Finding Cheap Maps
The number one thing you need to know to find cheap maps is that every issue of National Geographic Magazine has a folded map inside. Thrift shops and yard sales often have boxes and boxes of vintage National Geographic Magazines. Generally, used National Geographic Magazines run for around ten cents a piece.
Making Maps Look Old
In order to make your maps look old, you'll first need to iron the folded creases away so that the straight lines don't show. Then, wrinkle the map up. Ball it up as if you were going to shoot it into a basketball hoop. Dip a washcloth into strong coffee and wring it out. Blot the coffee over the surface of the map so that the color from the coffee stains the surface of the map. The wrinkled creases will absorb more of the color. Use clothespins to hang them dry. You may also want to rip the edges, or burn them in order to age them further.
Making Map Wall Paper
Rip sections of map into 10x10ish squares and dip them into wallpaper adhesive. Smooth them onto the wall and apply another. Overlap them and lay them at random intervals and angles. Once completed, go over the entire wall with a layer of glazing, so that the ripped edges absorb the color and are sealed off nicely.
Using maps to decorate can turn your room into a conversation piece. Whether you're framing vintage maps to hang on the wall, making map placemats, matting vacation photos with maps or creating map wallpaper from faux-aged maps, decorating with maps is fun. Maps add color and texture to any surface.