The best part of owning a scratch off map is getting to show it off! You could just pin it to your wall using thumb tacks, OR you could class it up a bit more by placing your map into a nice frame. Framing a scratch off map is a little different than standard poster framing because you’ll want easy scratching access.
1. Hanger Frame
With the growing popularity of scratch off maps, those looking for frames seem to prefer the hanger frame option. Hanger frames have been around a long time before scratch off maps, but are making a resurgence because of them. The hanging frame style lets you easily hang your map up using only one nail or tack in the wall. Removing the map and frame from the wall is a breeze and you don’t have to worry about lining up hooks that you can’t see. Hanger frames are typically made up of wood, and use magnets to hold the art, or in this case, the scratch off map. We love the magnet technique because it doesn’t damage the map at all.
The only downside to the hanger frame is the sheer style preferences. For some people decorating style, these can look a little too modern or possibly cheap. A classic frame may look best in your situation if you are concentrating on looks over practicality. Then again, using a standard frame may be OK if you’ll only be scratching periodically. The hardcore traveler might need something with a bit more easy scratching access like a hanger frame.
2. Frame Shop
Our favorite way to frame a scratch off map the right way is to physically take your map to a custom frame shop. This is the most expensive route but it’s a great investment into your map and showcasing your travels. You can go to a boutique custom frame shop, or you can try larger crafting stores like Michaels. The store should have a selection of standard poster frame sizes. You may get lucky and find a perfect fit using one of the standard sized frames. If you can’t find anything that fits, choose the next size up. The frame shop or department can mount your scratch off map onto a foam board. If there’s any gap between the map and the frame, you might want to add a mat type of layer that can be a color of your choosing.
3. DIY Frame
Another very popular option is the good ‘ol DIY route. First you can purchase the frame that best fits your scratch off map. Frames can be bought anywhere, such as a craft store, big box store (Target, Walmart, etc.), IKEA, or Amazon. Craft stores are best so that you’ll also have a wide selection of foam boards and mat style construction paper that you can use as a backing like in the example #2 above.
Voyage Mapper maps are the perfect size to be framed with a standard 24×36” poster frame, which is the most popular poster frame size. This will leave about ½ inch of extra space on the left and right, and about 1.5” on the top and bottom. This space allows you to use any color paper to add an accent color to fill in the gaps if you wish.
Ultimately the choice is up to your own person budget and style. Take good care of your scratch off map and you’ll be able to document your travels for the rest of your life! Happy traveling.