Category Archives: Holiday Gift Ideas

Cheers to Your City!

[See: NYC Street Maps Rocks]

What city is near and dear to your heart? Los AngelesBoston? Maybe you left your heart in San Francisco and you want a memoir. Or you don’t want your memories of Chicago to be blown away by the wind. Why not pay tribute to your favorite city by adding a beautifully etched street map to your glassware collection?

[See: NYC Street Maps Pint]

The theUncommonGreen has created this handsome and smart glassware collection that will be the talk of any party. They supply pints, carafes and rock glasses to match your taste preferences. Whether you want to show off your hometown or a memorable vacation spot, these glasses are a classy way to do it.

[See: San Francisco Street Maps Pint]

[See: Boston Street Maps Rocks]

[See: Boston Street Maps Pint]

PS. these would also make a spectacular Christmas gift!

Photos via theUncommonGreen

25 Ways to Repurpose Old Maps

Have you ever done anything more with a book other than read it? Have you ever torn out pages in succession, putting them in neat piles to be cut into different shapes right before gluing them back together in a precise design of perfect patterns? Chances are you are either nodding excitedly or gasping in horror. If you’re of the choking variety, you must take a look at the creativity and beauty book artists are coming up with these days.

Maps and books have a lot in common; you’ll find them at the same stores, they hold a lot of information on pieces of paper, the oldest ones are the best kind, and there are a thousand ways to make one infinitely different from its predecessor. Another thing they have in common is their nature of reinvention. It’s quite incredible, really, the array of design one can extract from a dusty old map. But behold – the internet has given us, yet again, a plethora of interesting ideas. Now get out your scissors and make something new!

1. Create easy to make party favor bottle tags.

Unique Edible Wedding Favors - Ease them on out the door with a bottle of down-home barbecue rub. Fun idea: Color-copy a map of the region, make tags with a craft punch, and "star" your wedding locale.

2. Get crafty with customized hanging map art.


3. Print over an old map.


4. Make some map envelopes for a wedding or special occasion.


5. Knock out some map origami garland this Christmas.

map garland

6. Make a craft day with some map bottle cap magnets of your travels.

map magnets

7. Map pinwheels!


8. Get creative with some vintage map ornament DIY.

DIY Christmas Map Ornament - connect the dots of where your family is traveling from for a special "getaway" Christmas memento.  #DIYChristmas #Maps

9. Sew your trips onto old maps.

embroider a trip on the map and frame

10. Make a map lamp!

map chandelier

11. Cut a globe in half for a swanky map themed bowl.

globe bowl

12. Decoupage maps over old bracelets.

DIY map bangles

13. Clear out your old maps by wrapping your gifts with them.

Map wrapping paper

14. Get funky with this animal friendly deer head cutout.

map deer head 25 Map Inspired Crafts to Make

15. Spruce up your boring candles with some maps!

Map candles

16. Globe snowmen are all the rage.

Globe Snowmen

17. Decoupage maps over old pieces of furniture.

decoupaged map chair

18. Make your walls pop by layering old hanging maps on top of each other.

Lots of maps

19. Hang your map in an untraditional fashion.


20. Make some inexpensive customized map cufflinks.

DIY Map Cufflinks |    #christmas #diygift #diychristmas #cufflinks

21. Bring your maps into fashion.

Map Purse

22. Make a map of where you HAVEN’T been.

Places I Haven’t Been

23. Make your nails interesting.

So awesome1 1. Paint your nails white/cream  2. Soak nails in alcohol for five minutes  3. Press nails to map and hold  4. Paint with clear protectant immediately after it dries.

24. Celebrate with map confetti!

map confetti - could be used as a door prize system "who has Las Vegas"?

25. Make your own iPhone case out of old maps.

DIY Map iPhone Covers - awesome stocking stuffers #tech #maps #DIY


Never Get Lost – DIY Map Case for the iPhone

Stocking Stuffer DIY: A Map Alternative for the Chilly Tech Lover

VIDEO: How to Make an iPhone Case Out of an Old Map

We are certainly not making any negative allusions to Apple Map’s recent iOS6 blunders, but in the new age of mapping technology, we recognize that not everything that can be plugged-in can (or should) be fully trusted with our lives. Sometimes, the handiness of analog just makes better sense, especially when it is easier to access than the alternative.

Dose of truth: mapping where you need to go over the holiday season is going to be difficult. Why?  Though some have been clever enough to solve the ever frustrating glove/iPhone experience, the rest of us will still be fumbling about hopelessly with our noses, chins and other numbed extremities. Shouldn’t life be easier? We think so. That in mind, we’ve taken a moment to put together two DIY iPhone cases that can be easily stuffed in your favorite Apple fanboy/girl’s stocking this year.

The Repurposed iPhone & iPad Case

We are all about repurposing old maps. There really isn’t anything like them. They evoke nostalgia and romance, which is incredibly fun when coupled with modern gadgetry. The juxtaposition is both quirky and clever: innovation at it’s finest!

Grab an old map (or printed!) and lets get started.

VIDEO: How to Make an iPhone Cover Out of an Old Map

What you’ll need:

  • Map
  • Clear iPhone Case
  • Scissors
  • X-acto Knife
  • Pencil

Step 1

Cut the map to the size of your case, taking care to leave a bit around the edges so it doesn’t come up short. Take a look at some of our favorite cases for the occasion.

Cut it out. (Don’t forget to cut out the camera hole!)

Step 2

Pop your newly cut map into the clear case and voila! Easy as 1 and 2.

Short on ideas? Here are some we can’t get enough of.


1. City Map

2. Bike Map

3. Road Map

4.  Subway Map

5. Topo Map

6. Vintage Map


What do you think? What other maps could you use for a quick iPhone case redesign?







DIY Origami Map Ornament

Christmas Decorating Idea: Map Ornament Design + Free Map

The Origami Globe

Christmas Geography Project for Teachers!

Don’t throw your old maps away! This year we’re exploring ways to both repurpose and celebrate maps this Christmas season, with a bit of a traveler’s touch.

This one is a bit trickier than our decoupaged globe ornament and needs a bit more patience. However, it can be an excellent project to do with your budding geography buff and is perfect for the classroom!

Don’t have an old map? That’s okay. As a little holiday gift, we’re making our New Century Map available for download through the rest of the year to use for all of your crafting and teaching needs!

What you’ll need:

  • Map [printable download]
  • How To Make a Paper Sphere [printable]
  • Scissors
  • 4” Styrofoam Sphere
  • Pencil
  • Compass and Ruler
  • Ribbon & Bells (for a Christmas time flourish)

Step 1

The circumference of a 4” ball is roughly 13”. If you are making this for any other sized ball, you can measure the “equator” by wrapping a ribbon around the middle and measuring the feed. This map printable fits comfortably on an 11×17 sheet of paper.

Step 2

On a large piece of paper draw a rectangle the same length as the circumference of the ball. The height of the rectangle should be half the circumference of the ball. Draw an equator line through the center of the rectangle, lengthwise. Cut out the rectangle.

Step 3

Draw the gores. This is the heart of the process. We found an incredibly useful worksheet at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute website.

Step 4

Cut out your gored paper. It should look like this. It is helpful in the case of gluing to create small tabs (seen on the bottom points) for connecting the pieces of paper together over the sphere.

Step 5

Wrap the gored paper around the circumference of your styrofoam ball and connect the ends with either tape or glue. Hang with a ribbon, connect some bells, and enjoy your little “world on a string” on your Christmas tree!

How did it turn out? What other map repurposing projects can you think up?


DIY Christmas Map Ornament for Travelers

Christmas Decoration Idea: Map Ornament Design + Free Maps

The Decoupaged Globe Ornament

Decorations for your Non-traditional Christmas Tree

Not every Christmas hosts a traditional flair. These days, families find themselves scattered all over the globe. Rather than making that trip back to home base, it is becoming quite common for loved ones to pick a place on the map and celebrate the holidays in an entirely different setting. And why not? If everybody is flying somewhere anyway, what could be more fun than meeting up for a romantic family adventure in snowy Tahoe or (for the snow birds) sunny Malibu? Santa certainly keeps tabs on these kinds of things. He’s not the first to hear about the non-traditional Christmas.

In light of these Christmas time journeys, we’ve designed two map themed ornaments (see our Origami Globe Ornament) to help you and your family remember your travels.  Don’t have an old map? That’s okay! As an added Christmas bonus, we are making our popular World Antique Wall Map 1595 and World Antique Wall Map 1664 free for download for the rest of the year. Click the images below to print your maps!

 What you’ll need:

  • Old World Maps [see downloads at top]
  • Scissors
  • Modge Podge or gloss finish
  • 4” Styrofoam sphere
  • Ribbon
  • Bells
  • Small nails or tacks
  • Paintbrush

Step 1

Pierce the Styrofoam ball with a sturdy rod to create a passage from the top to the bottom. Decoupage can get messy. For a cleaner experience, hold the sphere on the rod during the glossing process. This is where the ribbon will feed into in later steps.

Step 2

We used a 4” Styrfoam ball specifically because the Old World Map download fits perfectly on an 11×17 sheet of paper. The circumference of a 4” ball is roughly 13”. If you are using a different sized ball, make sure to measure by wrapping a ribbon along the “equator”, and measuring it. That measurement should be the same size as the width of your map.

Step 3

Cut out the circular portions of the map (and save the lovely artwork for missteps and cover-ups). Cut along the yellow lines depicted here to produce 12 separate pieces.

Step 4

With your Mod Podge, paint directly onto the sphere, setting each piece of the map in its proper place. Paint on another coating after each piece has been set.  Let dry for a couple hours. If you see any white spaces, use other pieces of the map to cover them up.

A bit nervous? Here are a couple links to help you get started decoupaging like a pro:

WikiHow – How to Decoupage in 12 Steps – How to Decoupage Anything

Video: How to Decoupage with Mod Podge

Step 5

Feed your ribbon through the hole and secure a couple bells at the very ends. Tuck in portions of the ribbon at the top for a frilly appearance. Glue if necessary.

Step 6

This is the fun part. Tack every place friends and family are flying from, as well as the final destination. With ribbon, connect the dots!

If you like this one and would love to see another Non-traditional Christmas ornament design, make sure to check out our DIY Origami Globe!

What other ways have you repurposed maps? Tell us your ideas in the comments below!

DIY Map Cufflinks

Map Gift 101 – How to repurpose old maps into dazzling Christmas gifts.

What can you do with an old, outdated map? Repurpose it! Try killing two birds with one stone this Christmas and take a stab at this incredibly easy (and cost effective) map cufflink set; an excellent stocking stuffer or gift idea with a personal touch.

There are a number of customizable cufflink suppliers available online. For this particular project, we grabbed some for $8.70 from Annie Howes. The top, coupled by a plastic shield, screws off of the mount, allowing for a simple switch of map locations for future adventures.

Place the top directly over the map’s point of interest and trace a circle. For this set, we used images from Benchmark Maps atlases.

Cut them out and enjoy!

What other projects would you do to repurpose an old map?

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Best Map Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Best Map Gift Ideas for the Holidays’s experts’ have hand-picked a range map gifts just in time for gift giving season. Find the perfect Christmas gifts, personalized gifts, gifts for kids of all ages, world wall map gifts and much more right here in the Holiday Store. Plus you can find creative stocking stuffers and ideas for neighbors, bosses and kids of all ages. If you are looking for something unique this holiday season try one of these map gift ideas.

World Globe Gifts

Globes are an excellent gift for someone who enjoys travel, geography andGlobe Giftslearning about our world.   Globes can help parents explain complex world geography, why the sun rises and sets, how the moon rotates around the earth and why we have night and day. Give the perfect gift this holiday season by giving that special someone the world, in the palm of their hands. Globe Gifts can start as low as $19.95.

Travel Map Gifts

If you have friends and relatives who enjoy traveling – whether for business orTravel Map Giftspleasure – travel maps of the world make great gifts. Travel Map and street maps start as low as $6.95, which make for an easy unique gift for that traveler you know.

Wall Map Gifts

Everyone loves a map, especially on their wall. Maps of Wall Map Giftsdestinations far and wide are a favorite décor piece for travelers, historians and geography fans. Purchase a wall map for someone this holiday. Wall maps start as low as $11 for a standard world map, but for large format products, and special format options such as laminated, framed or mounted prices can be as high as $365.

Atlas Gifts

Atlases make a stunning gift for the high school or college student, as well as aAtlas Giftkeepsake for the family library. Atlases are perfect for a coffee table, in the study or on a bedside table for late night reading. Hard cover World Atlas gifts are impressive to unwrap and soft cover Travel Atlases can be taken anywhere.  The Oxford Atlas of the World is probably the best known of these and acts as a benchmark for others to follow. Retailing at $175 this is a true luxury gift. More modestly priced educational and road atlases are also available.

Antique Wall Map Gifts

Vintage city panoramas make for great gifts for all ages. The city panoramasAntique Wall Mapsinclude original photographs reproduced from a glass slides, printed on aluminum and mounted on wood, ready for hanging. Antique maps make this holiday season a classic at $50 apiece.

Mounted and Framed Map Gifts

Mounted maps and framed map gifts are perfect for a home or office. Framed Maps prove useful for reference and planning a future voyage. Mounted & Framed Map Gifts Framed andMounted Map gifts can make for a great luxury gift for less than $200.

Santa Picks

Here is a hand-picked listed that Santa picked out, choose gifts under 25, giftsSanta's Picksunder 50, gifts under 100, executive gifts and wrapped and ready gifts. Find the perfect map gift for any budget by browsing the Santa’s Picks collection. Be sure to check out the gifts for under 25, also find unique stocking stuffers and ideas including globe key chain, ornaments, marbles, map labels and much more.

Kids Corner Gifts

If you are shopping for a kid or child, maps make great gifts for kids – plus they are educational.  Buy a geography puzzle, a geography game, a globe, or a stickerKids Corner Gifts map for your kids, nieces, nephews or grandkids. These gifts for kids are all so much fun, so give the gift of laughter and entrainment this holiday season!

Personalized Gifts

Couples love to remember those special romantic trips, families can reminisce about the round the world trip they took together, and in some cases they can even be a way to remember distant family over the holiday season.Personalized Wall Map Gifts Personalized Map Gifts are a perfect gift for any gift giving occasion.


Cyber Monday Deals at

Today, has super awesome cyber monday deals on tons of Maps and mapping products. Get 20% Off selected products – today only. Choose from a large selection of wall maps, puzzles, atlases, and more! Get a head start on your holiday shopping now!

Click here to see what Cyber Monday deals we have running today.

Map Games for Kids

This is the time of year when parents are scrambling to find toys for their children that are both fun and educational. It can be a challenge, since most kids think of anything associated with learning as being boring. With few exceptions they avoid education activities and toys. This means that parents who do invest in such items usually end up seeing them gather dust on a toy shelf.

The best educational toys are cleverly disguised. They look like any other toy and are packaged with words like “fun” and “exciting” on the box. This attracts children who think only of how much fun they’re having and don’t even realize that they are learning things along the way. Map puzzles and games are a great example of this.

So many kids love to imagine themselves in faraway places or as explorers traveling the world. Giving them map games opens a window to geography, history, and related subjects while at the same time filling their imaginations. Traditional games and puzzles involve physical pieces and game boards. They give kids the chance to see the shape of a state or country as they put it into a puzzle or to travel across a country by moving their game piece square by square.

There are also many digital and computer games available that focus on maps and geography. Some have amazing graphics and images that will catch the attention of almost any child and draw them in. There are even web-based map games that allow kids to play without having to buy or download anything. For many parents the best thing about digital games of any kind is that there is no chance of their child losing the pieces.

Games may ask children to locate countries, states, or cities on a map. They may ask questions about bodies of water, climate, or naming capital cities. Some gaKids Puzzlemes take the form of other puzzles, such as word finds or crosswords where all the questions are related to maps. There are games that focus on a specific country or continent as well as global puzzles and games.

Parents and friends who want to buy educational gifts that are also engaging and fun can count on map-related toys to fit the bill.