Maps…. Wallpaper… It’s all the same….

I was sixteen, with a freshly minted driver’s license and an old off white Oldsmobile Omega at my disposal.  I spent hours cruising around.  Gas was cheap, cell phone service was spotty at best, GPS was something from a scifi movie and there was more than enough time to see where the night took us.  It took us everywhere – mainly because I was always lost and trying to find my way back to a highway. 

Highways were confusing.  Sometimes in order to go north, you had to go south, and really, maps were only useful if you already knew where you were. 

Even after GPS became a feature of every phone and car, I remained lost.  Phones don’t work when you are hiking the mountains in north Georgia.  For a while my mountain man hubby and I lived in the northern part of north Georgia.  The only thing to do in the northern part of northern Georgia is hike around the mountains.   In the mountains you have to use a topographical map.

Where am I?

Where am I?

  These make even less sense than South highways that go North.  You can only see topographical features from the top – completely useless if you’re slogging your way through the trees and Jurassic era ferns and man eating mosquitos.  

After the gray paint fail, and the penny success, I spent some time sitting in the stairwell with a nice glass of two buck chuck.  It was dark with a glimmer of hope that the mess  would end soon.  The exact feeling that rose up every time I was lost and leaning over a car or against a tree trying to decipher where the magical map was telling me to go.

Hmmm. Maps.

Maps as wall paper.  Cool giant maps.  Enough cool giant maps so no one in my home ever feels lost again.

Then I saw the prices and had to lie down – which was awkward – because I was on the stairs.

Wait, this is 2013.  No one uses maps anymore.  Surely there must be piles of road maps somewhere that a kind hearted soul is willing to give away.  Well, not quite give away, but a road atlas is a heckuva lot cheaper than map wallpaper.

Death of an Atlas

Death of an Atlas

Paste & Maps - What could possibly go wrong?

Paste & Maps – What could possibly go wrong?

After some cutting and gluing, I ended up with a giant map mosaic. 

Where am I?

Where am I?

 Basically, you cut the large maps out of the atlas and paste them to the wall using wallpaper paste.  Then you simply fill in the holes with smaller maps.  The poor OCD part of my brain made me connect as many of the purple lines (highway 15, 55, 95, 92, 108 and who knows what else) as humanely possible I could until I got bored and wanted to cry at the thought of gluing one more map.

Wall 1 - In Progress

Wall 1 – In Progress

After 23 hours, I managed to complete one wall.  Well, the top half of one wall. The more I glued, the more I wanted to stop.  

Top Half Complete! #CharlieLooksLost

Top Half Complete! #CharlieLooksLost

Landing Wall #SoMuchLeft

Wainscoting is starting to seem like a perfect solution to the bottom half of the wall. 

 To prove that we are making progress:












Yup…  That’s what’s going for progress around here.

Don’t forget to check out the other sexy six Dueling Divas:


  • Sarah @ The Ugly Duckling House


  • Micha @ Little Old House 


  • Christine @ Little House on the Corner


  • Ann @ Our Handmade Home


  • Nicki @ Perfect Prospect


  • Kit @ DIY Diva


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10 Responses to Maps…. Wallpaper… It’s all the same….

  1. Cool idea! That takes a lot more patience than I possess right now, so good on you for getting it done! Wainscoting will look great.

  2. Pingback: Skim A Wall

  3. MarieRoxanne says:

    I found something for you! On “Decorchick” blog ( she talks about her new entrance rug but what I was looking at was the staircase and was thinking this might be good for the bottom of the maps instead of wainscoting! Check it out.

    • Sandra says:

      I love it! That is definitely going to make me think twice about the wainscoting. It would be soo much faster to install.

  4. MarieRoxanne says:

    I think the maps are a cool idea (looks good so far) and the wainscoting is a clever solution to the rest of the wall. (|Yeah, no more gluing!)

    • Sandra says:

      Hi MarieRoxanne! No kidding. I am sooo over glueing! I was thinking of horizontal wainscoting, to lead people up the stairs, but I wonder if that will be too much. What do you think?

      • MarieRoxanne says:

        Well, I am not one to go for “rules” so try to visualize it. Remember the longest piece would be how long? Will it go from one end to the other without a split? If not, it will look broken like this — instead of this____ . Did I just make sense?

        • MarieRoxanne says:

          Anyways the first line doesn’t broken in my comment I’ll try it here again __ __

          • Sandra says:

            Well, the longest section is less than 8ft, so I can use full boards. I would try to match the edges from all of the boards so they look like one continuous line up the stairs. I just wonder if it be too much pattern. Let’s face it, once that mama is up, she’s not coming down no matter how she looks…. :P

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