Decoupage with Maps A Step-by- Guide

Are you looking for a creative way to upcycle old maps? Decoupage is the perfect solution! This easy-to-follow guide will show you how to create beautiful and unique decoupage projects using old maps. Decoupage is the art of applying paper cutouts to an object analing them with a clear finish. It’s a great way to add personality and style to a variety of items, including furniture, picture frames, and even jewelry.

DIY Art with Old Maps

Old maps hold a certain charm and nostalgia. They represent a time when the world was still largely unexplored, and each map was a treasure trove of adventure and discovery. Instead of letting these maps gather dust, why not turn them into stunning works of art? Decoupage with maps is a fantastic DIY project that allows you to breathe new life into old maps and create unique pieces that will add character and charm to your home.

The Art of Decoupage

Decoupage is a simple yet versatile craft that involves adhering paper cutouts or images to a surface using a decoupage medium, such as Mod Podge or glue. Once the paper is applied, it is sealed with a protective finish, creating a stunning and durable piece of art.

The Beauty of Maps in Decoupage

Maps are the perfect material for decoupage projects. Their intricate designs, vibrant colors, and rich history make them ideal for creating eye-catching and meaningful works of art. Whether you choose to decoupage an entire map or just select specific elements, the end result will be a unique piece that captures the spirit of adventure and exploration.

Endless Possibilities

The beauty of decoupage with maps is that the possibilities are endless. You can transform ordinary objects into extraordinary pieces of art. From furniture to picture frames, trays, and even jewelry boxes, any surface can be given a new lease on life with the addition of decoupaged maps.

How to Reuse Old Maps

Decoupage with Maps A Step-by- Guide

Old maps are often discarded or forgotten, but they can be given a new purpose through creative projects. By reusing old maps, you’ll not only be contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle but also preserving a piece of history.

Preserving History

Maps are more than just navigational tools; they are a record of our past, capturing the boundaries, territories, and geographical knowledge of a specific time period. By incorporating old maps into your decoupage projects, you’ll be preserving a piece of history and allowing it to live on in a new form.

Reducing Waste

Instead of throwing away old maps, reusing them in decoupage projects is an excellent way to reduce waste and promote sustainability. By giving these maps a new life, you’ll be preventing them from ending up in landfills, contributing to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Unique and Personal Touch

Incorporating old maps into your decoupage projects adds a unique and personal touch to your creations. Each map has its own story and history, making every piece truly one-of-a-kind. Your friends and family will be in awe of the creativity and sentiment behind your handmade masterpieces.

How to Make an Ancient Map

If you’re a history buff or simply appreciate the beauty of ancient maps, you can create your own decoupage pieces with an antique flair. Here’s how to make an ancient map for your decoupage projects:

Gather Supplies

You’ll need the following supplies:

  • Old maps or map printouts
  • Tea or coffee (for staining)
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Parchment paper or brown paper bags
  • Mod Podge or other decoupage medium

Staining the Maps

  1. Brew a strong cup of tea or coffee.
  2. Tear or cut the maps into desired shapes or sizes.
  3. Dip the map pieces into the tea or coffee solution, allowing them to soak up the color.
  4. Remove the map pieces and place them on a flat surface to dry.

Aging the Maps

  1. Mix equal parts of baking soda and vinegar in a bowl.
  2. Dip the stained map pieces into the mixture, allowing them to soak up the solution.
  3. Remove the map pieces and place them on parchment paper or brown paper bags.
  4. Let the maps dry completely, creating an aged and antique look.

Sealing the Maps

  1. Once the maps have dried, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge or your chosen decoupage medium.
  2. Allow the Mod Podge to dry completely.
  3. Your ancient maps are now ready for your decoupage projects!

How to Decoupage with Maps

Decoupage with Maps A Step-by- Guide

Now that you’ve gathered your supplies and prepared your maps, it’s time to dive into the decoupage process. Follow these step-by-step instructions to create stunning decoupage pieces with old maps:

Prepare the Surface

  1. Choose the surface you want to decoupage, such as a picture frame, tray, or piece of furniture.
  2. Clean the surface thoroughly and remove any dirt or debris.
  3. If working with a wooden surface, lightly sand it to create a smooth finish for the decoupage.

Apply the Base Coat

  1. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge or your chosen decoupage medium to the surface using a foam brush.
  2. Smooth out any bubbles or excess medium with a brayer or your fingers.

Arrange the Map Pieces

  1. Cut or tear the map pieces into desired shapes or sizes.
  2. Arrange the map pieces on the surface, overlapping or creating a pattern as desired.
  3. Once you’re satisfied with the arrangement, gently press the map pieces onto the surface.

Seal the Decoupage

  1. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge over the map pieces, using a foam brush.
  2. Work in sections, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles as you go.
  3. Allow the first layer to dry completely before applying additional coats.
  4. Apply at least two or three coats of Mod Podge, allowing each layer to dry completely before adding the next.

Finish and Protect

  1. Once the final layer of Mod Podge has dried, apply a clear acrylic sealer or varnish for added protection and durability.
  2. Allow the sealer to dry completely before using or displaying your decoupage piece.

Easy DIY Art with Old Maps

Creating DIY art with old maps is a fun and rewarding project that anyone can tackle, regardless of their skill level. Not only is it a great way to upcycle materials, but it also allows you to express your creativity and produce unique pieces that will add character and charm to your home.

Benefits of DIY Art with Old Maps

  • Cost-effective: Using old maps as your primary material means you can create beautiful art pieces without breaking the bank.n- Eco-friendly: Repurposing old maps reduces waste and promotes sustainability.
  • Personalized: Each piece you create will be one-of-a-kind, reflecting your personal style and taste.
  • Stress-relieving: The process of crafting can be a therapeutic and relaxing activity, providing a creative outlet and helping you unwind.

Project Ideas

The possibilities are endless when it comes to DIY art with old maps. Here are a few project ideas to get you started:

  • Decoupage a picture frame or mirror with map cutouts
  • Create a stunning wall hanging by stretching a map over a canvas frame
  • Transform an old tray or platter into a decorative piece with decoupaged maps
  • Embellish a plain lampshade or vase with map pieces
  • Make unique coasters or placemats by cutting out shapes from old maps

Tips for Successful DIY Art with Old Maps

  • Experiment with different materials and techniques to find what works best for you.
  • Protect your work surface and wear old clothing or an apron to avoid stains.
  • Consider adding embellishments like buttons, beads, or ribbons to enhance your creations.
  • Take your time and enjoy the creative process.

DIY Art with Old Maps for BeginnersDecoupage with Maps A Step-by- Guide

If you’re new to the world of DIY art and decoupage, working with old maps is an excellent place to start. Not only are maps readily available and inexpensive, but they also offer a wide range of designs and colors to experiment with.

Getting Started with DIY Art with Old Maps

  1. Gather Supplies: In addition to old maps, you’ll need a few basic supplies like Mod Podge or another decoupage medium, foam brushes, scissors, and a clear sealant or varnish.
  1. Choose Your Surface: Decide what you want to decoupage. Small items like coasters, picture frames, or boxes are great for beginners.
  1. Prepare Your Surface: Clean and sand the surface if necessary to ensure optimal adhesion.
  1. Cut and Arrange: Cut or tear the map pieces into desired shapesor sizes, and experiment with different arrangements on your chosen surface.
  1. Decoupage: Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the surface, place the map pieces, and then seal with additional coats of Mod Podge.

Tips for Beginners

  • Start with small projects to build confidence and skills before tackling larger pieces.
  • Practice different techniques, such as tearing versus cutting the maps, to see which you prefer.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; part of the fun is learning and improving with each project.
  • Take your time and enjoy the creative process without feeling rushed.

Where Can I Donate Old Maps

If you have old maps that you no longer need or want to declutter your space, consider donating them to organizations or individuals who can put them to good use. Here are some options for donating old maps:

Local Schools or Libraries

Many schools and libraries welcome donations of educational materials, including maps, to enhance their resources for students and patrons. Contact your local institutions to inquire about their donation policies and any specific needs they may have.

Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations focused on education, history, or geography may also accept donations of old maps for educational programs or displays. Research organizations in your area or nationally that align with your values and reach out to see if they are interested in receiving your maps.

Thrift Stores or Secondhand Shops

Thrift stores and secondhand shops often accept a wide range of items, including maps, for resale. By donating your old maps to these establishments, you not only declutter your space but also contribute to sustainable shopping practices by giving new life to preloved items.

Online Platforms

Websites and online platforms dedicated to connecting donors with recipients, such as Freecycle or Craigslist, can be useful for finding individuals or organizations seeking old maps. Create a listing describing your maps and their condition to attract potential recipients.

Local Art or Craft Groups

Artists and crafters may find creative uses for old maps in their projects and artwork. Reach out to local art or craft groups, community centers, or makerspaces to see if they would be interested in receiving your maps for their members to use.

By donating your old maps, you not only free up space in your home but also contribute to educational, artistic, or historical initiatives in your community.

Crafts to Do with Old Maps

Old maps offer endless possibilities for crafting and DIY projects, allowing you to create unique and personalized items that showcase your creativity and love for exploration. Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or just starting out, here are some inspiring ideas for crafts to do with old maps:

Map Coasters

Create one-of-a-kind coasters by cutting out squares or circles from old maps and adhering them to cork or wooden bases. Seal the coasters with a waterproof varnish to protect them from moisture and ensure durability.

Map Ornaments

Add a touch of wanderlust to your holiday decor by making map ornaments. Cut out map shapes like hearts, stars, or globes, and embellish them with glitter, ribbons, or beads for a festive touch. Hang them on your tree or give them as thoughtful gifts.

Map Collage Art

Express your artistic side by creating map collage art using layers of map pieces to form intricate designs or landscapes. Experiment with different textures, colors, and shapes to bring your vision to life on canvas or paper.

Map Gift Wrap

Elevate your gift-giving game by using old maps as unique and eco-friendly gift wrap. Wrap presents in map paper, secure with twine or ribbon, and add a decorative element like a dried flower or foliage for a special finishing touch.

Map Bookmarks

Make reading even more enjoyable by crafting map bookmarks to mark your place in books. Cut out long strips of maps, laminate them for durability, and add a tassel or charm for a whimsical flair. You’ll never lose your page again!

Whether you’re upcycling old maps into practical items or creating artful masterpieces, let your imagination guide you as you embark on these map-inspired crafts.

Map Crafts for Kindergarten

Introducing young children to the world of maps through engaging and hands-on crafts can spark their curiosity, promote spatial awareness, and foster a love for exploration. Here are some map crafts specifically designed for kindergarten-aged children:

Map Puzzles

Create simple map puzzles by cutting out large pieces of maps and laminating them for durability. Invite children to assemble the puzzle pieces to complete the map, encouraging spatial reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Map Collage Animals

Inspire creativity by having children cut out map shapes and pieces to create animals or creatures. Encourage them to mix and match different map sections to form imaginative creatures, fostering artistic expression and fine motor skills.

Map Treasure Hunt

Organize a map-themed treasure hunt where children follow a map to locate hidden treasures or clues. Use simplified maps with landmarks or symbols for easy navigation, and reward children with small prizes or treats at the end of the hunt.

Map Story Stones

Enhance storytelling and language development by painting map scenes or locations on smooth stones. Children can use the map story stones as prompts to create their own narratives, incorporating geography and imagination into their storytelling.

Map Collage Globes

Introduce children to the concept of globes and world maps by having them create map collage globes. Provide round templates or shapes for children to cover with map pieces, discussing continents, oceans, and countries as they work on their creations.

By incorporating map-themed crafts into kindergarten activities, educators and parents can nurture children’s spatial awareness, creativity, and appreciation for the world around them in a playful and interactive way.


In conclusion, DIY art with old maps offers a creative and sustainable way to repurpose outdated materials and unleash your artistic potential. Whether you’re staining and aging maps for a vintage look, decoupaging them onto various surfaces, or crafting unique pieces with kindergarten-aged children, there are endless opportunities to explore and create with maps.

From easy DIY projects for beginners to inspiring crafts for seasoned creators, working with old maps allows you to infuse your home decor, gifts, and artwork with a touch of history and adventure. So gather your maps, unleash your imagination, and embark on a map-filled journey of creativity and discovery. Happy crafting!

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