Easy Map Table Mats With City Maps

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Upcycled City Map Table Mats (Place Mats !)

Map Table Mats : Whenever I go on a city break I always come home with a handbag full of free maps. I can’t resist them even on a day trip to Brighton, which I know really well I still put one of the free maps at the station in my handbag. I don’t even need the maps to find my way round a city as there’s an app on my phone for that. But I love the paper maps, I love looking at them working out wherever thing is in relation to each other. Maps are my favourite free souvenir.

These maps I’ve collected over the years tend to just sit around in a draw, well I actually keep them in the Map Suitcase I made last year. I have used some of them in crafts before like with my map chairs. This time I decided that I would use them to upcycle some rather grubby old table maps.
Map Table Mats -  Make a fantastic souvenir of your travels by upcycling those city maps into map table mats.  Not only do they look fantastic on the table but they spark conversation.
Easy Map table mats - full tutorial Pillarboxblue.com
I picked city maps from some of my favourite European cities to upcycle my table mats with. The results were a fantastic improvement on the old table mats and made for a great discussion point at the table. As not only do these map table maps look great they spark conversation as we reminisce our favourite city trips.
(The gorgeous plates by the way are from Anthropologie Nature table range)
Map table mats - A great upcycle from Pillarboxblue
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This post contains amazon affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to see my disclosure policy.

What you need to make map table mats

  • Old table Mats – you may have some already that need revamping, or you could pick some up really cheap from a thrift store. You could even make your own from cork tiles.
  • Maps – If you don’t have a map habit like mine, no fear there are lots of other ways you can get maps of your favourite cities. You can download royalty free maps from sites like Tourvideos, remodelholic or buy map wrapping paper online.
  • Decoupage glue or mod podge or pva glue
  • Heat resistant and waterproof lacquer or varnish.
  • Rotary cutter, cutting mat or scissors, rolling pin or wall paper roller, & ruler.
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    Map table mats tutorial  - Pillarboxblue.com
    How to Make Map Table Mats


  • Clean your table mats and prime them by coating them in a diluted 50/50 glue to water mixture. This will help the maps adhere better.
  • While waiting for the priming mixture to dry cut out your maps to size. I did this by simply placing my table mat on top of the map and cutting round with a rotary cutter.
  • When the prime is dry apply a coat of glue to the table mat and one to the wrong side of the map. Carefully place your map on top of the mat. To eliminate air bubbles I roll over the top of the map whilst sticking it down with a rolling pin or wall paper roller. You could also use a ruler to squeeze out any air bubbles.
  • Whilst I’m waiting for the maps to adhere to the table mats I usually place them under a weighted object such as a heavy book.
  • When fully adhere all you need to do is to varnish your mats. I applied 3 coats of varnish, letting each one dry thoroughly in between.
    Map table mats - Pillarboxblue tutorial
    Map table mats - Easy upcycle from Pillarboxblue

    That’s it, I told you it was really easy !

    The City Maps I used for my Map Table Mats

    The maps I used were from some of my favourite European cities, but I have loads more favourites I just need more maps.

    LONDON : I used to live and work in London and still visit regularly there is so much to see and do in the city I never tire of it.
    PARIS: Is beautiful, I first visited relatives there as a child and more recently went with friends.
    STOCKHOLM: It’s a fabulous city surrounded by water and has a lovely chilled out scandi vibe.
    BARCELONA: A city and beach all in one with great tapas and all that inspiring Gaudi architecture !
    BUDAPEST: I visited for the first time last year, and not only was it a beautiful city full of history but it also had a unique party atmosphere and is very cheap.
    City Map table mats - Pillarboxblue.com
    Easy Map table mats - full tutorial Pillarboxblue.com

    Easy Map Table Mats

    Which are your favourite cities ?
    Here are some of my other map posts you might like:
    3D Map Star Decorations
    Brilliant Vintage Map Suitcase
    Magnetic Map Board
    Personalised Treat Map Heart Bags

    This post contains amazon affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to see my disclosure policy.

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    81 Responses

    1. What a fun idea! And what a great way to relive trips (day-long or many days long) whenever you sit down to eat. Visiting from Homemade and Handcrafted.

      • Thank you ! They are fun to look at and do spark conversation about previous trips.

    2. This is so cool! I love maps and actually just tossed one that had been sitting in my craft area for years. Now I think that I need to go pick some up. I love this idea! <3

      • Thank you ! I can’t resist picking up a free map, I have loads of them.

    3. Meg

      These are amazing! I adore maps and shall be scavenging for the rest of the supplies to make these as soon as possible! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    4. Such a creative way to re-cycle maps-AND keep those wonderful memories of your trip alive! Great tutorial too! Thank you for sharing at The Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop! PINNING!!

    5. Wow! What a beautiful map collection you have! It is nice to craft them into something that you can look at every day.

    6. These look great!

    7. Great idea!

    8. Super cute idea!! My daughters are traveling over your way from the states this summer, and I think I really need to make these to have a send-off party for them. My aunts are taking them to London, Paris, and a few places in between. I wonder if I could find European maps here for a decent price? Love it, thanks so much for sharing on Thursday Favorite Things!

    9. Great idea! I love maps and always have and this is such a great way to use them and love them and look at them every day!

    10. Your map placemats turned out wonderfully and make the perfect background to those fabulous plates! The colours are coordinated and look so pretty. Would be a great idea to use map placemats for a bon voyage dinner party.

      • Thank you very much ! Yes they would be good for a farewell or welcome home diner party.

    11. This is so cute. I love maps too.

    12. Your blog is lovely! I hoard maps too, as well as old atlases. I’m not that crafty, though I have good intentions, but I reckon these tablemats are great. My fave city is New York, which is a city with a great subway map. Thanks for the post. I will be revisiting for more inspiration.

      • Thank you very much glad you like the blog. New York is a fantastic City ! You can get loads of different wrapping paper with maps of New York on it that would work really well with these mats.

    13. Very unique! There are town maps everywhere I go. Now I have a reason to pick them up. Thanks for sharing.

    14. Claire, these are so beautiful! And your china is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I wish I had lizards in my dining room. Great map craft – I am very excited to try this!

      • Thank you ! I love the plates too, I love to eat off them they make the food look special. Good luck with your mats.

    15. wow, love this project and the mats look fantastic with your unique china! thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling sunday!

      • Thank you very much ! I do love my China !

        • Claire,
          Please tell me about your incredible china. I love it!
          Who makes it?
          I’m going to make these place mats for my son’s new apartment.

    16. What a fab idea. I’m now off to hunt out all my old city maps! I particularly like the one that had pictures of the city’s churches on it!

    17. What a fun idea. It would really spark some fun conversations with little ones also….learning Geography. Loving this craft. Thanks so much for sharing it at the Dishing it & Digging It Link Party,

      • Thank you ! It also sparks conversation with the big ones reminiscing about previous holidays and trips. With the London map they love to find places on the traditional monopoly board.

    18. This is a genius idea! My husband and my boys are leaflet junkies and I never know what to do with them! They’d make nice Fathers’ Day gifts too, so that’s 2 problems solved!

      • Thanks very much! Sounds like a great idea getting your boys to make them for Father’s Day.

    19. Very cute and easy idea! Love it!

    20. Good Morning! I wanted to let you know that your post has been chosen as a Featured Post for the Welcome Home Wednesdays Link Party!! Stop by this morning to see your post linked up and grab a Featured button as well!! ~Lisa~

    21. I love these! What a wonderful idea!

    22. Oh my goodness, I love your whole table setting!! The maps are amazing, great idea. Thanks so much for linking up with us at Family Joy Blog Link Up! I love your plates too!!

    23. Your map mats turned out great Claire. Such a wonderful idea! I pretty much love maps on anything. I really need to dig into my collection one of these days and use some of them. Thanks for the inspiration, and thanks so much for sharing at Vintage Charm.

      • Thank you ! I love maps on anything too and I’m always looking for new ways to use them.

    24. […] from Pillar Box Blue shared a great tutorial to upcycle placemats with a custom look using maps. This tablescape has a little of that retro-vintage feel that I was […]

    25. Good morning Claire! Featuring you today at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. 🙂

    26. Cute idea, and I truly love your plates.

    27. I love this idea and you’ve inspired me to try this application on a table scape I’m currently pulling together! Thanks so much!! 😉

      • Thank you ! It’s always really nice to hear when you have helped inspire.

    28. Claire, your place mats are so cool!! I love maps, in fact, I found a bunch of them this week when packing for our move and I was about to trash them. Thankfully I didn’t!!

      Thank you so much for sharing at Sweet Inspiration party!

      • Thanks ! Never throw out old maps they are great for crafting and also make for unique wrapping paper.

    29. These are so gorgeous! I definitely need to try this project myself. Thank you so much for sharing at Best of the Weekend. Pinned 🙂

      • Thank you ! You should give it ago. It’s definately one of those crafts that are a little effort for great results.

    30. […] fav – Upcycled City Maps onto Table Maps @ Pillar Box […]

    31. I love projects using maps and yours is awesome! Great idea to turn your maps into table mats. You inspired me to get my maps out and create. Thank you for linking to Talk of the Town!
      Julie @ Love My Simple Home

    32. What a great way to upcycle old placemats! And using maps from your favourite cities makes them even more special! Thanks for sharing it on Dishing It & Digging It. And you know what? We loved them so much, you’re being featured on Sunday’s party!

    33. […] Claire @ Piller Box Blue […]

    34. These are so much fun! I definitely need to give this a try sometime!

    35. What a great project! Thank you so much for sharing over at Celebrate Your Story! This will be one of our featured posts from Celebrate and Decorate this coming Monday! I hope it sends some more traffic your way. I hope you stop by a the party again this Monday evening at 8:00 EST.

    36. […] Upcycled City Map Placemats from Pillar Box Blue […]

    37. I have loads of old maps waiting to be used for something, this is a lovely idea.
      Can you remember what varnish you used? I’d hate to stick my plates to my lovely new map table mats!

      • Thank you ! I used some old yaught varnish, I had left over from another project but I can’t remember the brand, sorry ! If you go yo the DIY, just pick a waterproof clear varnish and it should work fine.

    38. […] you just love these Map Table Mats?  Claire over at Pillar Box Blue re-purposed some collected maps and old table mats to make these conversation pieces for her […]

    39. […] who’s been having a blast with her grandbabies chose Pillar Box Blue’s Map Table. Oh how I love new ideas for my tables and I can’t wait to try […]

    40. Deb

      Love this blog. Thanks for sharing. And where did you get those plates. Absolutely cool.

    41. You are my feature for Tonight’s Talk of the Town Link Party #20 Thank you for linking up with us! We are live at 8pm EST.
      Julie @ Love My Simple Home

    42. […] Easy Map Table Mats – Pillar Box Blue […]

    43. Have to say that I absolutely LOVE the dishes pictured! Where might I find them to purchase?

    44. […] Upcycled City Map Placemats from Pillar Box Blue […]

    45. […] up with too many cushions outside now.   You might remember a couple of weeks ago I made some Map Table Mats. When I was putting them away in the kitchen with all my other table stuff, such as paper napkins […]

    46. […] 3. Map Placemats : Pillar Box Blue […]

    47. […] some of my other Map upcycling projects you might also enjoy: How to make personalised map chairs Easy map table mats Upcycled map magnetic board Ikea hack map table     amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; […]

    48. […] to Map projects.   If you liked this post you will also like some of my other map posts: Easy Map Place Mats Upcycled Map Magnetic Board and Pins Brilliant Vintage Map […]

    49. […] this post you will probably like some of my other map decoration posts. Personalised Map Chairs Easy Map Table Mats Magnetic Map Board You might also want to check out my “Map Crafts & DIY”pinterest […]

    50. Beautiful job! Did you just glue on top of the old mat without sanding first? And you did the priming with the Mod Podge/PVA glue? Do you think yacht varnish gives a better finish than spray lacquer? Apologies for so many questions – I’ve just acquired a massive collection of maps and there’s so much I want to do with them! My first picture frame didn’t work as well as I hoped 🙁

      • I just glued over the old mat but primed first with glue. I don’t think there is much difference between yacht varnish and spray lacquer, just make sure it’s a crystal clear varnish. I do love my mat table maps they are great to look at whilst at the table.

        • Thanks! I was a bit worried about leaving brush strokes with the yacht varnish, so that’s why i was wondering about a spray finish. I think I saw someone use a some kind of transparent adhesive sheet but i fear that wouldn’t be as strong as varnish. More susceptible to scratches and subsequent water damage to the paper. I hadn’t thought to use glue as primer so that’s a great tip!

    51. […] such asAnthropologie. You’ve probably seen my gorgeous Lou Rota Anthropologie plates in my map table mats post. In amongst my random crockery collection are some plain vintage plates that were quite […]

    52. I LOVE this idea so much! Now I just need to find some old placemats to cover! 🙂 Lisa

    53. […] all of a sudden a lot more interesting and even turn them into a conversation piece.   My easy map table mats and my very popular IKEA lamp map hacks are great examples of this.   Heart shaped maps only […]

    54. I love maps!!!Lovely plates with frog also!!!

      • Thank you, the plates are my favourite too they are from Anthropologie.

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