How to Make a Map Out of Styrofoam

Keep the Styrofoam that serves as cushioning in boxes out of the landfill by turning it into material for a child-friendly craft. Use the foam to make a map to help children learn geography. The map you make is up to you. Make a map of your state, a country or the entire world. If you want, create a scavenger or treasure hunt map that leads people to a prize.

Things You'll Need

  • Picture of a state or country to trace
  • Flat piece of Styrofoam -- 1 to 2 inches thick, in your preferred size
  • Markers in various colors, permanent ink
  • Acrylic paint and paintbrush -- 1/2 to 1 inch wide
  • Craft glue
  • Additional small pieces of Styrofoam for 3-D details
  • Utility knife or scissors
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    • 1

      Draw or trace the state or country shape on the Styrofoam piece, using a permanent marker so the ink won't smudge.

    • 2

      Paint the map shape the color of your choice. If the map is surrounded by ocean, paint that part of the Styrofoam blue. Let the paint dry for a few hours before proceeding.

    • 3

      Cut out any elevated shapes, such as mountains, from the additional Styrofoam pieces, if you wish to add three-dimensional details to the map. Use a utility knife to carve the pieces into the desired shape.

    • 4

      Paint the cutout shapes the appropriate color, such as brown for mountains. Let them dry for a few hours.

    • 5

      Glue the shapes to the map in the proper spots.

    • 6

      Add other prominent details to your map, such as lake or rivers. You can use either acrylic paints or permanent markers -- depending on whether the details cover a larger area or require finer lines.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to make a treasure map, use a marker to draw a line showing how to get from point A to the treasure's location. Glue images of landmarks to the map that will help guide the person to the "treasure."

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