Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Although our smart phones have graced us with the ability to open an app and let a tiny blue dot let us know our (almost) exact location, maps are a travel essential. Waning battery power and lack of reception can render phones, and in turn, our GPS functions, useless. We enjoy being absorbed into a new place filled with new possibilities, but we aren't always interested in getting completely lost! Picking up a map in a foreign city is an adventure in itself- tracing new streets and intersections in effort to find your destination can be frustrating, but incredibly satisfying. Maps can function as a souvenir of our travels by memorializing the incongruities of our travels, but also as a work of art. The swirling colors and overlapping lines of streets dotted with the tiny names of boulevards and avenues create a unique pattern that is perfect for memorializing a favorite place. Here are some of our favorite projects that allow the maps we relied on in our travels be a part of our everyday. Each DIY is linked at the bottom of the page, so click through and start crafting! 

1. Magnetic Board: We love the idea of unfolding a trusty map and transforming it into a magnetic board. Not only is this perfect for organization, especially when hung above a desk or workspace, but it provides a pretty backdrop for all your essentials or other souvenirs like magnets and photos that you've gathered on your travels. 

2. Shelving: This DIY for adding a map behind a set of shelves is not only adorable, but provides the perfect space for showing off the treasures of your travels! We love the idea of placing our collection of foreign trinkets against a map displaying city names associated with beautiful memories. This piece would make a wonderful addition to any room and is easily coordinated with an array of existing color palettes and styles. 

3. Coasters: Transforming maps into coasters is not only a DIY we would love to have in our home, but would also make an amazing present for a friend or loved one who has just been or is planning on traveling! With a variety of styles of maps to choose from ranging from intricate subway maps to a lush map of the countryside, these map coasters would be perfect for an afternoon project.

Image Source: 1, 2 ,3

Maps provide an endless source of inspiration by whisking us away to the fond memories of the places we have visited. If a vacation isn't in your immediate past or future, flea markets and vintage shops are always brimming with vintage brochures and maps that you can frame, use in a craft, or create a map-covered accent wall! Do you have a favorite way of upcycling maps? Let us know! 


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