globe bowl

Upcycling maps and globes is one of the hottest trends in this second decade of the 21st century. We’re all looking for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle to leave a smaller footprint on the earth our children will inherit.  

It’s safe to say that repurposing is certainly easier on the pocketbook, too. You know how much I love a good recycling project and how much I love color–so it should be no surprise that I love the projects I’ve been seeing that turn old maps into brand new decor.  

Colorful and easy to find, maps can be applied to nearly anything to create eye-catching displays.  

Here are five ways that I found for transforming maps and globes into real conversation pieces.

5 Ways to Upcycle Maps and Globes

Upcycling maps and globes is a fantastic way to give these old treasures a fresh lease on life. Maps can be transformed into striking wall art, whether it’s framing your favorite travel destinations or crafting intricate paper collages.

Old globes can be reimagined as eye-catching pendant lights or even transformed into quirky planters. All this offering a unique touch of vintage charm to your living space.

It’s not just about preserving history; it’s about giving these once-functional objects a new purpose. The best way to give breathing life into forgotten geography and exploration, all while reducing waste and embracing creativity.

1.  Large Scale on the Wall

A recent guest here at Infarrantly Creative, Selina, showed us how to craft mural-sized wall art from a $2 thrift store map.

I like the way she used different sizes of canvas to create an unexpected graphic element to her display.

2.  Small Scale on the Mantle

map art

Over at The Nesting Place, The Nester has some great tips for turning any size of map into a work of art.  

She showed off some of her thrifty creations in a colorful mantle vignette.

3.  Old Globe Becomes Bowl

This is a fun look!  In an article titled “Style Tips for Budget Decor”, showed how to rethink a simple vintage globe to be something else entirely–a pretty bowl.

4.  As an Accent Piece

Maps don’t need to be in perfect condition to be useful when it comes to style.  

Wendy showed off a beachy vignette she made for The CSI Project, featuring this eye-catching map-wrapped candle.  

The torn edge of the atlas page really provides a lot of visual interest when placed against the smooth candle.

5.  Mod Podged onto Furniture

Domestic Ease‘s Kristen came up with a brilliant idea. You must see the way she transformed a boring, old dresser into this map-covered showstopper, with just a little paint and ModPodge.  

Talk about a conversation piece!

One of the things I love about all of these projects is how you can personalize them by selecting maps of favorite vacation spots, ancestral countries, or cities you’ve lived in.  

The possibilities are endless!

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  1. When we moved into our house the previous owner left an old map hanging on the wall. I left it there because I hate to throw it away and now I’m glad I didn’t! I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with it but you got my creative juices flowing! Thanks for the inspiration!

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