The college fund long ago trumped the Picasso fund, but bare walls are not your style. Try an original, economical approach to hanging posters as art by separating panels into sections that break up, but still reveal, the picture or design. Sectional posters come in precut panels -- but you can customize any poster or map by dividing it into even segments before framing and hanging it on the wall.
1. Superstar Sectioned Posters
A teen's room is also a hangout for friends, so celebrate camaraderie with a huge photo mural of the soccer team or the dance troupe. Slice the mural into three or more even sections and frame them, or glue them to thin wood panels. Hang the sections side-by-side on one wall. Be sure to divide the image so no one gets bifurcated. If that's tricky, just merge sections from several giant printouts from the same photo shoot to get the effect -- and the faces -- you want. For a nursery, print a photograph of the baby doing something adorable, in both color and a black-and-white. Cut the photos into 4- or 6-inch squares and alternate framing colored and black-and-white sections to re-create the original mural image in separate frames. Frame the leftovers and send the pieces to the grandparents with instructions about how to hang them.
2. Puzzle Poster
That huge concert poster from your wild-child days tags your decor as dated. Save the good vibes but update the image by chopping it into pieces, individually framed and hung. The look is current when you use identical frames and divide the poster into a grid, spaced evenly on the wall. Cut the poster into rectangles and squares of different sizes to fit into random-sized clear acrylic frames that group to re-form the original poster in unexpected pieces. A treasured poster in less-than-perfect shape looks new again after you deconstruct and reassemble it like a puzzle of varying parts.
3. Map Multiplier
A giant map, divided into three vertical panels, hangs like a triptych on a living or dining room wall. Framing and hanging the whole map as one piece would be expensive and unwieldy -- it would be difficult to move it or fit it into a smaller space. But a map in sections can dominate a big blank wall or wrap around a corner in a smaller room. A large map -- cut into identical squares and framed in plain, clear plastic or glass -- may be arranged like tiles into its original configuration on the wall over a sofa, or even scattered haphazardly over several walls in a more abstract graphic pattern.
4. Decoupaged Dresser
Don't hang your poster in sections; glue it to revive a tired dresser for your child's bedroom. Paint the dresser in a color that picks up one of the hues in the poster. Remove the drawers and knobs, and carefully measure and cut the poster so it glues down evenly on the drawer fronts. Spray the glued-down poster sections with clear acrylic finish to protect them -- dressers take some abuse and frequent handling, so apply two protective coats, letting each one dry completely. Punch a neat hole to reattach each knob once the poster is dry, and replace the drawers to reveal the whole poster when the drawers are closed.