With all of the traveling that my family has done over the years, I’ve collected a lot of maps and brochures. From park and attraction maps to those fun illustrated maps of popular tourist towns, we end up with lots of paper celebrating our trips.
One of our favorite projects is to recycle a bunch of our old maps and brochures to make fun coasters. These are such a fun, easy project, and make great cheap souvenirs of past trips. Since we haven’t been able to travel recently, they are a find reminder of some of our favorite places that we can’t wait to return to.
You probably aren’t traveling now either, but you may be doing some spring cleaning. If you find any maps or brochures, put them aside for this project. And, in the future, as you travel, start saving these items for future crafting.
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Creating DIY Map and Brochure Coasters From Travels
To start out, collect maps and brochures from your travels. You’ll be able to make a good number of coasters from each one. However, you’ll probably want a good selection for some variety.
You’ll also need some craft supplies. For convenience, I’ve linked to where you can purchase these items from Amazon. You can also purchase these items at any craft store.
- Mod Podge (there are lots of different types, but I like the glossy finish)
- Plaid Mod Podge 2295 Professional Decoupage Tool Set (you’ll be able to use this for other Mod Podge projects in the future).
- Martha Stewart 32243 Foam Pouncers, Set of 6 (any one-inch sized pouncers will work)
- Pads for the bottom of the coasters. You can choose any small foam pads or larger cork pads
- Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating (optional step for additional coverage)
- Plain ceramic tiles (I got mine at Home Depot for less than $.20 each but Amazon has these)
Directions to make the DIY map coasters
Cut the maps and brochures down to slightly smaller than the coaster. They really should be almost the same size – just a bit smaller. I use the tiles as a guide and then cut another time around.
Using the large pouncer, put a thin layer of mod podge on the first coaster that you are doing, and place the cutout map over it. Use the two products from the decoupage toolset to remove any bubbles. Be careful – the wet map is going to be fragile and you won’t want to rip it.
After that first layer dries, use the pouncer to apply a layer of mod podge to the top of the map. Make sure that it is fully dry before applying another coat. Be sure to seal all edges of the map so that no paper is exposed.
When using Mod Podge, use just a very thin layer. You can always add more layers if it’s too thin, but a thick layer is impossible to remove.
Wait at least an hour minutes, then apply another layer. If there are any thick or tacky areas, use light sandpaper to soften it. Don’t be too aggressive with the sandpaper because you can damage the map/brochure.
(Optional step) Finally, spray the acrylic coating in a well-ventilated area if you feel that you’d like some additional coating on the map/brochure. When it’s completely dry, add another coat of the spray. I would recommend waiting at least a day, and doing this outside if possible.
To finish the coaster, add felt pads to the bottom so they don’t damage furniture.
Once everything is completely dry, use your coasters or display them!