Road Map Birdhouses

Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

When I go to the flea market during the warm months, I’m always looking for old maps to use in craft projects and home decor projects. Last fall I picked up a few state road maps, but each time I tried to use them in a project they just weren’t the right fit.

Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

 

inspiration for Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

However, when I saw and saved this map birdhouse project from Midwest Living on to my inspiration pinboard, I knew exactly what to do. Midwest Living instructs that you match your paint colors to the colors within your maps. That was brilliant advice, positively brilliant!

Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaroRoad maps are actually not as fun to use in projects as I had originally hoped. The roads and highways aren’t quite as glamourous as vintage maps are, hence why I was having trouble working them into a project.

Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

I bought 3 small wooden birdhouses from the craft store and opened up the maps I had to really look and see what colors they held.

Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

I decided on blue, yellow and green which matched with the lakes, cities and land masses. I used DecoArt’s Americana paints in Winter Blue, Mustard Seed, and Hauser Light Green. I also used DecoArt’s Americana Decoupage to apply the maps.

Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

First, I painted each birdhouse so they had plenty of time to dry while I worked on the maps.

Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

To make the templates, I just placed paper onto the face of the birdhouse and and traced with a pen.

Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

I used the templates I made to cut out the map pieces. Note that I made sure that I cut out map pieces with the colors of the birdhouses. For example, for the green birdhouse I used a piece of the map with a large national park area. After cutting them out I trimmed them to make sure there was wood visible along the edges. To prep the paper, I painted a layer of decoupage onto the back of each map piece and let them dry.

Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

While the maps were drying, I sanded all the edges of the birdhouses to expose the wood underneath. I prepped the surface of the birdhouses by painting the section to be decoupaged with decoupage medium. Then I applied the map to the surface and pressed out all the air. It’s important to be patient and let the decoupage dry completely, several hours, before applying the final finish coat. Bubbles occur when the final coat is applied because the paper underneath has not had a chance to dry and stick completely.

Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

Toby liked watching me. He’s a good mascot.

Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

I hope you like them! I’m really happy with how they turned out. In fact, the green birdhouse didn’t last more than a day. My daughter saw it and snagged it for her apartment. :)

Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

Road Map Birdhouses from CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

 

Comments

  1. says

    Hi! I love your little map birdhouses! The turned out so cute! I need to make some map birdhouses to add to my collection. I have a bunch that I’ve made that sit up on a shelf in my kitchen. I’ve decorated them with wrapping paper, fabric, beads, lace, ribbons, buttons, paint, glitter, napkins, pearls – you name it I’ve probably put it on a birdhouse! :D”

    If you have a minute you can see my collection starting here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3801212942291&set=a.3801211942266.2149012.1036342162&type=3&theater

    My Aunt Joan saw my birdhouses & she said she wanted one so I made her 3 new ones so she could have/start her own collection & you can see them starting here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3954174606237&set=a.3954171886169.2152706.1036342162&type=3&theater

  2. June says

    I have like you saved maps for craft use
    Would be good to get loads of other uses…………………?
    I covered a lampshade

  3. nita says

    Love the birdhouses I just got new license plates and had thought to use old ones for roof on birdhouse – how perfect with the maps!

  4. Ann says

    I loved this project and made one using the Knoxville, TN map. I am just noticing that you applied the decoupage medium to the roofs of the bird houses also. Is that correct? I only applied the medium to the areas where I applied the map. Can I go back now and apply the medium to the roof?
    Thanks so much,
    Ann

    • says

      Hi Ann. Decoupage medium is also a sealer, which is why I applied it to the roof as well. It will give your project that added layer of protection, but it is optional. To answer your question though, yes you can go ahead and go back and do it now :) So glad you enjoyed the project!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Every year or two, my husband and I like to replace our road maps with new ones. It's always nice to have up-to-date maps, but then we are left with the conundrum of what to do with the old ones. They're too interesting to throw away but no longer serve a practical purpose for us so keeping them seems kind of silly – unless they are to be given new life in a craft project! Amanda at Crafts by Amanda used some old maps to dress up wooden bird houses, and they turned out absolutely adorable. What else would you decorate with outdated or unused maps? [how to make road map birdhouses] […]

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