Decorating with maps can give your apartment the feel of being occupied by a world traveler, or at least a hopeful one. With a little crafting savvy and a few map-seeking adventures, your apartment will be global in no time.

As the Focal Point

If you want the room dominated by a map, cover a wall with temporary wallpaper–perfect for renters who want to make a decorating statement. Choose one wall that will feature the map and place it there. Drawing inspiration from the hues on the map, find one or two colors to use throughout the room.

On the Walls

Find a frame at a thrift store (if you’re decorating on a budget) or at your favorite craft shop. The frame should complement the map you’ve chosen. For example, if you’re hanging a vintage map of London, a rustic wooden frame would be appropriate. A new, cleaner map would go well with a simple black frame.

Paste the map onto an appropriately sized piece of cardboard and insert it into the frame. Glass is optional for this as having the frame open will make the map seem more like a painting. 

Similar to the framed approach, pasting a map on a canvas creates a painted effect. You can leave the sides as they are or paint them black to give the illusion of a frame. If you don’t want to buy a canvas (as they can get pricey the bigger you go), you can always get a more heavy-duty map and stretch it over canvas bars. All the tools you need can be found at your local craft store.

Off the Walls

Your travel decor need not only hang on the walls of your apartment. Furniture is another great way to add some adventuring flare. Pasting a map to a table top or the outside of your dresser transforms the piece into something unique. Mod Podge your maps to whatever surface you have chosen. Make sure to smooth out the map so you don’t get wrinkles. If you’re putting your map on a table top, coating it with resin will give it a nice glossy finish and make the map more durable. If you’re on a budget and don’t currently have furniture you want to experiment with, check out a thrift store.

Lit Maps

Much like altering furniture, you can wrap a lampshade with a map. This works best on a plain white shade that has no pleats. Measure the length and width, then cut a long strip of map to fit. Next, just use some spray adhesive to fix the map in place.