Decorating your home or office with map wallpaper and decals is a fun and unique way to add personality, interest, and a sense of adventure to any space. Maps can transport you to faraway places and spark your imagination. With so many map options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your style and space.
Choosing a Map for Your Wallpaper or Decals
When selecting a map for your wallpaper or decals, consider the geography, art style, colors, and level of detail. Here are some popular map options to consider:
A world map is a bold, eye-catching choice that can make any room feel more open and expansive.
- Political world maps show country borders and capitals. Select a vintage sepia map for a traditional explorer’s study or library.
- Physical world maps display major landforms like mountains and oceans. Choose one with bright colors for a playful dorm room or kids’ space.
- Antique world map wallpaper lends old-world charm with its faded, delicate appearance. It pairs well with both traditional and modern decor.
Focus on a specific continent, country, or region for a personal touch.
- Map out your hometown or home state in detail. Include landmarks and points of interest.
- Feature a favorite travel destination from a past trip to reminisce.
- Highlight ancestry origins by displaying a map of your family background.
- Accent a themed room with maps of historical empires, like ancient Rome or medieval Europe.
City maps highlight the intricate streets, neighborhoods, and transportation of urban areas around the globe.
- A map of the city you live in makes an appreciative interior accent.
- Showcase your favorite metropolis, like Paris, New York, or Tokyo.
- Display a nostalgic map of a city from the past, like a 1930s version of Chicago.
For beach houses, nautically-inspired spaces, or landlocked daydreamers, a map of the sea makes the perfect maritime wallpaper or decal.
- A world nautical chart shows ocean depths, seabed features, and major ports.
- Regional versions can depict the Caribbean, North Sea, or Great Barrier Reef.
- Antique adaptations add old-timey style with sea monsters and compass roses.
Outdoorsy types favor topographic wallpaper depicting natural landscapes in all their contour-filled glory.
- Showcase your favorite camping spot or national park with a custom topo map print.
- Rugged terrain topo maps, like the Rockies or Alps, add adventure to a room.
- More minimalist versions spotlight just the contour lines over a solid background.
Night Sky Maps
For astronomers and dreamers alike, maps of the stars, moon, and galaxies offer unique celestial style.
- Maps can show entire sky views or focus on specific cosmic features like the Milky Way.
- Glow-in-the-dark options turn your wall into a customized planetarium after dark.
- For kids’ rooms, try whimsical maps naming constellations after animals or storybook characters.
Map Wallpaper Installation Tips
Installing wallpaper with an intricate map design takes a bit more time and care than solid prints. Follow these tips for the smoothest installation:
Prepare the Wall Surface
- Fill any holes, repair flaws, and sand bumps for the flattest surface possible. Maps will show imperfections more than solid prints.
- Prime walls with a pigmented primer to prevent colors from the map bleeding through paint.
- Use a wallpaper adhesive specifically designed for more delicate materials. Avoid very wet adhesives that could cause the paper to warp or slide.
Plan Your Layout
- Scale and center your world map wallpaper design based on the wall size so edges don’t get cut off awkwardly.
- For panoramic multi-panel maps, plan the layout so borders line up properly across seams.
- Minimize seams through doorways or over windows to keep the map continuous.
Take Your Time Hanging
- Work slowly and methodically, smoothing the wallpaper as you go to prevent wrinkles, tears, or bubbles beneath the paper.
- Be extremely careful not to stretch the wallpaper when handling. Maps can tear more easily.
- Use a plastic smoother instead of a metal one to avoid scraping off the map’s printed surface.
Seal and Protect the Paper
- Once mounted, coat the wallpaper with a clear acrylic sealant made for wallpaper. This prevents stains and damage.
- For bathrooms or kitchens, choose washable, scrubbable wallpaper and reseal annually. Avoid exceptionally humid rooms.
Creative Uses for Map Decals
Map wall decals come in a versatile variety of sizes, shapes, and styles. Take your map display to the next dimension by supplementing wallpaper with decals or using decals on their own.
- Use colored dots to pinpoint special locations like birthplaces, vacations spots, or your current home.
- Adhere rows of dots along map routes to trace important explorers’ journeys, like Marco Polo or Lewis and Clark.
- Place numbered dots with a corresponding key listing descriptions for each location.
- Push pins both mark a spot and add an additional burst of color.
- Use pins to denote favorite restaurants, museums, camping grounds, or other beloved sites.
- Opt for pins with little customizable flags you can name or leave blank.
- Circular destination stickers list cities from across the globe. Cluster these to create a customized travel collage.
- Look for kits with stickers representing world capitals, US state capitals, European cities, or other map themes.
- Cut DIY stickers from colored paper and label with fine-tipped markers for a handmade touch.
- Highlight specific regions with partial map decals instead of an entire world view. Try a cluster of Hawaiian Islands or the Florida Keys.
- Use small country cut-outs as interchangeable accents you can move around a larger map.
Map Banners and Shapes
- Spell out words like “Explore,” “Adventure,” or “Wanderlust” using letter-shaped map decals.
- Cut maps into geometric banners or circular bursts for an artful look.
- Map speech bubbles make fun containers for photos, notes, or inspiring quotes.
DIY Map Wall Murals
For a personalized map wall mural you won’t find anywhere else, create your own custom map wallpaper or decals with these artsy DIY ideas:
Wallpaper Map Collage
Cut maps from old atlases, magazines, or books and arrange in an eye-catching scatter design for an eclectic collaged mural. Mix map styles and sizes for lots of variety.
Memory Map Wallpaper
Print out snapshot photos of vacations, family homes, and other meaningful locales. Crop them into circles or squares. Adhere the photo cut-outs onto a wall-sized map to produce a sentimental memory map full of personal significance.
Select or draw maps representing different periods in your family history. Adhere them chronologically across a wall to tell your ancestry story. Include dates, photos, or other embellishments.
Hometown Silhouette Map
Sketch your city skyline onto black paper and carefully cut it out to make a silhouette decal. Overlay this directly onto a map of your hometown for a customized local art piece.
Turn a wall into a giant chalkboard painted with a map outline. Use chalk to mark cities you’ve visited, favorite spots, travel goals, or doodles. Erase and reinvent your map anytime.
Inspiring Photos of Map Wallpaper and Decals
Need a bit more map decor inspiration? Check out these eye-catching examples of map wallpaper and decal displays:
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Photo credits: [List sources for all photos used]
Whether you’re a world traveler plotting your next adventure or an armchair explorer content to daydream, map wallpaper and decals add flair and excitement to your space. With so many map options and creative display ideas to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect map style to transport you and expand your horizons.
Frequently Asked Questions About Map Wallpaper and Decals
What are some tips for properly installing wallpaper?
Some tips for proper wallpaper installation include preparing the wall surface by sanding and priming, using an adhesive suited for the wallpaper material, carefully aligning patterns and seams, working slowly to avoid tears or bubbles, gently smoothing the paper rather than over-pressing, and sealing the finished wallpaper with an acrylic protector.
Should I get wallpaper or removable decals?
Wallpaper offers a very bold, seamless map display for a permanent installation. Removable decals provide more flexibility since they can be repositioned, switched out, or easily removed. Many renters and those wanting a temporary map accent prefer the convenience of decals.
Where is the best place to buy map wallpaper and decals?
You can find map wallpaper and decals at most home improvement stores, online retailers like Amazon and Etsy, map and travel shops, and specialty wallpaper showrooms. Many decal companies also do custom map orders.
How are wallpaper and decals different from a painted map mural?
Wallpaper and decals have an inherently vintage map aesthetic with visible paper texture. Painted murals allow for completely custom map designs but require artistic skill and painting supplies. Decals offer the most convenience for DIY installation. All three can create eye-catching map displays.
Can I use wallpaper adhesive on map decals?
It’s best to use the adhesive that comes with the decal product or an adhesive specially formulated for decals. Normal wallpaper adhesive is often too wet, leading decals to slide down the wall or warp. Some adhesives also contain chemicals that can deteriorate vinyl decals over time.
How do I choose the right size map display for my space?
Consider both the dimensions of your wall space and the level of visual impact you’d like. Smaller accent maps enhance a theme while oversized murals make maps the room focal point. For decals, buy packages with assorted sizes and shapes to create your own custom arrangement.
Maps on your walls are an expressive way to ignite your inner wanderlust and celebrate the diverse landscapes of both the world and your own life journey. From continent-spanning political maps to nautical charts of your favorite beaches to a sky map over your bed, there’s a map wallpaper or decal to match any personality or space. With so many creative map display options, you’re sure to find a look that helps you chart an exciting new design course. Whenever you need an infusion of adventure or a bit of armchair travel, let your new map wall mural or decal installation transport you and expand your interior horizons.