If you love to travel as much as we do, a map of the world can be inspiring in more ways than one. Senior Designer Laura E. loves to pack up her suitcase and go exploring—and when she’s at home, she loves tracking down and painting desktop globes. Below, she shares tips and tricks for creating vintage globes into your own personal works of art.
I would live on the road if I could. But since that’s not really an option, I can at least surround myself with travel icons—like maps and globes—that inspire my wandering spirit.
I wanted to share my hobby, so I gathered some globes and invited some artist friends. I couldn’t wait to see how they would transform their thrift store finds.
- Globe (find them in thrift stores, at flea markets or on Ebay)
- Dish soap or mild cleaning solution
- Krud Kutter
- Paint (spray, acrylic—whatever you’re most comfortable with)
- Liquid paint pens (for small details and lettering)
A painted globe makes a great accent piece for any room of your home. And this can be a really affordable project: I scoured thrift stores and vintage markets around KC, scooping up old globes for $20 or less.
To ensure your paint adheres well, you’ll want to give your globe a good cleaning—who knows what kind of dirt and grime it’s picked up over the years? Simple soap and water typically works, although any kind of grease build-up might require a stronger cleaner. Let it dry completely before you get started.
There are so many options for designs:
- Add words, designs or patterns to the maps of continents and countries. Highlight the places you’ve gone—or dream of traveling to. Capture the climate, landscape or spirit of a place. Or just fill an outline with icons or images you love.
- Repaint it to match your color scheme.
- Treat the globe as a spherical canvas and add a favorite travel quote.
Maybe, like Sara C., you’ll want the stand to be a different color. Most globes can be removed from their stands, so it’s easy to spray paint them with regular high gloss spray paint from the hardware or craft store.
You could paint your entire globe a single color first like Lynn G. did here, and then add details, or you might want to paint portions of your globe different colors. (The stand makes a convenient, built-in easel.)
Livy L. used the existing outlines as a starting point, and added a sweet succulent pattern inside the continents. Sam L. layered a background, patterns and a phrase for her lettering solution.
The results: Fabulous painted globes of all sizes, perfect for any room or office space. Bet yours will be just as awesome—have fun coloring your world!
What’s your favorite travel-inspired art project? Have you painted a globe, decorated a map, decoupaged a suitcase? Share your creations with us on Instagram @think.make.share or on our Facebook page.