These gorgeous map chairs are really easy to make for very little cost. They are also extra special, as I made them with maps that have great sentimental meaning. My husbands family is from Norway and my kids love the place so I made one with a Norwegian map. Hong Kong is a special place full of magical memories for me as I was born and bought up there, so I used a Hong kong street map for another. And finally a London tube map for the third chair, as I love London having lived, studied and worked in the city.
What you need to make the map chairs
Old school chair, or any chair with wooden seat and back
Maps – can be road maps, street maps or even wrapping paper with a map print
Brush for glue
I’m fortunate in that I have a junk shop at the bottom of my road and live round the corner from an auction house, so it’s easy for me to find old chairs. The chairs I used here actually came from my local scout hut, where I’m a Beaver leader. As you are covering the chairs in maps they don’t need to be in the best of condition so you should be able to pick them up very cheaply from your local second hand store.
You can use any maps to cover your chairs. However you might want to personalise your chairs by using a map local to you, or a map of a favourite holiday destination. For retro maps Cavallini do a great range of map wrapping paper. The London underground chair was made using 2 sheets of Cavallini wrapping paper.
How to make map chairs
1. Dismantle you chairs if possible, remove seat and back.
2. Sand lightly all over to provide a key.
3. Wipe and remove dust, dirt etc.
4. Place chair and seat back on top of maps, and cut maps to size allowing for a small over lap.
5. Cover the surface to be decoupaged evenly with PVA glue using a brush
6. Carefully place the map on top of the PVA glue. Squeeze out bubbles with a small wallpaper roller or by gently running an edge of a credit card over the surface. I covered the screw holes with the map.
7. When wrapping the map round the edge of the chair you will find it easier if you cut small slits into the maps especially round curved edges.
8. When the stuck down map has dried, paint a layer of PVA glue over the top. Don’t worry that it looks milky, this will dry clear.
9. After the PVA glue as dried (preferably over night), cover the chairs with a protective varnish. I use an acrylic varnish spray for this.
10. Finally when all dry, locate original screw holes now covered with paper. Pierce through the maps and screw chairs back together.
I love these chairs and may make some more for my dining room. The Hong Kong map chair has the most sentimental value for me, but I think aesthetically the London Underground Map chair is my favourite. Which one do you like best and what map would you use ? I think as I love the alps and snowboarding I will make my next map chair using old piste maps from previous ski holidays.