Tutorial + How-to

Published on January 26th, 2012 | by Bonnie Getchell


10 Ways to Upcycle Maps!

Maps are one of those things that just look cool. I look at one and I’m immediately inspired to travel the world and see everything each place has to offer. Why not utilize such an amazing item to spice up every day, boring pieces? Here are 10 incredible ideas to transform those boring items into inspiring ones!

Upcycle Maps

1. Map Decoupage on Furniture by Flea Market Trixie

Flea Market Trixie took a buffet/sideboard that needed lots of love and made it amazing! The veneer of the piece was peeling off so she got creative– she removed the veneer and then decoupaged maps to the drawers. I love everything about this piece and it makes me re-think pieces that I see at thrift stores that seem like they have no hope.

2. Frame Your Map!

Have you ever found a really unique map? Grab an awesome frame from the thrift store and frame it! Vintage maps, especially, would be incredible wall art!

Upcycle Maps

3. Map Decoupage by P.S.– I Made This

Do you have an old tray, plate, or take out container around your home? P.S.– I Made This took those three items and transformed them with maps. As you can see from the picture above, the items are now beautiful enough to hold smaller things like keys, jewelry, or glasses. This is the perfect way to revamp boring decor that you find in thrift stores, or decor pieces you already own!

4. Map Bunting

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, bunting is such a cool way to decorate for a party! I could especially see this at a going away party or for someone who simply loves to travel. You can even use our pennant template to help you make the triangles. After that, you just string them on twine!

Upcycle Maps

5. Map Wreath by Haverford House

Everyone loves a gorgeous wreath, right? Haverford takes wreaths to the next level with this incredible map wreath. In simple terms, she rolled the maps and then glued them together to form a wreath. I especially appreciate the fact that she didn’t have to use a foam wreath form to create this wreath. Overall, I love it’s whimsical qualities and simplicity!

6. Make a Map Treat Box

Use our origami box tutorial to make a map treat box! Instead of using a calendar like the tutorial says, use a colorful map!

7. Woven Map Basket by Make Projects

Jane at Make Projects gives a super detailed tutorial on how to weave a map basket. This project looks like it is time consuming and would require patience, but seems well worth it! Plus, I love the natural look of the basket once it is finished– it beats plastic bins any day!

8. Map Paper Chains

Just like bunting, paper chains are a fabulous way to decorate for a get-together and they are so easy to make. You could also make a paper chain to count down to an event by removing a chain each day. If you have children, this would be a wonderful way to count down to an exciting trip or vacation!

9. Map Envelopes

Making envelopes aren’t a new idea, but I love the concept of using maps as envelopes. I originally saw the map envelope idea on Meiphemera. However, if you want more specific information visit this site regarding envelope templates. I would absolutely adore receiving a hand-written letter in a vintage map envelope, wouldn’t you?

10. Cover Your Books

I have tons of school books from college that I can’t let go of, but they look tacky on my shelves. Instead of packing them away in a box, accessorize your books with maps. Use this wonderful tutorial from The Precious Little Things in Life to accurately cover your books.

Even writing this makes me want to look through every thrift store in town to find maps! What about you? What would you do with maps? Share your ideas on our facebook wall or in the comment section below!

[Image Credits (in order of appearance): Map Decoupage on Furniture by Flea Market Trixie, Map Decoupage by P.S.– I Made This, and Map Wreath by Haverford House. All photos used with permission.]

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About the Author

Hello! I'm Bonnie -- a craft nerd, musician, writer, furniture and vintage lover, crafter, and diyer! If you would like to learn more about me, I also have my own blog, Revolutionaries, where I write about more craft projects, furniture redos, and my faith! You can also find me on , Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

4 Responses to 10 Ways to Upcycle Maps!

  1. I love maps too and love all the ideas you’ve shown here.
    Thanks for featuring my vintage map buffet/dresser.

  2. Daniel says:

    For as long as I can remember, my parents have used maps to wrap presents.

  3. Sharon says:

    I recently “inherited” a bunch of old maps! This just what I’ve been looking for! Thank you!

  4. I got an Oregon map a while ago and have been thinking about a way to turn it into mixed media art work. I started but haven’t gotten very far. Love these ideas!

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