Make This Giant Moon Landing Map with Wood & Leather Hanger for Only $22!

You won't believe how easy this DIY frame alternative is. Plus, this 36"x36" vintage lunar map is free to download!
Make This Giant Moon Landing Map with Wood & Leather Hanger for Only $22! Easy DIY Frame

Also: Like that bar cart? Make it for less than $40! That photo on the bottom is also a Free Art Printable!

Having a well decorated apartment is frustratingly expensive. Bare walls can make a place feel sterile and temporary. The problem is, buying things that are large enough to fill those walls cost a lot of money.

Even at places like Ikea, a large piece of wall art can easily run $70+, and you're stuck with the design choices they offer.

And if you've ever looked into having something framed, I bet you were as shocked as I was, “Wait, what? That's more than the cost of the art!”

So if you're looking for a super cool piece of large art, and an easy affordable alternative to picture frames I've got just the project.

I stumbled across this vintage graphic created by NASA showing the six different landing spots of the Apollo missions. It's got a really cool design aesthetic, and it's already black and white making it perfect for printing as an Engineering Print, more on that below.

close up lunar landing map

I decided to create a ‘hanger' style option. It sort of has an old-school classroom feel, which is appropriate for the map. I also love the way the brown wood and leather looks against the black and gray of the map.

What you need:

  • A large print or poster like this Map of the Moon Landings ($7.96 printed at Staples)
  • Two pieces of lightweight wood that are as wide as your print, like these 36″ mahogany boards ($12)
  • Leather cording or other string ($2)
  • Stapler

Click the button to download the map:

download free art

Step 1: Print & buy wood

If you missed our first DIY print and frame project, check out how to create a large wood frame for an old map.  Download the moon landing map and upload it to a place like Staples to have it printed as an Engineering Print. These are giant, up to 36″x48″. They're intended to be used for blueprints and the like, but screw it, we're being resourceful! The paper is a little thicker than your standard printer paper, and the print is similar to a laser printer. You can upload the file to Staples, and pick it up in-store in a day or two. You could probably just take it in on a flash drive too.

After you've got your Engineering Print, head over to the moulding aisle at your local Lowes or Home Depot. I used mahogany board, .75″ x 1.5″ that was $1.82 per foot. You can find even cheaper options if you select a different wood, but I liked the color of the mahogany and liked that I wouldn't need to stain it.

Step 2: Cut the wood

You'll need two 36″ pieces. Take the mahogany to the little cutting station, measure out the pieces and cut.

Tip: Start your cut with the ‘good' side facing up, as the wood can splinter a bit when the saw finally cuts through the bottom. Also, if you can help it, avoid using the side with the sticker on it, as it was kind of a pain to remove and the wood under the sticker ended up being a little lighter than the rest. And I didn't want to have to sand or stain.

Step 3: Place the boards

Head back home and lay the Engineering Print out on a flat surface, and place the two mahogany pieces on top. Since the sides of the print have a thin white line, I positioned the wood to give an equally thick line on the top and bottom.

Step 4: Tape and staple the paper

Use two pieces of tape on the side and end of the wood to temporarily hold the paper in place. Flip everything over, and using just a regular old stapler, add staples down the length of the board to attach the paper to the board. Since the wood is so lightweight, this is more than adequate to hold everything together. Plus, unlike if you use glue, you can undue the staples if it ends up being crooked or wrong for some reason.

Repeat this step for the bottom board. After you're sure you have it attached the way you want, go back and trim the extra paper off with a pair of scissors.

Step 5: Add the leather cord

Next, staple the leather cord to the back of the wood similar to the layout below. It doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to work! I used 44″ of leather cord. This was suede leather cord for crafts that I picked up on Amazon, but you could also find it locally or use something like a boot lace. You could also use a non-leather option if you wanted.

And that's it! Super simple and I really love how it came out. I like the way the brown wood looks with the black, white, and gray of the print.

If you make it, I'd love to see a photo! Upload in the comments, or tag @primermagazine on Instagram or @primermag on Twitter!

We also have a ton more free art printables, and other really simple DIY projects, so make sure to check them out too!

moon landing map and cheap frame diy

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

  • David

    Where did you get it printed Andrew?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Staples, sorry it’s buried in there.

      • David

        I probably overlooked it. Thanks for the response, I’m definitely going to try this out.

  • Bert

    Andrew, this is great! Where do you find all of your free art? I love the frame and DIY aspect; however, I have a bit of a different theme in my place and would love to explore other art options? Thanks!

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Thanks Bert! Unfortunately there isn’t one place, I post them as I come across them. This one is from the NASA archives. The other non-photos that I post I design. What type of art are you looking for?

      • Bert

        Looking for a bit more of a rustic theme. Currently I have a ceramic deer head, a deer print over newspaper, a large walnut stained headboard, etc.

        Keep up the good work! I always use your site as a reference for decorating and diy projects.

  • Stevon

    Andrew, big fan of the the printable art how-to’s. I put this together today and it turned out awesome. I went with a recycled “barn” wood from Home Depot that was $4.00 for 8 feet instead of the mahogany. Really digging how it turned out. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/948144d1a3a34b2c7421b63c8cb0b3441f2445a2617766353e84a5eb80a0f92c.jpg

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      NICE!!! Love the way it came out! Thanks for sharing the pic, I’m going to put it on our Instagram story!

      • Stevon

        I’m honored! Just tagged Primer in my Instagram post too. Thanks Andrew!

  • David

    Hey Andrew,

    Just a heads up: Staples is no longer allowing Engineering Prints for picture-type projects (i.e. ones that involve a lot of ink). Had to go with the poster print.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      That’s store dependent, I’ve never had trouble and have only heard them rejecting people a couple of times.

    • Stevon

      YMMV I think…I’ve done engineering prints a few times and just did this project as well by ordering from Staples online. Had no issues.

  • Toro

    one suggestion –

    I would wrap the string or leather back on itself once and fasten again to minimize the chance of it slipping its way out of the staples.

    I would also ask them to add a couple inches of white space to the top and bottom of the paper to fold back on itself to double the thickness of the paper where you bind it to the wood to give it a little extra substance to reduce chances that it will tear