DIY World Map Wall Art with Gilding

Create this simple DIY World Map Wall art that has a subtle gold shimmer and a great DIY for the home! Today’s post has the step by step tutorial with easy instructions and photos.

Make sure to check out all of my DIY for the home ideas and bookmark this page. See my DIY nightstand makeover, DIY felt trays for organizing, DIY felt wreath, DIY nursery wall art, DIY paper wall art and DIY mugs with sharpie!

This DIY world map wall art is always a conversation starter in my house now! Everyone who visits admires it and it always makes me smile 🙂

diy world map wall art tutorial smitha katti

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DIY world map wall art supplies:

diy world map wall art make market


diy world map wall art cork

The World Map I am using here has all the continents of the world cut out of cork. It’s pre-made and perfect for this project! You can also use a laser cut wood map or even stack a few layers of laser cut paper in the map shape.

I painted the edges of each continent with Gold acrylic paint. I did not dilute my paint with water so it just needed one single coat.

diy world map wall art
diy world map wall art

How to add Gold Leafing to Large Wall Art

NOTE: Gold Leafing is not be mistaken for Gold Foiling!

I am using this Metal Leaf by Art Minds today.

diy world map wall art artminds gold leaf

Step 1: Apply the adhesive: On the cork, I recommend using a spray adhesive (instead of regular adhesive) The spray adhesive covers large areas quickly yet remains tacky enough for you to adhere the Gold Leaf.

diy world map wall art elmers spray adhesive

Spray generous amounts of the adhesive and let it sit for 30 seconds.

diy world map wall art

Step 2: Apply the Gold Leafing: Place an entire sheet of Metal Leafing onto it. This stuff is really delicate so be gentle while lifting it out of the packaging. Make sure your hands are dry, if not the sheet will stick to your hands.

diy world map wall art gold leaf

Step 3: Burnish the gold: Using a dry sponge brush, gently press the leafing down to adhere onto the cork. Let it dry for a few minutes, and then come back and simply brush off the overhang. Make sure you don’t sneeze close to it or have a fan running. Work far away from Air conditioning vents as well.

diy world map wall art gold leafing

Step 4: Fill in the gaps: You might have big spots where the gold leaf hasn’t adhered at all, and in such areas, paint a small amount of white glue (that has been thinned out 1:1 with water) and add small pieces of the metal leaf on top.

diy world map wall art

By white glue, I mean you can use any white liquid glue you have on hand- I used this Tacky glue. This tacky glue was also used to adhere all the cork continent pieces onto the canvas. I wouldn’t trust the adhesive backing on the cork map.

ALSO READ: The Best Tombow Adhesives: What glue to use when?

diy world map wall art craftsmart tacky glue

Cover all of the cork pieces with the gold leafing and then adhere the map pieces onto the canvas. I didn’t prime or paint the canvas, simply because I love using white in my DIY for the home ideas. You could of course paint the entire canvas light blue to represent the ocean.

diy world map wall art glue

Everything needs to dry for 12 hours or overnight and then using a dry brush, gently brush off the excess gold leafing.

How to Seal Gold Leaf

To finish off this DIY for the home wall art piece you will need to apply two coats of sealer onto the metal leafed areas. I’ve had this art piece on my wall for more than 8 years now and nothing has faded, discolored, or fallen off.

diy world map wall art sealer

map wall art

Ta-da!!! This DIY world map wall art is ready to be hung on your wall. According to me anything covered with Gold Leafing is stunning, am I right? This one turned out to be the perfect DIY for the home

diy world map wall art cork
diy world map wall art tutorial

There is no way my camera can do justice to how shimmery this map wall art piece is in real life. It catches the light differently every time and is a statement piece in our home. 

diy world map wall art gold leaf

Gold leafing a large map wall art is super easy to do, and gives the most unique results! If you have any questions about this DIY World Map Art let me know in the comment section below and we can chat!

Smitha Katti creativespace e1577349763159


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  1. Wow, I love this Smitha! I love anything with maps and I just think this is amazing and it really stands out. 🙂

    Also, I’m a long time follower of your blog, but I’ve never really commented much, so I’m trying to fix that. 😉

    • Thank you for following my blog Katie! And I love that you took time to leave a comment for me to read. you just made my day 🙂

  2. Amzing , I was looking for wall art for my living room something chic yet affordable, this is exactly what I want , Thank you so much for lightening up my wall ☺

  3. I just found your site and LOVE your gilded world map, as well as your coloring bookmarks. Thank you so much for sharing your talents with the world.

      • Hi Smitha, can I use Mod Podge for adhering the gold leaf? I will be using thick foam board (used for insulation) and cutting the continents out by drawing it out. This project will go on my ceiling which is painted blue to show ocean. Thank you!

        • Hi Divya! The mod midge might be too strong for the gold leaf. Maybe try watering it down a bit? The gold leaf needs a really thin layer of adhesive and nothing else! I love your ceiling idea!

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