Maps bring personal meaning to your space; they plot your favorite places, remind you of special vacations and inspire travel. Since they get outdated fast, and new technology means we use them less and less, give them new life as décor!
Decorating with Maps
Repurpose already-owned maps—think old local transit and road maps—cut pages from outdated atlases or find vintage maps at bookshops, thrift stores and swap meets. Then, make them a focal point:
- Go big. Hang an oversized map on a large wall in your workspace. Colorful world maps are bold and graphic, while maps evoke a turn-of-the-century parlor feel. To inspire dreams of faraway travel, hang a map collage above the bed in a child’s room.
- Frame artfully. Frame portions of maps in embroidery hoops. Cut the map to 1” wider than the hoop, then mold the edges over the inner circle. Clasp the outer hoop around the map, then hang. For bigger impact, consider coating the hoop in one of the map’s colors. Get more ideas for embroidery hoops in our article, Pink Elephant Crafting Party.
Tip: This Father’s Day, remind Dad of moments you spent together by framing a map of his favorite vacation spot.
- Arrange in a series. Cut map into pieces, then hang them to resemble a completed puzzle. Close up, they stand alone, but step away and you’ll see the full picture. Use identical square frames, or try an arrangement of mismatched shapes and sizes.
These illustrated guides double as an inexpensive craft supply. Use your collected maps for your next project:
- Decoupage: Use map cutouts to decoupage tabletops, trays and chairs.
Tip: Consider decoupaging the panels of an old glass door or window—it adds character and privacy!
- Pennants: Make Handcrafted Party Pennants from your maps. The next time you host a coming home or going away party, feature the guest of honor’s final destination in pennant garlands, place cards and cake decorations.
Tip: Say “Home is where the heart is” in a fresh new way! Cut one or more hearts from a map of your hometown, then frame and hang by your entryway.
- Corkboard: Cut your favorite state or country from a map, then trace it onto corkboard. Use it as a bulletin board or travel tracker: Use different colored pins to mark where you’ve been and where you want to go.
- Pinwheels: Spin lightweight maps into Playful Paper Pinwheels. Fill a small mason jar with mini map pinwheels and set it on your desk. It’s a little reminder to stay young at heart and appreciate the world’s many wonders.
There are endless uses for outdated maps, and we’d love to know how you use yours! Share your décor ideas in the commenting section below.