Six Ways to Recycle Maps

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Creative Ways to Recycle Maps

Maps are so beautiful. Just like CD’s, record albums, and books, they are becoming obsolete due to the emergence of electronics like the GPS and the internet, but maps can tell a story and simultaneously serve as a work of art.  Repurposing old maps is a creative and eco-friendly way to give them a new life. Here are six ways to recycle maps:

One: Use them to Create Unique Art Work

Frame sections of old maps to create unique wall art. Arrange multiple frames together for a gallery-style display, or create a large map mural for a statement piece. Check out these heart maps by Tcktyboo.  Each heart represents a special place.  For example, where you were married, where you went on your honeymoon, or where the kids were born.

Two: Use Them Create Memorbilia from Trips

  • Travel Journal Covers- Transform old maps into unique covers for travel journals or notebooks. This is a fitting choice, especially if the maps correspond to the locations of your travels.
  • Craft bookmarks using sections of maps. Laminate or cover them with clear adhesive paper for durability. These make great gifts for book lovers.
  • Cut maps into small squares and affix them to cork or wooden coasters. Seal the maps with a waterproof sealant to protect them from moisture.

Three: Use them in Your Crafts

  • Make map envelopes by turning old maps into custom envelopes for letters or invitations. This not only adds a creative flair but also repurposes the maps in a practical way.
  • You can also use them to make Origami Art. Create origami shapes or animals using map paper. The intricate lines of maps can add an interesting visual element to origami creations.
  • Another Etsy find, these cute pinwheels make a whimsical vintage wedding favor.  Click here for different pinwheel tutorials.
Source: Etsy

Four: Upcycle Furniture

Use maps to decoupage furniture surfaces such as tabletops, drawer fronts, or the back of bookshelves. This adds a unique and personalized touch to your furniture. Here are three great examples of using decoupage on maps to turn an old piece of furniture into a unique and beautiful conversation piece.

Source: Etsy
Source: Nate Berkus

Revamp an old dresser or add new life to a vanity.



Five:Recycle The for Parties

  • Cut maps into triangles or other shapes and string them together to create a decorative garland. Hang it in your home for a travel-inspired or vintage look.
  • Create a bunting by cutting map triangles and attaching them to a string or ribbon. Hang it as a decorative element for parties or as a permanent fixture in a room.
  • Use a hole punch to create map confetti. Scatter it on tables for a travel-themed party or include it in greeting cards for a unique touch.
  • Use an old map as gift wrapping paper. Use maps as gift wrap for presents. This is not only visually appealing but also adds a personal touch to your gifts, especially if the map has a connection to the recipient’s interests or memories.

Six:Use Them for Decor

  • Combine map pieces with other materials to create a mixed-media collage. Incorporate elements like fabric, buttons, or photos to tell a unique visual story.
  • Apply maps to glass jars using Mod Podge to create unique and decorative containers. Use them for storage, as candle holders, or as vases.
  • Laminate or cover sections of maps with clear contact paper to make durable and wipeable placemats. This is a great way to showcase different regions or countries during meals.
  • Use decoupage to commemorate a trip on craft letters.
Source Unknown

Remember to get creative and personalize these ideas based on your preferences and the specific maps you have on hand.



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  1. Absolutely LOVE these great furniture ideas. A while back I covered the top of a vintage desk with a world map. Painted it blue. It turned out super cute! I sold it though.
    I would like to create a link from my blog site to yours showing these fabulous pieces.

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