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How to Make a Map Table an IKEA Hack

I love old maps and love to decorate with them. Recently I made some personalized map chairs. I decided to compliment them with this IKEA map table hack.

The vintage world map really transformed a generic and rather boring old IKEA side table to something rather more interesting to look at. As a family, we love to travel and have a bit of a wanderlust theme for our decor.

I work on a world map desk and I have printed personalized map pillows on my sofa. Also, as I sit here writing this post I’m currently sitting on one of the map chairs I make (the Norway one to be more precise).

Every time I visit a flea market I’m on the lookout for vintage maps and I have quite a collection.

One of my favorite souvenirs, when I visit somewhere new, is a map. Old maps if I can find them but I like tourist maps too and even use them in my upcycles like with my map table mats.

A Simple but really effective IKEA Hack – Map Table

This was a really simple and affordable map table hack. As I used world map gift wrap for the tabletop. The world map gift wrap I used is readily available in many book stores and gift shops around the world and online.

However, if you can’t find the same gift wrap or want a different old world map to use you can find them here.

This is one of my many IKEA map hacks, I’ve also made a denim world map floor cushion from an IKEA Ursula cushion cover. I’ve also done an IKEA clock hack with maps.

IKEA Map Table Hack

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What You Need To Make a Map Table

Old Table – the table used here was and IKEA Hemnes table. But any small side table would do. Such as the IKEA Lack table or you might have one already in your home that you want to transform.

Ikea Hemma Table
  • Grey chalk paint – If you use chalk paint then there is minimal preparation of the woodwork needed. I also felt that the paint color complemented the map I used.
  • Cavallini World Map Giftwrap
  • Paintbrushes
  • Mod Podge
  • Acrylic varnish
  • Craft knife

How to Make a Map Table

1. The first thing you need to do is to clean and paint the side table in the desired color. If you use chalk paint there is no need to sand and prep the table first.

2. Next, carefully measure the top of the table. Then, roll out your Map and cut out the section that you need using these measurements. If you use a downloaded map you can print it to size.

3. When the paint is fully dried. Cover the tabletop with a layer of Mod Podge glue. Then, leave it to dry slightly about 1-2 minutes so that it feels tacky to the touch.

4. Next, carefully place the cut-out map on top of the glue-covered table. Then, using a ruler or credit card gently squeeze out any air bubbles.

Ikea Hack Map Table

5. Next, brush a layer of Mod Podge over the top of the map, leave to dry overnight. This will act as a protective varnish.

6. Finally, I suggest protecting the table even further that you cover it with another layer of waterproof glue or waterproof varnish. This will help protect the map from drink spills and coffee cup ring marks.

IKEA Map table hack
Map table
Map table & chair
Yield: Map Table

IKEA Map Table Hack

Upcycle a boring Ikea table with a world map and turning it into a fantastic map table.

Learn how to upcycle an old side table with a world map to give it a completely new look and make it a talking point.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Difficulty Easy


  • Old side table
  • Grey Chalk Paint
  • World Map Giftwrap
  • Mod Podge


  • Paint brushes
  • Glue brush
  • Scissors


  1. Firstly, paint the table with chalk paint. No need to paint the top as this will be covered with the map.
  2. Measure the tabletop and cut the map to fit the top.
  3. Cover the tabletop in Mod Podge.
  4. Carefully, lay the map onto the top of the table. Use a credit card to squeeze out any air bubbles as you lay the map down.
  5. Cover the map with another layer of Mod Podge to act as a varnish.
  6. Optionally, once the Mod Podge has dried add another waterproof varnish to protect the table from spills.

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IKEA Map Table Hack – Using Image Transfer

The decoupage IKEA map table hack is really that simple and works really well. However, there is another way to print a map onto a tabletop.

This other method still uses Mod Podge but this time as an image transfer. I used this method to hack the kids IKEA table in the playroom with a map of my favorite city Hong Kong.

I used Mapbox, to create a map of Hong Kong. It is a great tool for creating modern maps of any city in the world. Plus there are so many style options to choose from.

Create a free map in mapbox and transfert he image onto an IKEA kids table for a unique hack.

I love both my map tables but I think the vintage world map one is my favorite. I love to sit looking at the map whilst I’m having my morning coffee planning my next trip.

Collection of large free maps to download. World maps, country maps & popular cities.

Free vintage maps

This map table hack featured in the alphabet of cool and clever upcycling ideas.

If you liked this post you will also like some of my other map DIYs and crafts:
Simple Ikea Moppe Map Hack
Easy Map Place Mats
Upcycled Map Magnetic Board and Pins
Brilliant Vintage Map Suitcase


Monday 27th of July 2020

Hi! I've saved this to my DIY pinterest board ages ago and finally got around to doing it today, yay!

The map I used is on thicker textured paper and after spreading modge podge on the surface of the table, it began to wrinkle. I tried using a ruler to iron them out toward the edges but it didn't help much. I then added a layer of modge podge on the top thinking it would make it more pliable and easier to smooth out but it made it worse. I ran into other issues like the modge drying too quickly and then I couldn't lift and reposition the map without having to start all over. Help! Any tips?

Claire Armstrong

Monday 27th of July 2020

Sorry, you are having difficulties with wrinkles. I would not have applied the top layer of Mod Podge until the paper had dried. Another method to dry is to spray the paper with an acrylic sealer before Mod Podging to the table. Wait until the sealer has dried first and use a roller to smooth out any air bubbles. I hope that helps.

Jason Holland

Saturday 22nd of June 2019

Do you have a link to the chair project you mentioned? Thanks

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 22nd of June 2019

The link is in the first paragraph just click on the coloured highlighted text.


Tuesday 26th of March 2019

I think "gallery wrapped" edges (like that which is done to painting canvases), rather than the flat table-top only covering would improve the final product even more.

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 26th of March 2019

Thank you. I might consider that next time.


Tuesday 27th of March 2018

Claire- Thank you for this tutorial. We have a 243x 110cm dining table that I'd like to do this with. Would you suggest using Mapbox for a table this big? Also, the edges of the table are heavily rounded (think conference table). How would you suggest working with rounded edges? I really want to do this, but I'm a bit intimidated by the project. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 27th of March 2018

For a table that big I would suggest using map wallpaper. If you google you should find a company that will deliver map wallpaper to you. Some have pre printed designs with others they can print you a map of anywhere you want. I’ve done a post on how to wallpaper a table A rounded edge won’t be easy, Before pasting the paper I suggest you lay it on to the table and cut to size. Then paste and stick. Good luck with it, I’d love to see a photo when you are finished.

Wonderful Free Printable Vintage Maps To Download - Pillar Box Blue

Monday 19th of February 2018

[…] how a decoupaged vintage map can transform the mundane into something awesome, such as with my map table IKEA hack. Vintage maps can also be used for printing onto wood and other surfaces too.   The maps I […]

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