DIY Roller Maps

by frazzledmama on April 16, 2013

Tutorial for Roller Shade Maps - The Frazzled Mama

I’ve had this idea rolling around in my head for a while.   I  wanted to find old-style maps from public schools, you know the roller kind?  I wanted to use the roller maps in place of blinds.  But you know what?  Those old maps are hard to come by.  Which lead me to search the internet and Pinterest to see if anyone had tried to make their own roller maps by decoupaging them onto a regular vinyl roller shade.  I found 2, count ‘em 2 articles about using this method to make a map that rolls up.  After studying the directions from both articles, here is the procedure I followed.


1. Roll out your new vinyl shade on a flat surface.

2. Sand your shade down with fine grit sandpaper.

3. Using a piece of fleece, wipe off all the sanding dust from the shade.

4. Prime your roller shade with gesso, which is a canvas primer.

5. Allow the gesso to dry according to it’s directions.

6. Lightly sand your shade again, and dust with another piece of fleece.

7. Lay out your map(s) on the shade, trim and arrange them in the thinnest way possible.  I chose to use several small maps to fill in the space around my USA map and World map. 

8. Once you are satisfied with your arrangement, I highly recommend taking a picture to refer to as you decoupage them into place.

9. Using a roller (yes I said roller) coat  your entire shade with an even layer of modge podge.

10.  Carefully put your maps into place, and smooth them to minimize bubbles.

11.  Using your roller again, apply another even layer of modge podge over your maps. 

12. Allow to dry following your modge podge directions.

13.  When you are ready to hang your map, roll the shade completely and hang. Then unroll the map and allow it to stay unrolled for a week or so to allow the modge podge to cure well.

14. Sit back and watch the learning happen :)

map shade 4

I found gesso at our local Michaels in the painter supply section.  It was about $7.00.  I recommend buying the small container, as it doesn’t take very much to cover your shade.  It also stinks to high heaven, so make sure you have some windows open in your working area.

map shade 3

I will say that when it comes to rolling the shade up, the extra weight makes it difficult, but it’s not a huge issue for us, as this room gets afternoon sun, and we like to keep the shade down 95% of the time.

map shade 2

Overall, I am very pleased with the way the shade came out, in spite of my lack of experience with the art of decoupage.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

sue chandler September 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Thank you! I’ve been looking and looking for someone to make or teach me to make a roller shade with a map of the mountain my husband climbs, yearly. This is so helpful!


thefrazzledmama September 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Sue, I’m so glad I could help. I’ve have mine up for a few months now and it still looks really good.I hope your project turns out well. Thanks for dropping by!


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