Looking for somewhere to store all your OS maps, yet keep them easily accessible? Well why not glue them to your desk? It’s not as ridiculous as it sounds, I promise! Being one who blogs and writes about the great outdoors, I’m constantly looking for inspiration for planning where I’m next going to climb a mountain, surf a wave or hang off a cliff face. And what better way to do that than to decoupage your desk in OS maps of your favourite outdoor destinations?
It’s really quite simple and super cheap. All you need is a little bit of time, space and some of your favourite OS maps (or other inspiring images)…
What you’ll need…
- Paper OS maps of your favourite outdoor location (you can get cheap second hand ones off eBay)
- An iron
- A paint brush
- A rolling pin
- Some cling film
- PVA glue
- Clear matt varnish
- Some water
- A desk
Estimated time: 2-4 hours
Whether your maps have been sitting in a drawer for a while or you’ve bought them fresh off the shelf, they’re going to have some creases you’ll want to iron out before sticking them to your desk. I used a low setting and found it easier to iron through a plain white cloth or an old t-shirt. It just makes it easier to avoid burning the maps! The more effort you put in here, the nicer the end result will be.
Apply a thick layer of PVA glue (mix 2 parts glue with one part water) to an edge section of your desk. Decide which part of the map you want to take pride of place and very carefully line it up with the edge you’ve just glued. Bit by bit, lay the map onto the glue, pushing it down as you work your way across the table. Push out any glue bubbles and wrinkles as you go. Don’t be afraid to lift the map up again if you’re not happy. And again, the slower you go here, the better it will look.
As soon as possible after applying PVA glue to the top of the table, get your cling film and lay a strip of it across your desk. Then grab your rolling pin and applying pressure, slowly roll out any bubbles or wrinkles that were left under the paper. We applied strips from the top to the bottom of the table, so when we rolled it, any glue would be pushed out at the end. Once you’ve finished rolling that strip, remove the cling film slowly to avoid tearing the paper. Then grab your next strip of cling film and continue until you’ve rolled the entire table.
The last step before you can use your beautiful new desk is to apply some matt varnish. Feel free to use gloss — we’re just not big fans of shiny. Obviously you want to give the PVA time to dry. Overnight should do it, but do a little touch test before you go getting your paint brush out again. Give the table at least three coats of varnish, allowing time to dry between coats. Again overnight should be fine.
Enjoy your desk!
I hope you’ve found this blog useful. I’d love to hear if you give it a go, or if you have any other projects you’d like to share. Just pop a line in the comments below…