I love old maps but besides displaying them as art, I just have them folded up and stored in folders or boxes. I guess the most of us had a giant world map in their teenage room to dream about foreign countries and adventures. But we have to admit: that wasn’t the most stylish decor next to pine tree furniture, spice girls posters and neon teddybears. So I always had that picture in mind while thinking of maps used as decoration. But some of the following “decor it yourself” projects proved me wrong.

For example, look at those adorable paper plane mobilés. Julia used maps of an old atlas to fold paperplanes. Have a look at the tutorial here.


Imagesurgery is a company which does lasercut butterflies out of pictures, maps and patterns. Have a look at the stunning results here. If you are convinced and don’t want to spend a lot of money for a lasercut, there is a diy tutorial.


And in case you are going to marry your backpacker of choice anytime soon, have a look on those DIY wedding invites on nothingbutbonfires. Those invitations are beautifully designed and crafted. Holly and Sean used vintage maps and stamps from ebay and Sean designed the invitation and RSVP cards. They eschewed the traditional “Accepts with pleasure / Declines with regret” and instead gave people the option of ticking off “Wouldn’t miss it for the world” (get it? the world?) or “Will have to celebrate from afar”. Arent they beautiful?


“PS: I made this” is one of my favourite DIY tumblrs and they did some sweet plates.


And in case you own an antique window frame you could easily do this gorgeous message board which is sold on etsy yourself. Just insert chalkboard and cork covered with maps or linen and you are done!


And why not wrap gifts in maps instead of paper, make gift bows, out of them or even just frame it. You see? There is a lot to decor with maps. You just have to be brave enough to cut them into pieces…

This post was written by Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk, who has a funny name even for Germans; she is a wicked go-getter and creative freelance designer, photographer and blogger.

She has an eye for beauty and even finds it in ugly apartment blogs. Her weekly photo chronicle “My week in pictures” has already become a classic among urban Berliners. Find out more at smaracuja.de.