Vintage Paris map transformation

A while back, I  shared my first venture into creating very economical large maps to fit in high quality long, narrow frames you can buy cheaply at thrift stores. I started with an antique map of London, but always knew I wanted an even larger antique Paris map from 1643. I bought the frame at a thrift store a couple of months ago, and finally got around to printing the map at Staples (a $4.95 engineering print). The next step was disassembling the frame, and keeping all the parts.

Here’s what the original print looked like.

As with the other map, I antiqued the b/w print with instant coffee.

Then I applied spray adhesive to the original foam core print that was in the frame. When you antique with coffee the print paper gets rippled, which adds to the antique look. But it means  you have to flatten it out onto the original piece of art that was in the frame. Just be careful to avoid any wrinkles or bubbles–spray adhesive allows you to pull up the print and  reposition it with no trouble. (This frame is nearly 4 feet long.)

Then you simply reassemble the frame, insert the new map…and you’re done. Pretty cool, eh? You can find lots of antique, public domain maps online–so try making one of your favorite city. This whole thing cost me about $10, including the engineering print. I think I might hang the smaller London map and this one together.


6 thoughts on “Vintage Paris map transformation

    • Hi Lorna,

      There are some very large antique maps online in the public domain–some of them including this one are on my Printables–arch/orn/maps board. (I did a preliminary map like this of london to get the hang of it, you can get to that post by clicking on maps in the sidebar of this blog). I just laid this map out on Word Publisher (using a custom size document that was the size of the frame) and cropped accordingly. The format of the map is large enough that is stays pretty crisp. There are also free online programs that let you lay out large format images to print, in case you don’t have Publisher. But you’re right, you have to make sure the image of the map is big enough (you can tell by the size of the digital file) so you get good resolution when you blow it up. You can test the resolution once you get it laid out by increasing the view size to Page Width or 100%. If it looks crisp on your screen, it should print out well. Hope this helps!

  1. Pingback: The final touch | Gustav and Gayle

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