The One Room Challenge is in week 4, and things are starting to heat up! With both of us being either out of town or hosting guests for the remainder of the challenge, Dani and I have to be strategic about keeping up with playroom design and posts! This week we’re featuring a quick post about our DIY map wall decal project.
Remember in week one we said we wanted the decor elements to be able to move with Dani’s family when they leave the area? Dani ordered this super cute map wall decal from Amazon…
…but she didn’t want to just stick them to the wall. She wanted a more finished piece that could be taken off the wall and moved when they leave this house. We decided to mount the wall decals to a backing that we could then hang from the wall.
Easy Steps for Creating a Decor Piece from a Wall Decal
Measure measure measure
This might go without saying, but you don’t want to get to the hardware store and realize you don’t know what size you need the plywood cut into! Measure the space you intend to hang the wall decal/decor piece, but don’t forget to check the dimensions of the decal too. Make sure to allow extra space if you’re planning on adding a border or if you need extra space for hanging hardware.
Choose a background color and hanging method for your decor piece
Gather your color resources together! Take the decals into the room where the decor piece will hang so you can get an idea of how the colors will look when you’re in that lighting. Take into account other colors already in the space, such as a colorful rug or curtains. Lay out paint chips and any color palette inspiration photos and experiment with different ideas until you find something you like.
Now is also the time to decide how your decor piece will be hung. If the backing you plan on using is thick enough, you might install D-rings or a sawtooth hanger onto the piece. If your backing material is thin, you might have to get creative. We decided to drill holes in the top corners of our backing material and string a length of rope between them to give the piece something to hang on.
Gather your wall decal and all materials
Hit the hardware store! Get your paint color mixed and your backing board cut to size.
While you’re here, don’t forget your hanging hardware and any hooks, sandpaper, and painting materials you might need.
Get your PAINT on!
Prep your backing material by sanding down any rough edges and wiping away the resulting dust. Next, use a brush or roller to paint the backing and add any framing details you want. We decided on a rough, freehand navy border for ours.
Always paint in a well-ventilated area like an open garage or a porch. But if you’re painting anything outside in the spring, beware. Many insects and plant particles will try to fly onto and become one with your project. Our lavender map background is now approximately 2% poplar seed fluffs by weight.
Place your wall decal onto the backing
Cut out the component decals without removing them from the sticker sheet. Now you can play with the arrangement of the details without having to peel up and restick any pieces.
We decided to arrange our world map wall decals in keeping with commonly accepted continental placement. Though I briefly considered a more abstract placement, it occurred to me that it might be cruel to influence a baby brain into thinking that Australia was next to, say, Greenland.
Would be funny, though, right?
When you’re sticking larger decals down, peel the paper off of half of the decal before repositioning each piece. Once you like the placement, carefully lay the sticky half down before peeling off the rest of the paper. Use a towel, squeegee, or something else soft to apply pressure evenly from the center of each decal to work out any trapped air bubbles.
hang your former wall decal/now decor piece!
Install your hanging hardware on the decor piece and the wall. For our project, that entailed drilling a hole in each top corner. We then threaded the rope through the holes and knotted it on each side.
Here’s a side view of the mounted decor piece. The rope is simply hung on two hooks anchored into the wall. Easy and clean.
Enjoy your new decor!
Finally, step back and enjoy the full view! Then step forward and admire the details.
The colors are wonderfully vibrant in person! The lavender works because it ties into the world map details and the purple undertones in the rug. I can’t wait to show you the whole multipurpose playroom/guest room combo!
In fact, here’s a sneak peek of how the room is developing:
Look back at previous work on this multipurpose playroom project:
Would you ever choose lavender for a world map? I’m envisioning a Dr. Seussian, color-shifted world, which is a fun thought.
Or perhaps, like myself, you are secretly evil, and you relish the idea of a map that completely corrupts young minds with incorrect depictions of continental drift. No? Anyone?
Go spread some love to the other One Room Challenge participants by clicking here. See you next week!