Re-purposing Maps

Emily F

Old maps are something that many people have around and no longer use. A car glove box crammed with maps that are never put to use and are impossible to fold back up is an annoying situation for anyone. In a world of GPS systems and smart phone navigation services, is there any use for old maps? Surprisingly maps can be made into a variety of craft projects. Below are some fun re-purposing ideas for maps.

One of the easiest ways to put old maps to use is by using them as wrapping paper. They make especially great wrapping paper for goodbye presents, graduation presents, or moving and house-warming presents. Simply unfold the map flat and tape the ends shut around the gift. Tying a ribbon over the top of the map can be a nice touch, but leaving the map plan to accent the place that is showing is sometimes fun too.

Maps are also easy to turn into envelopes and can make cute transporters for letters to pen pals. To make the envelopes, unfold a plain envelope of desired size and cut out the amount of map to match. Next fold the map to match the folds of the envelope, gluing them down. Map envelopes are great for cards or letters.

For individuals with maps of special places, or their home locations, framing them is a good way to make a sentimental decoration or thoughtful gift. Using plain black or white paper or card stock and cutting out a heart shape and then laying the map down behind a map creates a cool effect. Alternatively, the map could be used as the border for a picture by cutting a square out of the map for the picture and then framing it.

Maps can also be made into cute coasters. Use plain cork or tile coasters and hot glue or decoupage sections of map onto the surface and finish with a glossy layer. Map coasters are clever looking and useful place to set drinks. Coasters made out of maps are another fun homemade gift idea, especially for the person who has everything.

Maps that are no longer being used can also make great drawer liners for cabinets, chests or dressers. They look especially cool in solid colored dressers, or wooden shelves. To do this, just trim a map to the correct size for the desired lining location. Then use hot glue or some other peel resistant substance to glue the map down.

The above ideas are practical and fun ways to get use out of something most people just having laying around. Maps, whether new or vintage, can be re-purposed to create unique gifts or fun decorating effects. Get creative with the above ideas to transform maps into something new.

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