Decorate with Old Maps

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A painting hanging on a wall

I am loving adding some new touches to our home. As always, I was inspired by Pinterest (how did I ever live without it?) and determined I wanted to decorate with old maps. While I was out  yardsaling I found two maps for $1 each. This is the one I chose, but I also have a little project in mind for the second one.


I got an old frame from the attic (I have several stored since I used them at my daughter’s wedding). This actual frame had a print inside but I took it out (and broke the glass doing it. Grrrrr.) I decided I was going to save the cardboard backing and use the frame anyway!

A wooden bench sitting on the side of a building

I sanded the frame but didn’t worry about being consistent or perfect (which is good because this is usually my husband’s area of expertise.)

A wooden bench

I used a wood finish (yes, it’s probably way old but that’s okay) and applied a coat and waited a while to let it dry. I did this outside so it dried overnight. I then gave it a second coat the next day.

Map and Project

The stain fills in the grooves of the frame and gives it a shabby chic look that I love with just a tad of the original gold shining through.

A painting in a frame hanging on a wall

Here’s the finished project! I’m not sure if I’d like it in glass or not. Kinda think it looks less formal without it.

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A painting hanging on a wall

I have never been good at arranging knick knacks but I’m getting a feel for combining the the things I love. The basket below blends with the decor and contains photo albums I’ve made. I love having them out where we can look at them often.

A painting hanging on a wall

This project goes perfectly with our pallet shelf and window table. I need to distress the chest next to the couch (it’s fairly distressed on its own. It belonged to my husband when he was a child.)

A living room filled with furniture and a fire place

Just a small project that updates our living room while still using touches that I love.


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Linking with: Sew Can Do, Between Naps on the Porch, The Thrifty Home,  My Repurposed Life, Serenity Now,

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  1. This is so cool! I love the look of old maps. Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday. Can’t wait to see what you share this week! Have a wonderful week.

  2. I love maps, and I love seeing them in home decor. Nicely done. Thank you for sharing this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  3. Thank you for sharing your map at Cap Creations. I too have plans for a map in my office once I ever get that done! Or should I say started lol! I already picked up my map at salvation army!

  4. Looks great! I adore old maps so this is a project I could get into!
    Thanks for linking up this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  5. We love old maps, my daughter is like a magnet to them, and there are so many cool ways to decorate with them!

    I came over from THT, please come by my new Blog, The Pink Geranium!

    1. Yes, glass is hard to photograph. One day I’m going to learn all the tips and tricks for my camera but for right now it’s just hit or miss! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Well, we are kindred spirits with our love of maps! I am enjoying getting to find new surprises on my yard sale journeys!

  6. A beautiful old map and a lovely finish on your frame–I never would have thought to try wood stain to age the frame. What a great tip–thank you! I love your vignette with the basket and lamp–it works together very well!

    1. As always, Jessi, thanks for the sweet comments. You are so diligent with your blog, and I hope you receive great things from it!

  7. I am crazy about old maps too!! Awesome deal!! An idea for you if you would like to cover the map so it wont get too dusy. And cheap!! Go to your local Fabric store, I use a JoAnns where I live, and they should have a flexible plastic material you can buy by the yard. A great replacement for any frame with broken glass.

    1. Wow, Michelle, I’ve never heard of this but I have a JoAnn’s and I’m going to check it out! Thanks for the heads up!

  8. Really looks awesome. I love old maps. The pallet shelf is amazing. Thanks for sharing. Hope to see you at True Aim!

  9. This is a great idea! My husband loves to spend his Saturday mornings yardsaling. I think I’m may to ask him to keep his eyes open for some old maps. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks for the nice comment. I really didn’t know what I was doing but knew my husband could fix it if I needed him to!

  10. We love maps at our house, too. We have a huge world map over our table in our eating area. As a missionary family with a husband whose ministry now takes him traveling world wide, we find that we look at the map often during meals. It’s been fun to see how often here in the heartland of the U.S. our guests go to the map to point out where they are from or where they’ve been, too!

    I’m visiting from Inspire Me Monday.

    1. Thanks for sharing! We have a son who is in seminary with a heart to serve in France. He’s going to Vietnam for a week with his praise team so we are taking a break from some regular homeschool studies and learning about Vietnam. It’s a great way to help our kids have a kingdom perspective!

  11. What an awesome score on those maps! You knew just what to do with them too! They do look fabulous along side your pallet shelf! Nice project!

    1. Thanks, Danni. I’m not too amazingly creative but I sure know how to find things once I get inspired by someone else’s ideas! Love your blog!