Recycled Map Crafts

| 2/15/2012 3:40:52 PM

Do you have trouble throwing out old maps? We do! We keep maps from vacations, old atlases, and road maps. So over the years we have accumulated lots of maps and I have come up with several uses for old maps.

mapwindowshadeMap window shade – We found an old instructional map in the alley behind a church.  It is titled, “Palestine during the Time of the Judges” and shows a map of the Middle East. This large roller map was in a bit of disrepair but it is still really beautiful and interesting. Roller maps do not hang well on walls unless they are framed or glued down because the edges curl. Mounting them into roller shade hardware is just as easy as hanging a regular window shade.  The edges don’t curl too much because the map spends much of its time rolled up.

Your challenge is finding a map that is the right size. If you use an exterior mount you have a little bit of leeway.  You can measure your window and purchase vintage roller maps on Ebay or at Atafa

Wallpapering  in ProgressWallpapering with Maps- You can wallpaper a wall with whole maps or pieces of maps. For small areas I use Mod Podge, a nontoxic glue, sealer and finish available at craft or hardware stores. You also can use regular wallpaper paste or other products like water based acrylic varnish or even make your own wallpaper paste  

On our living room wall, I picked the area between the molding and the ceiling and covered that with map scraps. In my crafting room I chose one wall and am covering that with map pieces. Maps adhere pretty well without crinkling up but you still need to carefully put them on and smooth out the wrinkles with each piece. You can cover the finished wall with another coat of sealer or leave it as it is. You can cover more of a wall by using larger pieces or even entire maps but then you will need to be even more careful about getting the map affixed to the wall without lots of air bubbles. 

Decoupage with maps- Decoupage used to be known as the poor man’s art. Originating in the 18th century in Europe, it was a way for clever artists to copy the elaborately painted furniture that was stylish in wealthy homes by affixing carefully cut out pictures to tables and chairs and chests and applying multiple layers of varnish.  The National Guild of Decoupagers has a gallery showing absolutely amazing and complicated decoupage.

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