Repurposed Worlds: 15 Cool DIY Ideas Using Old Maps

In a world filled with super fancy GPS machines built right into the dashboards of our cars or Google Maps featured right on the home screens of our cell phones, not many people seem to use actual physical maps anymore. We’ve always loved traveling, however, and we’ve been doing it since long before every member of our family had a smartphone in their hand. One day we looked in our closet and realized we had a whole box of maps sitting there not being used anymore and we started wondering what to do with them, since we clearly don’t need them to navigate anymore. That’s where our DIY skills came in to save the day!

Check out these 15 awesome crafting and DIY projects that upcycle and repurpose old maps in all kinds of creative and extra fun ways.

1. Map and PVC pipe wine rack

Do you love hosting guests for dinner almost as much as you love traveling? Perhaps you’re a wine collector along with being a traveling enthusiast and you’re always looking for ways to merge your two loves beyond just visiting wine tours? Then check out this adorably rounded wine rack by Brit + Co.! They used decoupage techniques to cover the outside of PVC pipe (or cardboard tubing, depending on what you have) sections to make a super creative design.

2. Map decoupage serving tray

Are you a big fan of serving tea to your friends the old fashioned way- on a tray with a nice setting so that you can enjoy the afternoon chatting together over steaming mugs? Then you’re probably a big fan of novelty trays to bring everything in on too. In that case, check out how Ana Desgins decoupaged an old map to the bottom of a clear plastic tray so that the streets, parks, and so on show through and can be seen from the top.

3. Pinpoint travel map

Perhaps the map you found in the back of your closet was a map of the world and you’d kind of like to actually use it as a map rather than upcycling it too drastically, but you’re not really sure how to do so? Well, Lovely Indeed has an idea that might just give you some direction (pun fully intended). Grab some cute, brightly coloured push pins (or make your own; you’re a crafter, after all) and start making a list of all the cool places you’ve visited in the world! Making yourself a pin point map can document the travels you’ve already had and help you plan out the travels that are still coming your way.

4. City map iPhone case

Do you have a tourist’s map of your very favourite city lying around that you’d like to preserve in a more creative way than just stuffing it into a keepsake box and letting it sit there for years? Then try turning it into a phone case instead! Journeys shows you how to decoupage a pieces of the map featuring the city’s title into a clear phone case so the whole world can see the place you love most on the back of your phone as you text.

5. Map inspired place settings

Do you love traveling so much that you just can’t help but sharing your love for the whole world with everyone you host or invite over as a guest? Then you might as well include a good map theme right into your dinner tablescape! Smile and Wave suggests doing so by making your very own place mats, which are much easier to do than you might think. We love the way they made matching little map place cards too!

6. Map decoupage Jenga key chain

What’s better than a DIY project that upcycles on thing? One that upcycles two things, of course! Those are our favourite kinds of repurposing projects, so we were naturally pretty enthusiastic about these adorable map decoupaged key chains made with old Jenga game pieces. Sarah Ortega guides you through the simple process of making your very own version.

7. Old map candle votives

Have you ever made yourself pretty paper candle votives and very much enjoyed it, but you feel like you might have made absolutely all of the paper votive designs you can possibly think of? Well, Arrow + Apple begs to differ and their tutorial will tell you why. If you’ve never tried making a pretty votive with a map, letting a place that you love or perhaps that you’d love to visit glow warmly.