17 Uses for old maps

By: Posted On: 2018-10-09

 Have you ever been in an out of the way place, especially one that doesn’t have any or only has very limited cell coverage? I have and of course, and after wandering around for a little while and getting lost, I stopped to try to buy a map. Of course, I found that nobody sells maps anymore. Why would you want to buy one of those, don’t you have a phone (the area where the store was had cell phone coverage, but not where I wanted to go)? A GPS would have solved my problem, but at that time I did not have one. The trip turned out ok as I found some helpful people that pointed me in the right directions. Also, maps get updated often and so it doesn't take long for a map to get out of date. That leaves a lot of old maps to find uses for but fortunately, there are many ways to use them. This is a guide about 17 uses for old maps.


Wrapping Paper

Maps make a really unique and funky wrapping paper. The best part is that because maps are so highly detailed, they make it extremely difficult for prying eyes to get a glimpse of what is inside.


Instant Art

Framing a map (or even a portion of a map) makes a great inexpensive accent piece. Vintage maps, or even outdated global maps, always look great. The key is to find a map that is significant to you, whether its one of your favorite vacation or travel destinations or of your hometown. You can also wrap the frame with an old map and showcase where you met her or him.



Some old maps, a jar of decoupage medium (like ModPodge) and some boring furniture can turn into a really fun art project. You can use the maps to cover furniture, whether it be a coffee table, a dresser or even a chair with the maps to make a unique and one of a kind piece for your television or rec room.



You can make some pretty sweet looking decorative coasters by adding some old maps to some boring coasters you have lying around. CasaSugar has put together some great instructions just involving a little bit of ModPodge (or glue) that anyone can put together.


DIY Purse



shares how you can make 

a pocketbook using old maps. It’s really simple and a great activity that anyone can make. If you adjust the size of the pattern to make it a little bit larger, you can also make a messenger bag.



Paper Fan

Paper Fan: Hardcore travelers know that there’s no AC in the woods. So be prepared for the hot weather wherever you land with this fan! The map element of this tutorial is a scalloped medallion used to tag each pre-made fan.


Map Serving Tray

Map Serving Tray: There’s nothing quite like room service when you’re out on the road. So relive that pampering experience with this 100 percent food-safe map serving tray. 


DIY kite

DIY kite.

It's not summer without a little kite-flying action. Sure, you can buy one cheap enough, but why not get creative and extend the family fun by making your own out of one of those old maps. Use an old map instead of the newspaper mentioned in this article.




A Paper Hat

If it’s really cold outside and all you have is an old map, here is how to make one. Substitute your old map for the “large piece of paper” in this article. https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Paper-Hat/



Fire Starter

Obviously, the old map will burn, so when you’re out camping you can use the old map as an excellent fire starter to substitute for the kindling you should have brought.Newspaper, paper towels, toilet paper, and scrap paper are go-to items for starting wood stoves and fireplaces. A dry bit of paper can be a lifesaver in campfire building as well.


Map Covered shoebox

Show off your your old shoe boxes with this stylish shoe box hack. Bring those old shoe boxes out of the back of your closet


Map Wallet

Map Wallet: You’ve got the whole world in your hands with this rad wallet! Self-adhesive contact paper affixed to the map makes it durable enough to sew into this nifty pocket-sized pouch.


Map Envelope

 Map Envelope: Do people still have pen pals? If so, this is the perfect envelope to send them your next handwritten life update. This blogger gets brownie points for making a downloadable template to follow!


Place Under Glass

I used an old map to cover the top of a badly scratched desk. Laid the map on top and covered with a piece of glass I had cut to order…this gives you a great smooth surface to work on.


Fold them Up 

Fold Them Up Maps are paper, right? So practice your origami skills and make a map globe garland.


Make Magnets

Make Magnets: Maybe this worked better for map puzzle pieces, but the effect is still neat.


Cover a wall

And lastly, if you have a lot of maps, you can make a wallpaper out of the old maps to cover any wall in vintage maps and to create visual interest. Feel free to stick push pins in all of the places you have visited!




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