DIY Old Window = Aged Map Artwork

I had so much fun doing my first window I decided to get the other one done while I was still in a crafty mood. (Also the missing piece came in the mail so I could finally work on it!) I love some of the map artwork I’ve seen on various blogs so I started looking at old maps online (very expensive) and then poster prints of old-looking maps (still more than I wanted to spend) and finally I settled on buying a modern map and aging it myself. The main reason most posters cost too much is the window size, it was hard to find something large enough to fit behind it – the map I did get was still a couple inches too small.

part 1

1. Gather your supplies (you can age paper using many methods – I have used tea, coffee and fire with varying results but soy sauce darkens it much faster, you just have to put up with the smell) I used soy sauce and a sponge brush to apply it. I ended up not using the tea bags this time.

2. Crumple, crush, destroy! I crumpled the map up into a big ball, I didn’t want just the folded lines left in the finished project.

part 2

3. Start staining your paper with the sauce. When I did this for Mrs. Gilchrist in grade 6 & 7 I would soak 8.5×11 paper on a cookie sheet but my map is larger than 2′ by 3′ so I settled with my ceramic stove top since it was smooth and had a ridge to hold in any excess liquid. I brushed it as evenly as possible but it actually looked great when it was uneven, more aged looking.

4. I then used my blow dryer to dry the map as much as possible, the soy sauce is very sticky! Drying with the hot setting helped a lot.

part 3

5. After it was as dry as I could get it I lined my ironing board with some wrapping paper and then covered the other side of the map with a second sheet and ironed it on a high setting. It helped smooth it out before attaching it to the window frame, careful of the soy sauce, it stuck to the wrapping paper a few times.

6. Since my map wasn’t quite the right size I lined the four edges with some plain craft paper and taped it all the way around. I also washed both sides of the window and then vacuumed as many of the loose paint chips off as I could.

part 4

7. I taped the map to the back of the window frame and then hubby put four saw tooth hangers across the top.

8. Finished! Quite happy with it. I chose London for my map because it is our dream to visit England one day.

Finished result big black

The final cost of this project was under $15! The only thing I had to buy was the map which cost a bit more because it was shipped from England. Have you done any home projects that were almost free?


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