I just love paper craft projects. They can be so simple, and there's something fun about punching out and cutting into a sheet of crisp paper.
The trouble with paper crafts is that all of that new paper comes with an environmental impact. We can go back and forth all day about whether recycled paper or FSC-certified paper is less bad for the environment, but at the end of the day it's reclaimed paper that totally wins out. That's where maps come in!
I recently got a big map in a Sierra Club mailer, and it just seemed too pretty to toss. While looking around for ideas, I found so many awesome ways to reuse old maps!
- Maps make great envelopes! Just use an envelope template, and you're ready to rock! Since your address info might not show up so well on the busy map paper, you may need to use a label for the address. You can use a sticky label or cut labels from reclaimed, plainer paper and glue stick them onto your envelopes.
- Make glue-free bunting. We've talked here before about making your own party decorations. Next time you're planning a shindig, you can use an old map to whip up some glue-free bunting to decorate!
- Map tree centerpiece. This lovely paper tree would look great if you cut the leaves out of old maps!
- Create a map cork board. Over at Design*Sponge, the BBB Craft Sisters show you how to turn an old road map into a super sassy cork board.
- Weave a map basket. The folks at Make:Projects show you how to weave old maps into a functional basket.
Where to Find Maps for Crafting
Of course, not everyone randomly got a map in the mail like I did, so where can a map-lover find ones for crafting? The thrift store is your friend! Check the magazine section for old National Geographics, for example. Those often included a map, so you can pick up old copies for crafting. Magazine pages are great for crafting, too, so you don't need to worry about waste! Just stash the rest of the magazine away for later.
While you're at the thrift store, you can also look for old atlases or those big map books that they sell at gas stations. They're perfect for crafting, too!
Have you guys crafted anything fun out of reclaimed maps? I'd love to see what you're making in the comments!