Posted by Tim Vidra / June 8, 2012
World History: Hanging Our School Map
Back in January, our friend Richard, who writes the fab Hills & Heights neighborhood news blog here in RVA, gave us a full sized industrial pull-down world map he'd rescued from a local school in our old neighborhood as a housewarming gift. He too shares a penchant for all things vintage with a little history. We were pretty much beside ourselves with the map since we'd been on the hunt for one to re-purpose into a piece of large-scale art for more than a year.
We brought it home and discussed all sorts of areas around the house where we thought it might work best. We tossed around the idea of having it as a piece of art above one of the kids' beds, hanging it in our front entryway, the kitchen and the upstairs hallway. While we took care of other projects and generally getting moved in, we stored the map to hang later and didn't actually get to doing that until now — 4 months later.
I guess that's just how it goes sometimes, at least for us — something might hang around for months on end and then one day you just get that light-bulb moment as to where something should go and the motivation to get it done. We kept coming back to the idea of hanging the map in our upstairs hallway since it was the only untouched area of the home remaining and thought it might bring a little life and dimension to that space. So Brandon, Basil and I got to it (pajama pants and all).
First we brought two stools upstairs since we knew we'd want to hang the map pretty high so it would be eye-level as people walk by it. Then we got all the tools together — this project required:
- XL size picture hanging hardware & nails
- Wall hook
- 1 pair of polar bear pants*
Once we decided where we wanted the map and how high to hang it, the rest was a breeze. Brandon and I held the map steady while Basil supervised (as usual).
The map came with large holes on either side of the metal frame so while we held it in place, we simply marked with a pencil exactly where each wall hook would need to be installed. After marking, we took the map down, mounted the hardware, then gently hung the map on each of the brackets to make sure they could handle the weight.
Just look at that teamwork...
Because our upstairs hallway is so narrow and the pull down handle of the map naturally protrudes out from the wall, we had a little bit of a gap between the wall and where the map hung down which we thought looked a little funny, so I improvised by grabbing a wall hook from the tool box and installed it right where the pull-down handle of the map hung so I'd be able to secure it back closer to the wall — this worked like a charm.
And that was it! Now that the map's up we're wondering what took us so long!
We're so excited to finally have the map hung up and on display. Not only does it add a little dimension to the blank walls in our upstairs hallway, it's a great reminder of our old neighborhood and the good friends we have.