I have been dreaming about doing this for a really really long time. Like 3 moves ago–long time. But I’ve never had a house with the right sized wall, or the right space, or a house that was special enough to take on such a nostalgic, dear-to-my heart project.
This is a picture of what we called the “pantry” in my grandparent’s house. You’ve probably heard me talk about this special place many times here before. There were 15 kids and this pantry was a long narrow room with a wall of cupboards on one side and a giant map on the other. Down the middle were two long farm tables with benches on either side. It was where we’d gather for meals. Some days every spot at the benches would be full with extra bodies overflowing into the kitchen. Other days there would be a quiet 3 or 4 gathered at one end for a cup of soup or a glass of iced tea.
The giant map covered the wall from floor to ceiling. Every so often it would get replaced with an updated version. It was great for conversations when talked about someone’s trip or things happening in the news. And served as the backdrop to many meals, craft projects, coloring sessions or games of cards.
One of the things I love about our home is including things that remind me of my family.
And hanging a map wall has been on that list for a really long time.
I purchased our map from Amazon* several years ago (but it’s still available). It stayed tucked away in its shipping carton in a corner of Woodlawn. I knew I wasn’t going to hang it there.
But when we moved to Waffle Hill Farm, getting the map hung was high on my to do list. (aka Dan’s to do list.) This winter when we had a big gathering for a Christmas party, Dan decided to take on the map hanging project and we had the perfect place.
The large wall in our downstairs hallway was almost the exact size of the complete map. And although I pushed just a wee bit for hanging it in the dining room, it was definitely the perfect spot.
Dan prepped the wall a few weeks before by repairing some cracks and painting the entire wall with a flat primer.
The map comes in several sections with directions (which we lost) and a powder used to mix the paste. But Dan used wallpaper adhesive instead of the included powder. The whole process is basically like hanging wallpaper and requires some intense matching of lines–especially since the pieces tend to wiggle a bit as they are applied to the wall. But Dan completed the entire map-hanging in an afternoon. And he did it all on his own. (He tends to tackle major house projects when I leave the house for extended periods of time. This is what 17 years of marriage has taught us.)
I cannot express how happy this wall makes me. It’s such a fun statement in our downstairs hall. It’s great for geography lessons or pointing out where Emma will be in a few days on her trip to Rome. (*sniff*. More on that soon!) And most importantly, it’s like having a little piece of my family history, and a place dear to my heart, inside my home.
23 comments on “Our giant map wall mural”
This is just amazing!
What a beautiful gift to give your family.
Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you Jen!
Love this (and the family history behind it) so much!
Thank you so much, friend! xo.
How cool! I have been wondering what the story was behind that wall. How very special.
Thanks, lady! xox
gaaaah!! i love this, molly!! (and rome???)
Thank you Beth! YES, ROME! Ack! She’s going on a pilgrimage–walking from Rome to Assisi. I’m hoping to do a post about it before the end of the week. Nervous, excited, anxious..ack! All of it. xox.
I saw the first pic and recognized several of your cousins (?) AMcG, MMcG, & PMcG! Your wall looks amazing! Great to have the right space for your map!
You’re right! I’m sure they love me posting those pictures. hahah.
This is such a great idea!
Thank you so much, Olga!
I absolutely love this! That’s such a beautiful story and the wall looks AMAZING! Well worth the wait, I reckon! 🙂
Thank you so much, Sophie. It definitely was worth the wait to have it in just the right place. xo.
What a special project!! I really love this idea and it looks great in your home!
Thank you Rachel! It’s so fun to see this project finally be complete. xo.
Amazing! This is like a homeschool momma’s dream!
Back when we homeschooled (which now seems like ages ago!) i had hung up a large world map on our dining room wall that included flags of the countries. it was a constant conversation starter during dinner time. It eventually ripped and we took it down , but this has me thinking we might need a new bigger map 🙂 i also do love how you are able to connect your past memories with new ones in a such a special place.
I love this! Such an awesome accent to your home.
I looooove this idea so much & that is has so much meaning! 😍
I love this! Looks like an epic mural wallpaper and I love how much meaning it has for your family.
OMG Now I keep wondering what wall in my home would be good for this *u*
Molly, I feel so honored and special that me, my siblings and Dad have dined in that room with many McGs. So many great memories with your wonderful family. 🙂