How To Display A Scratch Map Without A Frame

simple diy scratch map display

How To Display A Scratch Map Without A Frame – Rustic Barn Wood

This is a super simple DIY on How To display a Scratch Map with super trendy bard board that will add a rustic look to your space.

I have tried to make this project user-friendly and possibly to do for people who do not have a workshop or any power tools. Check out my other fame and display projects that require no power tools. 

This DIY project will work equally well with other types of wood, so please free to use your creativity!

I created this project with faux barn board. If you do not have access to barn wood but would still like to achieve a rustic look, then use a technique to artificially age the look of the wood.  see it here 

Here is what you will need, feel free to substitute and be creative with the supplies that you have or are available to you.  

  • Scratch Map
  • 40″ Barn Board (most lumber yards are stocking faux barn wood boards, and will cut it for you)
  • Extra Large Pins
  • Decorative Drapery Clip Rings
  • Picture Hanging Kit
  • Double-sided Tape
  • 24″ X 36″ Foam Board or Plastic Sign Board
  • Miter Box/ Saw
  • Measuring Tape/ Hammer (check out this basic toolkit)


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. 

When the map is flat it will be so much easier to handle, this will help you not to damage your Scratch Map and just make your project that much more enjoyable. 

Flatten out a scratch map


2. Start by measuring your Scratch Map dimensions, jot down the measurements. Now lay the form board down and mark out your measurements.  Use a straight edge and a box cutter knife to cut a piece of foam board to match the size of your Scratch Map.

Always remember to protect the surface you are cutting on. (such as a tabletop) This can easily be done by using a scrap piece of lumber or a cutting mat. 

Tip: Measure twice, Cut once. 

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. 

3. Use double-sided tape to attach the map to the foam board. I placed the tape 4″ apart in vertical lines. 

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. 


4. Ues a miter box and handsaw to cut your barn board to be 6 inches wider than your map so you will have 3 inches of overlay on each side. My map is 34 inches, so I cut my board to 40 inches.

Tip: When using the miter box, don’t push hard on the handsaw, let the blade do the work as you push and pull.

Tip: Having a helper hold the barn board, this will make this job easier.


5. Using a picture hanging kit, attach a hanging hook to the back of the barn board. Place this hanger at the center-top of the barn board.

Tip: Placing the hanger to low on the barn board will cause an unbalanced hang, so keep the hanger on the top half of the board.

6. Lay the barn board and Scratch Map down on a table, mark the center of the barn board and match it with the center of the map. Put an oversized pin in the barn board and clip on a decorative drapery ring onto the Scratch Map. (see picture below)

Repeat this for the two ends of the Scratch Map and the corresponding location on the barn board. Now measure the distance between the first and middle ring, determine the center and place a pin on the barn board and a clip on the Scratch Map.

Repeat for the middle and end ring.

Tip: If your Scratch Map is 24 inches wide, your clips will be placed at,  1″,  5 1/2 “, 12″ (center), 17 1/2″ and 23”. 

7. Separate the barn board and the Scratch Map and hang the barn board the wall. Measure the desired height and location. Put a picture frame nail into the wall and you are all set.

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! Your conversation piece is ready for display, and easily taken down to do more scratching!

display a scratch map simple diy

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