Productivity Pact | Day 1 | Map Shelves DIY

I am so pleased that the productivity pact is well and truly under way. With day 1 complete I am feeling confident about the next 49 days!

So what did I do that was productive? Well I finally got round to upcycling the plain off white shelves that have been lingering in my room for months. I bought them at pound stretcher ages ago and they were a bargain at 3 cubed shelves for £7 but the only colour they had was the off white and it just doesn’t match the colour scheme I have going on in my room. Which meant it was off to the drawing board to work out what to do with them; after searching pinterest and tumblr for DIYs and coming back empty handed I decided I would just have to come up with something on my own. Sure enough a few days later an idea popped up out of nowhere – I love exploring and in 2016 I am going on a month long expedition to Peru (although that in itself is another story!) so as I was looking at Peru on the map it hit me.


How perfect would decoupaged maps look on my shelving – pretty perfect I think! Without further ado I rushed to my local charity shop and scoured for some kind of map design to use. In just a couple of minutes I was walking out with a pocket atlas of the world ready to be cut up and reused. Also at 50p I’m thinking this was probably one of the cheapest main items I’ve ever needed for a DIY.

DIY map covered shelving - easy and fun to make :)

For this you will need:

  • Maps/Map book
  • Craft Knife
  • Foam Brush
  • Shelf
  • Pva glue
  • Water
  • Kettle
  • Tray
  • Tea Bags
  • Oven

1) The first thing I had to do was cut out the maps

AtlasCutting out blog readyPages blog ready


2) Then I put the kettle on because some tea staining was about to take place

kettle blog ready

3) I grabbed three tea bags, a jug and a tray. Then I made the tea and poured it carefully into the tray before leaving it to cool.

Tea blog ready tea tray blog ready


4) Once it had cooled and wouldn’t burn my hand I grabbed my map pages and placed them in the tray, making sure they were fully submerged in the tea. I found I could fit about three in my tray at a time. Overall leaving them in for about five minutes each was a good length to get the stain I liked but it will vary depending on the type of paper you use so some trial and error may be required here.

Once they have been in long enough place them on a piece of paper towel and use another scrunched up piece to dab off any excess tea. Repeat this step until all your pages are stained.

Staining blog ready


5) Now to dry off your pages, you could air dry them but I felt this was far too time consuming so I chose to use the oven. Put it on the lowest heat and place your map pages on trays – leave them in for a couple of minutes, making sure you take them out before the edges curl.

Cooking blog ready

6) To flatten them after they have been dried simply place a heavy book on them for a few hours.

Book weight bog readyjpg

7) The next step is to actually glue them to your shelves! I mixed my pva glue with a bit of water to give it a runnier consistency, I don’t have any exact measurements for this but using the icing technique works well – adding a little bit of water at a time and stirring until you get a good consistency.

glue blog ready

8) Then grab a foam brush and cover one side of your shelf, carefully placing one of the map pieces over it. Make sure you smooth out any air bubbles that appear and dab off any excess glue with a tissue.

Gluing on blog ready

9) For the edges cut a map into strips and glue on. Trim any edges.

Map strips blog ready Edge blog ready


10) Continue all around the shelf.

Finished blog ready



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