Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Repurposing City Maps & Picture Frames

Our older daughter lives in "The City by the Bay," which also happens to be my old hometown.  She absolutely loves everything about San Francisco.  On our last visit, I noticed she didn't have any coasters, and since she is "borrowing" her grandparents' antique furniture...let's just say, the coffee table will soon need a new coat of varnish.  Until then, I decided to combine fun with functional, and use an old SF map to create coasters and a coordinating serving tray for her.

Here is the tray I started with, found at a thrift store for $3.

Someone had previously added handles onto a picture frame, so it saved me a step.

I painted the frame with an antique white paint using a light brush stroke here and there to give the tray a distressed, vintage look.  After all, paper maps are vintage, right?

After deciding on the section of the map for the tray, I cut it to size to fit inside the frame and decoupaged it into place.  Then I painted the handles sage green to match the green parks on the map.  I sealed the entire tray with antique-colored decoupage to emphasize a vintage look.

Then I cut four 4" squares from another section of the map and decoupaged them onto stone tiles.  

Not leaving well enough alone, I decoupaged a small box to neatly hold the four tile coasters when not being used.
tile coasters using maps

For the photo op, I leaned the tray against my kitchen wall, coincidently right under a schematic of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Now I'm going to pop the tray and coaster set into the mail -- marked fragile, handle with care -- and surprise my daughter with a little handmade DIY.

I've been featured:

Thinking Closet

You may find me partying here and


  1. Fantastic ideas! I love map crafts! I'd love for you to share this at my weekly link party! Hope to see you there!

  2. I love them and I know she will also! What a great idea, especially because she's a Bay Area girl! Great job...thanks for sharing at Vintage Inspiration Party.

  3. Adorable idea. Thanks for sharing at Project Pin it!

  4. I love these ideas! My husband and I love maps. We have three hanging on our wall, and we lined my antique dresser with old maps.

  5. What a lovely idea, they would make great house warming or wedding presents too (if you can bear to part with them!

  6. I'm a Bay Area girl too! I love San Francisco. This is an awesome idea. I love it. I came over from a blog hop and I'm so glad I did.

  7. This is fab-tastic, Doreen! And right up my alley; my husband LOVES maps and we love hosting friends. This would be such a fun project for us to tackle together. So glad you share it at The Creative Spill this week on my Thinking Closet Facebook page. "Someone" "might" be featured this weekend {hint: stop by Sunday afternoon!} Hugs - - Lauren

  8. What a lovely idea! I love how you chose to use a local map, and the tray is just perfect. Very creative!
    Thank you for sharing with us at Wake Up Wednesday!

  9. I love how you made matching coasters to go along with the tray. Plus the map idea is so vintage. Loving it! Thanks for linking up today at Scraptastic Saturdays. Looking forward to more Creations. Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. I love decorating with vintage maps! I especially love the coasters! After refurbishing some old wooden pieces I think I'll need to make these soon as well!

  11. Super cute! I have a daughter that loves anything map themed. Really love the tray! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

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  13. Oh wow, what a great ideas. As we go to London a lot my husband is always picking maps up, must think of something fun to do with them now :) thanks for linking up to Creative Mondays :)

  14. Very cute idea! Love this as a way to remember a trip! Thanks for linking up with the Pretty Preppy Party! Heather

  15. Thanks so much for linking up with us last week. Hope you can join us again today for Mommy Needs a Timeout Thursday! See you there!
    Twin Tested, Pin Approved

  16. I love old maps and new ways to repurpose them. Great gift idea! thank you sharing this a t Make It Monday.

  17. Hello, I hopped over from Make It Monday. I love how you upcycled your tray with the maps--so clever! Blessings, Cecilia


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