The world on my wall

A week or two ago, I ordered a map from Etsy. A world map which is destined to spend the rest of its life hanging on my living room wall. (Which is actually a pretty great destiny for a map)

I chose this map out of the millions of map contenders because of its vintage look, and especially its deep, rich, saturated colors — which set it apart from other maps. Like I said I bought it on Etsy, my first Etsy purchase ever (although I’ve been browsin’ there for years). I was a little nervous because the seller, Ancient Shades, ships from Romania (!) but the sale and shipping process went extremely smoothly. It showed up in the mail, right on time, and it’s even more beautiful than it looked online. Also it’s printed on really thhhhiccckkkk paper that feels high quality and delicious (mmkay I’m really tactile so that’s important to me).

So basically, I love it almost as much as life itself and I am very eager to get it up on my wall. But first I’ve got to get it framed. So I went to a crafts store yesterday — AC Moore to be exact — to get a quote. The map is big, 25×33″ — that’s almost 2×3 FEET, which of course is one of my favorite things about it. I like big maps and I cannot lie. But just with a simple frame, one white mat, and ordinary glass, they quoted me $160! Oh, OR I can go with the museum glass option, which is really clear and non-glare and awesome, for a mere $350. Whaaaaaat? So I’m standing there looking at the people in AC Moore who just gave me the quote, and trying to keep my face from looking all “I may be a total noob, but that’s just nuts.” So I just said, “thanks,” although I really wanted to say, “THAT’S CRAZY!” I mean, the map cost me $50 — and the frame’s gonna cost me 3X that? AND that’s a sale price …. 55% off the usual framing cost? Ya gotta be kidding me.

From this experience, two things have become clear: (1) the framing business is a RACKET, and (2) I totally need to go into the framing business.

Anyway, I’m not sure what I’m going to do next. It’s not like $160 is an inconceivable amount — I could afford it, I guess, I just would rather spend my money on more exciting things. But I do want to get that map up on the wall. So I think I’m going to look around, maybe get some more quotes, and try to come up with a Plan B …. but if after about a month I don’t find anything, I’ll probably cough up the money for custom framing.

One option might be to get my DIY on. Look around thrift stores, antique stores, the internet, etc and find a really big wood frame (it has to be bigger than 2×3 feet you remember) and then get a mat cut to fit the map into the frame, and put it together myself.

You guys got any suggestions? Want to offer your services as a master mat cutter / woodworker? Know someone who works at Michaels and think you can, you know, pull a few strings? Just sayin. Or if you just want to tell me how beautiful my new map is, I’ll take that too. Because I kind of love it. A lot. And I’ll stop at nothing to display it for all to see.


  1. Kristina

    If you want to find inexpensive glass, then check out your local ace hardware, they can cut sheets of glass to your desired size for a pretty good price. If you check other framing craft stores like hobby lobby or Michales, there are sometimes custom frames that people end up damaged and are discounted, or large stock frames that are usually much less expensive then getting a custom frame.

    Good luck on your frame hunt!

  2. annalisaphillipswilson

    the map is beautiful!:) Check out Country Boys in Norfolk for big frames–that’s where we got a couple of the ones on our wall. And Brenda’s in Portsmouth. Then you could just pay for the glass and mat?…

    • At Home with Bethany

      dude I just visited Country Boy for the first time last week and now I can’t stop thinking about it! :) I’m definitely going to check there now that I have the map and know the dimensions. haven’t heard of/been to brenda’s, hmm…….

  3. Naomie

    Cool map Bethany!! i like the vintage look! but i’m ‘fraid i have no clue on how to put it on a wall…other than good ol’ Plastitack. ;) hahaha…maybe not!

  4. Caitlin

    Yeah, custom framing is really expensive. I would probably just try to find the closest frame you can buy. I would think they would have some poster sized ones about that big, but poster frames are usually really simple. And if you have to go a little bit bigger, you can just have them cut the custom mat.

  5. Mrs. Limestone

    $160 sounds pretty reasonable for such a large frame. The cost of materials for a large frame and glass is not cheap. I know the cost of custom framing shocked me too but DIYing a very large piece yourself can be tricky. Great for smaller pieces but can look kind of sad on larger items unless you know what you are doing.. Just my opinion.

    Love the map by the way – I think it will look fab.

    • At Home with Bethany

      thanks for the advice! yeah, I definitely do NOT know what I am doing with framing, so, point well taken. :) I have some smaller items I need to DIY or get custom framed too — maybe I can play around with them and see how that goes. would hate to sink money into a DIY-gone-wrong that would be better spent on just getting it framed professionally.

  6. Pingback: Evolution of a living room « At Home with Bethany

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