How To Display A Scratch Map Without A Frame -Easy Step-By-Step

How To Display A Scratch Map Without A Frame – With No Power Tools

A Scratch Map makes a wonderful piece of decor and displays beautifully. 

In this step-by-step, I will show you how to display a scratch map without the use of a frame. This is a very easy and inexpensive way to display a Scratch Map. The project requires no power tools and is a great option to get your map up on the wall. 

Here is what you will need.

  • Scratch Map
  • 24″X 36″ Foam Board  or Plastic Sign Board
  • Curtain Rod
  • 5 Drapery Clip Rings
  • Double-sided tape
  • Box Cutter knife

Tip: Always be careful to protect the face of your Scratch Map, you don’t want to damage or scratch the film. When resting the map down, only rest it on smooth surfaces. Don’t ever drag the map when it is face down. 

1. When you take your Scratch Map out of its tube it will want to stay rolled up. Place it flat on a table and put books on the corners to flatten it out. Let it sit overnight. Flatten out a scratch map

2. Using a measuring tape, measure the width and height of your scratch map. Write down the measurements. 

Tip: Measure twice, Cut once. 

measure your scratch map

3. Measure out the width and height that you have recorded from your Scratch Map on your form board, connect the marks using a pencil and a straight edge. 

mark the form board

4. Use a straight edge and box cutter to trim the foam board along your pencil lines. The blade will cut right through, protect the surface underneath the form board with a scrap piece of lumber. 

Tip: For your safety, don’t expose more blade then is necessary. Form board is 1/4″ thick, so 1/2″ of the blade should do. 

use a straight edge

5. Put double-sided tape on the foam board and set the Scratch Map down so all the edges fit perfectly. Push firmly to make good contact with the double-sided tape. 

Tip: It is tricky to get the map to fit perfectly, the double-sided tape does not allow for adjustments. Get a helper to make this task a bit easier. 

mounting a scratch map

6. Your curtain rod will hold the map. The height is up to you but I would suggest you mount your curtain rod at approximately 74 inches off the floor. Mark your desired height and mount the first curtain rod hanger. Use the curtain rod and a level the determine the location of the second hanger. Mount the second-rod hanger

Tip: It is difficult to handle the curtain rod and level while making a mark, a helper would make this much easier. 


7. Take one end of the curtain rod off the hanger and slip on five drapery clip rings. We are going to start by clipping the Scratch Map on the center/top and using the middle drapery ring. Find the center of the map using a measuring tape. By clipping the center of the map first, you will find that the map will be balanced so it can hang without any assistance from you. 

Now you can clip the two ends. You can measure in 1/2″ from each end for this. 

Finally, center the last two clips between the first and third clip.

Tip: Your curtain rod will come with hardware to hang it. I personally find the drywall plugs difficult to work with.

I would recommend using a drywall anchor.  The anchor is self-drilling and requires no pre-drilling.  It is very user-friendly and is super strong once installed.  I use them for all my drywall mounting.  

hanging a scratch map

This system of hanging a Scratch Map has additional advantages. The map is not covered with glass, as it would be in a full frame, so you can access the surface to scratch off places as you please.

The Scratch Map is also easily removed from the wall. This is helpful because the map should always be scratched with a hard surface underneath it.

The foam board makes a great surface to use map markers and pins. This is a great way to personalize and dress up your map. This will add a lot of visual depth to your display.

Congratulations you have created a wonderful display of your Scratch Map! Display your travels with this unique conversation piece. 

scratch map

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