wasn’t a REAL Vintage Pulldown Map. Oh,no. I am a Mom. And a primary teacher. I am far too smart for that.

That was, in fact, a DIY Faux Vintage Pulldown Map.

And I can’t wait to tell you all about how I made it!

How to turn a map poster into a Faux Vintage Pulldown Map graphic.

Isn’t that a fun piece?

I love how it turned out. But I definitely have some words of advice for y’all about the how-to.

Vintage Pulldown Map Tutorial

I started out with this adorable New York City (faux) vintage map that I bought at The Cross Design store in Vancouver when I was over there this year for a conference. In fact, I went to a pre-Blogpodium (conference) event at The Cross with my friend Jenn, from Clean and Scentsible. Do you know Jenn?! Her blog?! She is about the sweetest girl ever, and has beautiful style as well as being an unbelievable organizer. It was so fun to get to hang out with her in real life – you must visit her blog if you haven’t yet.

A map, a board, and Mod Podge on the table.

Anyhow, the map was being sold at The Cross Design- they do sell online, but you might have to message them to see if they sell these online. I couldn’t find them on their website. They were in the paper/stationary section. They carry such beautiful home decor products!!

In addition to the map, we cut a piece of 1/4″ plywood to the exact dimensions of the map. I used Mod Podge but (***ADVICE***) I would consider using a spray adhesive to adhere the map and then use Mod Podge or another clear sealer over the top of it.

Putting glue on the wooden board.

Basically I put Mod Podge all over the board and brushed it out…

Brushing the glue all over the board.

TIP: I then lined up the map and smoothed it over. The thing about Mod Podge is that, although it works amazingly, getting out the bumps and bubbles as it dries is very tricky. That’s why I think that you could instead use spray adhesive to ATTACH the map to the board and then put Mod Podge over top. I didn’t mind the little bumps because this is supposed to look old (Faux Vintage, right?!), but if you want a smoother finish then perhaps try the spray adhesive method.

TIP – Apparently I forgot to photograph this part, but once the map was attached and had dried on the board, I did a coat of Mod Podge OVER TOP of it to SEAL it on – making it more waterproof for the bathroom. I wouldn’t hang it IN the tub, but it should hold up to my boys.

Small squares of wood laid out on the table.

Next also cut some small squares of wood to length so that they would hang a couple of inches out on each side. My husband ran them through the table saw a couple of times to create a small inset down the middle so that the map-adhered-to-plywood would sit nice and neatly inside the wood frame.

I stained them with the weathered grey stain that that I used on my Chalkboard Menu Board Pallet Sign project this summer…

Applying stain to the wooden pieces.

And then we added little eye hooks in the end of the top piece.

Attaching eye hooks to the wooden pieces.

You could probably use wood glue for this project as well but we lent ours to my brother-in-law and he hasn’t returned it yet. So I used some gorilla glue instead.

I run a light coat down the middle of the cut-inset piece and plugged the vintage map into it. Then I did the same at the bottom, and taped the whole thing together with some painters tape and left it to dry for a couple of hours. The tip with gorilla glue is not to use TOO much as it does expand in size while it dries and you don’t want to see it leaking out of your project once it’s dry.

Gluing the map to the board.

Then lastly I hung some twine from end to end (quite tightly across)….

Attaching twine to each end of the map.


DIY Faux Vintage Pulldown Map hanging on the wall.

Cute, right?!?

And I love how it looks in our fresh new Main Bathroom…

Boho Chic Bathroom Makeover with Hale Navy, Coral and Turquoise at thehappyhousie.com-21

Doesn’t it work perfectly with the bright colours in the shower curtain?!

The bright shower curtain in the bathroom.

Visit the rest of our Main Bathroom Reveal and the other projects that went into it!

Plus, it is waterproof (basically – I wouldn’t be temped to give it a soak in the tub). And it gives a little vintage travel flair to the bathroom. Perfect for an eclectic boho-chic design!

You could really use anything for this – any kind of poster or map. And if you use a newer map, you could always distress it with some dark wax or stain to give it an aged look before you do the project with it. You are only limited by your imagination!

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  1. This is such a great idea! I often look at the real pull down maps in vintage shops and they are so expensive (and often smell really musty). Your idea is cheap AND personal. It’ll be so fun to try. Looking forward to sharing it

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