Map Covered Boxes {Tutorial}

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diy Map Covered BoxesI got a pretty globe as a  christmas present and wanted to create some other map decor so I could place them both on my evolving bookcase. The only requirements were that it had to be pretty (of course), useful and cheap!

I had spotted some gifts wrapped with maps last month when I was  browsing through the Pottery Barn holiday catalogue and thought they would look great on my bookcase! So I decided to make my own diy map covered boxes.

I just needed to gather my materials. I remembered I had a large square gift box that’s been used and reused for years lingering in the closet that would be perfect for this. I just needed one smaller box, which I found at Home Goods the other day. We took a long road trip a few years ago (from Miami to Kentucky) and we still had the road atlas gathering dust in the closet. I didn’t want the whole box to be covered with the maps, so I used some dark brown gift wrapping paper that I also had lying around.

Materials used:

Two different sized square gift boxes

Gift wrapping paper



My only cost for this project was $2.99 for the small gift box. Everything else was recycled from my closet.

I removed and used the white ribbon for another project.

This project is pretty straight forward, everyone knows how to wrap a box. The only tricky part was cutting the paper and maps so you end up with a small overlapping lip on two sides. This ensures that the box will not show through at the side seems.

How to:

Trace the bottom of the box onto the map then trace the side of the box adding 1″ extra on each side. Also add one 1″ at the top this will form the part that wraps into the inside of the box. This width of this part though will be the same width as the bottom part.

Cut two sheets straight and two with the lip.

When wrapping the box pull the paper as tight as you can without ripping it so you get a tight and smooth wrap. As you can see I used tape to secure the sheets to the box. It’s quicker, less messier than glue and it wont wrinkle the paper. I only used glue on the part that went inside the box.

Do the same for the box top, except this time it will be one whole piece rather than strips. Leave the two lips also on two of the sides.

Map Boxes

If the seams on the edges are a little loose, add a dab of glue to hold them together.

diy map covered boxes

diy map box

map covered boxes

You can use your map covered boxes as decor or add a ribbon and use then as a gift box. Which your recipient can of course use as decor. Hmmm, there’s something slightly Zen about that…


Map Covered Boxes {Tutorial} — 30 Comments

  1. I like this tutorial. Love the maps,and your instructions are great. I can see that this is the right way to wrap a box with minimum overlaps and it looks good. thanks for the idea and how-to!

  2. What a great idea – these would make such a great gift, too! Thanks for the step-by-step. I found you from Homemaker on a Dime!

  3. excellent idea to recover old Christmas boxes. I love that idea and the idea of using an old map. It looks excellent. It would also look great if you aged the map with some glaze. Hopped over from Kissed by a Frog

    • Thanks. I actually thought of that, but didn’t really know how to go about it. I will have to look into it.

  4. I have maps all over the place..I have always wanted my children to learn geography..but I never thought of wrapping a map around a box!

  5. Thank you for the great tutorial! The possibilities are really endless here! A lovely idea and very clear explanation!
    Best Wishes and Blessings,

  6. So very nice. I love maps of any kind. I have a lot of Christmas boxes that I rarely use and this will be perfect for them. Your tutorial is very good. Thanks for sharing your map inspiration at Sunday’s Best. I liked this post and tweeted it!