Set a navigational course in your decor with these DIY projects starring old maps.
Find an image from an old atlas, or score a map of your fave city or dream destination. Scan your image, or find free clip art online. Use image-editing software to create a mirror image of your map and reverse the image. Print the image in the desired size with an ink-jet printer onto iron-on transfer paper. Iron the image onto light-color linen fabric, following package directions. Peel away the transfer backing to reveal the image. Use heat-set tape to adhere it to a pillow.
Dress up a plain lampshade with a map. Cut a section of a map (use a page from an old atlas or a big foldout map) to fit around the lampshade. Use spray adhesive to attach the map to a lampshade, then glue grosgrain ribbon around the top and bottom edges to finish.
Create map bunting (pictured above with lamp) for a bon voyage party or for any occasion. Cut a triangle template from cardboard. Fold a map, then place the shortest side of the template along the fold. Cut along the other two sides to create a double triangle. Repeat to make as many flags as you wish. Fold each double triangle over twine or ribbon, and secure with double-stick tape.
Keep vacation memories alive via a simple wall art project. Cut a map to standard printer-paper size—8-1/2×11 inches. Use word-processing software to create words, phrases, symbols, or photos that remind you of your special place. Print your design on the map. Use spray adhesive to affix the map to a store-bought art canvas. Brush on two coats of decoupage medium to seal it, allowing your canvas to dry between applications.
Tip: To give a new map a weathered or vintage look, soak it in extra strong coffee or black tea for an hour, then hang it up to dry.
Give a plain cabinet door cover (or any other smooth, flat furniture surface, such as a tabletop or drawer front) a sense of place with a map makeover. Measure the door, then cut the map to size. Use spray adhesive to affix the map to the cabinet door. Be sure to adhere the edges well to prevent curling. Use your hands to smooth out air bubbles.
Tip: New maps work well for this project, as thin, worn maps can be brittle.