Decoupaged Magnetic Map Tray

| | | | | |

how to make a magnetic map tray

There are two things I’ll never get tired of…working with Mod Podge and decorating with maps. Vintage maps can be hard to find, too fragile to work with, and often times the colors aren’t quite right. So, imagine my excitement when I recently found an inexpensive map online that had vibrant colors and was also printed on thick archival paper.

This map would look lovely framed, but I decided I would use it to decoupage some trays that will hang on the wall. I’ve slowly been working on putting together a small office area in one corner of our

kitchen, right next to where I do most of my blogging. Since the trays are metal, they can be used as magnetic memo trays to keep notes, receipts and pictures of my family.

I started out with these beauties from The Dollar Tree.

dollar tree trays before

supplies you'll need

Other than the trays, you will need (affiliate links):
Spray primer and paint (I chose Rustoleum’s Aqua.)
A scrap piece of paper for your template

A map (I found my map on )
Mod Podge
A sponge brush or paint brush
A picture hanger (see the picture below)
E6000 glue


Scuff up the trays with sandpaper to give them some grip for the spray paint. After wiping the trays down with TSP, give them a coat of primer, then spray paint. There are so many different colors in the map you could choose from but I love how well Rustoleum’s Aqua matched the watery blue from the map.

Rustoleum Satin Aqua and Gray Primer

Make a template before you cut the map by laying a piece of paper on the tray’s back and pressing an outline with your fingers.
TIP: After I cut out the template, I held my map up to the window, laid the template on top, then traced the area of the map I wanted to cut out.

make a template for the tray

Put a thin layer of Mod Podge on your tray. Lay your map cut-out on top and apply another thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the map. Ignore the wrinkles. There’s a utensil for that.

how to decoupage a map tray

Use the back of a spoon to smooth out the wrinkles before the glue gets tacky. Then smooth the glue back out with the brush. I love using matte Mod Podge because it doesn’t show imperfections nearly as much as the glossy does.

decoupaging a map tray

Clean up any excess Mod Podge with a damp paper towel or Q-tip.

The last step is to glue a hook on the back with E6000.

glue and hook for back of tray

Wait a few hours for the E6000 to dry then hang up your magnificent magnetic memo Mod Podge map trays. Try saying that three times fast. 🙂

southeast map tray

The edges of the tray look even prettier with a little distressing.

West coast map tray

magnetic map trays made from Dollar Tree trays

I have another organization project using the rest of the map for my little corner of the kitchen coming up soon!

Magnetic map tray- Dollar Tree Craft Project

Want to see another Mod Podge and map project ? Come check out my decoupaged map crate tutorial.

mod podge map crate

I also made a decoupaged map clock that hangs on the chalkboard wall in our boy’s shared bedroom.

Map mod podge clock

Speaking of the boys, our oldest graduated from high school this week! I’m so proud of everything he has accomplished. I don’t know where he gets his knack for calculus from but he aced the math portion of the SAT. Our two younger boys will be hanging out at the house over the summer so I’ve got some little helpers. Our middle son is not so enthusiastic about it, but our youngest is enjoying helping me with DIY projects. He has been designated as the official button pusher for the camera’s remote control when I do projects. Don’t be surprised if he bombs a few photos over the summer.

Tricia signature


I’m sharing this with:

Organizing Made Fun
I Heart Naptime
Uncommon Designs Online
Artsy Chicks Rule
Tidy Mom
Tatertots & Jello

Similar Posts


  1. I found this post through Pinterest. I’ve been searching for a way to display a set of map magnets I have. I’m going to try this. I picked this as one of My Friday Favorites. You can check it out here:
    Love your whole site!

  2. I love it – the other day I saw a magnetic board that was covered in fabric, and I wanted to do something for a magnetic board. This is a perfect idea! Thanks for sharing at Mod Podge Rocks, I found your link there.


  3. I love all the maps Tricia! I have a little table I decoupaged a map to the front of the drawer….I sold it in the shop! I think I need to do another. 😉 These are all such great projects. Thanks so much for sharing it on Project Inspire{d}. 🙂 Pinned!

  4. Wow! These maps are awesome. You make them look easy enough for even me. 🙂 I’d love for you to share this at my link party “Organize My Life” that opens every Monday night. Stop on by! Have a great day!

  5. These turned out so cute, Tricia! (You’re right. It is difficult trying to find a vintage map that isn’t falling apart!) I also love the driftwood vase (and heart) you did in a previous post. Such a fun way to bring the outdoors in!

  6. These map crafts are absolutely fabulous Tricia. I just bought a cool nautical map to use in my son’s room… and I have had a pizza pan from the dollar store sitting in my craft room for a few months to do something similar with – I was going to use wrapping paper but the map idea looks amazing!! The crate and clock are both fabulous too; you are such a talented gal!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.