Using old maps in your makes is a really cool upcycling technique that will give you on-trend stock in an instant. You can easily pick up old maps at car boot sales – look for ones with unusual features or a variety of colours to give each project a different feel. We’ve turned ours into coasters, bookmarks and heart decorations – the simplicity of these means they’re quick to work up, and the fact that you can create many things from just one map makes them the perfect project to boost those profits! Here’s a top tip: why not try sheet music or newspaper for a different look?
Old maps are brilliant to use in other paper crafts, too. Check out our beginner’s guide on how to bullet journal or browse through our recommendations for the best notebooks to buy. And if you’re thinking about buying a new craft printer, check out our round-up of the best printers for card making. We have plenty of other upcycling projects for more inspiration, including these stunning vintage bookmarks and this brilliant nautical-themed how to upcycle a mirror, or how about making your own DIY birdhouse?
You will need
- Old maps
- Wooden heart shapes
- White mount board
- Cork coasters
- PVA glue
- Craft knife and cutting mat
- Clear gloss spray
- Baker’s Twine
Try these vintage map craft ideas:
- Choose an interesting area of the map and place the wooden heart over it. Cut out, trimming as close to the edge as possible, using a craft knife and cutting mat.
- Stick the map heart shape onto the wooden heart using a coat of PVA glue. Trim away any excess map that is hanging over the edge. Repeat this process to cover the reverse side of the wooden heart.
- Loop a length of Baker’s Twine through the hole in the top of the heart then tie the other end in a knot to make the hanger.
- Cut a piece of mountboard measuring 19 x 4.5cm (7½ x 1¾in). Choose an interesting area of the map and place the mount board over it. Mark 0.5cm (¼in) above and below the short ends of the mount board and draw a rectangle 10.5cm (4in) long. Cut out using a craft knife.
- Fold the map 1cm (¼in) over onto the long side of the mount board, then continue to fold the map tightly around the mount board.
- Once the folds are in place, unwrap the map from the mount board and coat the reverse of the map with PVA glue. Wrap the map around the mount board as before, making sure the edges, top and bottom are level and equal. Leave to dry.
- Once dry, trim away any excess map paper from the along the length of the bookmark, and trim the top and bottom tight to the edge of the mount board.
Upcycled map coasters
- Choose an interesting area of the map that you would like to show on the coaster and place it face up onto a cutting mat. Put the coaster over the area you wish to use, then cut around the edge using a craft knife, cutting as close to the edge as possible without cutting the cork coaster.
- Stick the map circle onto the coaster using a coat of PVA glue. Trim away any excess map that is hanging over the edge.
- Once the glue is dry, brush a light coat of PVA glue over the top of the coaster to seal the map print. When this is dry, give the coaster a coat of clear gloss spray.