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How To Make Personalized Placemats With City Maps

A cool and easy way to make personalized placemats is to decoupage them with maps of your favorite cities.

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 around 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 where everything is in relation to each other. Maps are my favorite free souvenir.

Simple Upcycled City Map Placemats

The maps I’ve collected over the years tend to just sit around in a drawer, 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 mats.

I picked city maps from some of my favorite European cities to upcycle and personalize my table mats with.

The results were a fantastic improvement on the old placemats and made for a great discussion point at the table. As not only do these map personalized placemats look great they spark conversation as we reminisce about our favorite city trips.

(The gorgeous plates by the way are from Anthropologie Nature table range)

Personalized placemats with city maps
Personalized placemats


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What you need to make personalized placemats

  • Old cork table Mats/Placemats – 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 favorite cities. You can download royalty-free maps from sites like Pictureboxblue, or buy map wrapping paper online. I have a collection of wonderful free vintage maps on Pillarboxblue you can use too!
  • Decoupage glue such as Mod Podge
  • Heat resistant and waterproof lacquer or varnish.
  • Rotary cutter, cutting mat or scissors, rolling pin or wallpaper roller, & ruler.
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Map table mats tutorial  - Pillarboxblue.com

How to Make decoupaged Personalized placemats

  1. Clean your table mats/placemats and prime them by coating them in a diluted 50/50 glue to water mixture. This will help the maps adhere better.
  2. 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.
Map table mats - Pillarboxblue tutorial

3. Next, when the primer coat is dry apply a coat of glue to the table mat, and another one to the wrong side of the map.

Carefully place your map on top of the mat. To eliminate air bubbles, roll over the top of the map whilst sticking it down with a rolling pin or wallpaper roller. You could also use a ruler to squeeze out any air bubbles.

Personalized placemat with city maps

4. 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.

5. Finally, when fully adhered all you need to do is to varnish your placemats. I applied 3 coats of varnish, letting each one dry thoroughly in between.

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

The City Maps I used for my Personalized placemats

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

  • LONDON Map: 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 Map: A beautiful city. 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
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Which are your favorite cities?

Recently, I made some gorgeous paper angel wings decor for bedroom out of old road maps. I think a map of Los Angeles would be perfect for this project.

There is a fabulous collection of vintage New York maps here that are free to download. I think these would make gorgeous city table mats.

Maps aren’t the only things I use to upcycle old placemats. I’ve also made a set of kitchen patent placemats. There are many more ideas for making placemats here.


Free antique New York city maps

If you liked this post you might want to check out some of my other popular map crafts using city and road maps.

Yield: Map Placemats

Map Personalized Placemats

Map Placemats

Use city maps from your travels to make unique upcycled personalized placemats for your table.

Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Materials

  • Old placemats / tablemats or cork tiles
  • City Maps
  • Mod Podge

Instructions

  1. clean mats
  2. Cut Maps to size
  3. Decoupage maps to mat
  4. Seal mats

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Linda at Mixed Kreations

Tuesday 30th of April 2019

What a fun project and great way to preserve memories of places visited in the past. The placemats turned out lovely! My dad use to have a ton of maps, I wish that I had thought to save them.

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 1st of May 2019

Thank you, they are fun to look at. I make a new one every time we visit a new city.

Ellen

Wednesday 2nd of May 2018

I was just talking about how maps have become obsolete now that most people have map Apps on their phone. Love adding new life to something old. Great idea!

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 2nd of May 2018

Thank you so much. Yes, there is something lovely and nostalgic about old maps.

Mother of 3

Monday 23rd of April 2018

Those are such cute placemats and I love the chameleon plates too. Pinned.

Claire Armstrong

Monday 23rd of April 2018

Thank you,the plates are a favourite of mine they are from Anthropologie.

Chas

Wednesday 18th of April 2018

I absolutely love these! Thanks for sharing on To Grandma's House We Go!

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 19th of April 2018

Thank you, Chas.

ΙΟΑΝΝΑ

Friday 19th of May 2017

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

Claire Armstrong

Friday 19th of May 2017

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

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