July 21, 2012 12:56 AM   Subscribe

Help me mount and hang my Zelda overworld map.

I have a new Legend of Zelda overworld wall mural/scroll from this etsy seller. The map is printed on a thin, silk-like material. It's around 32"x97".

The lady and I went to the hardware store to grab some quick and dirty hardware to mount it on the wall. I had two 1/2" lengths of steel conduit cut to 98" (for the top and bottom of the fabric) and bought a pack of 4 mounting clamps for the conduit. It cost about $3.

I hung the 2 lengths of conduit on the wall over the couch and used some salvaged rare earth magnets from old hard drives on the fridge to attach and stretch the fabric.

It's ok, but crummy. The fabric is wavy, the left and right sides bend in and it doesn't look very professional. But I didn't really intend for this to be a permanent solution. I just wanted to get it on the wall without modifying or damaging the fabric to see how it looked and take the next step.

Here is a sad iphone photo taken late at night.

How should I mount this properly? Should I have it stretched over a wooden frame like a canvas? I'm willing to lose an inch around the border if it needs to be pulled over and stapled. Any other ideas?
posted by kumazemi to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have something against getting framed? I think that is your best bet.
posted by Brent Parker at 8:07 AM on July 21, 2012

Fabric responds to changes in humidity more than canvas does, so I like the unrestrained quality of what you have.

If you want it less wavy, you could make a one inch header strip out of fome-cor or buckram and stitch/attach the top edge to the header strip and let it lay over the conduit on top using your magnets. This would straighten the drape without affecting the changes in the fabric. The idea is to start in the middle and have many more connection points so that you don't get the "Tootsie Roll" effect. Don't pull it tight, just straight. Budget for this should be ~$5.

It's a really pretty piece.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 8:29 AM on July 21, 2012

Be careful with stretching it. Taking a guess here, but I'd assume the piece is inkjet printed onto fabric, which is typically polyester chemically treated to be receptive to inkjet printing. There are 3 or 4 products of this type that I use in my print shop for making banners, table drapes, flags, and such. They are all a bit on the sheer side, and do not like being stretched. Sometimes the print will crack (depending on the product), sometimes it will start to rip, as these are pretty delicate fabrics.

My suggestion would be to make a hem at the top and bottom, either out of the piece itself or by sewing on additional material of a matching color, say the dark blue. You'd be making a long, continuous loop at the top and bottom for your conduit to run through. You can always use the magnets to keep it stretched flat, but not too tight. Generally, the weight of the bottom piece is enough to keep the piece nice and flat. Think of an anime wall scroll.

If you want to anchor the top and bottom feel free to do so, but avoid the temptation to stretch it tight. Anchor the top, let it hang, and then anchor the bottom where it naturally lies. Even though it's likely synthetic, your fabric will change with variations in temperature and humidity, and it needs to be able to do that.

That's a beautiful piece you've got there!
posted by xedrik at 10:26 AM on July 21, 2012

I don't recommend putting it on something semi-permanent like a canvas stretcher - as xedrik noted, you're courting damage to the piece, and you might end up with something much less pleasing to the eye if you decide to modify it later. Fabric should hang (somewhat) free, and a certain amount of wave is intrinsic to the material. I'm sure you could find a poster version of that image if you were mostly concerned with perfect flat-ness.

Framing it is another solution, because a good framer will be able to stitch the work to the backboard in such a way that it is as flat as can be without stretching it. Framing also means that the work won't be affected as much by changes in humidity, and won't be damaged by, say, ketchup flying out of the bottle when someone tries to get a little more on their burger (I've seen it happen). Your limiting factor here is, of course, money - that thing ain't small. Consider though that if you're fearless in the face of flying ketchup, you can have it mounted without the glass and save maybe 30% of the total cost.

Good luck!
posted by Chichibio at 6:44 AM on July 24, 2012

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