DIY – Decoupage Portuguese Antique Travel Trunk


This old antique trunk was dark brown, faded and worn out from over 100 years of travel. It belonged to my Tia Isabel (Aunt Isabel) who traveled to America in 2016 on a ship from Lisbon to Ellis Island in New York City. She was only 16 years old and traveled alone on that ship to come to America the Land of Opportunity during the Industrial Revolution. Now I have a family heirloom which makes a great conversation piece. If you don’t want the Portuguese theme, use any country or destination of your choice. Since most of us are immigrants I’m sure we can all represent our heritage some way. Have fun!


Old maps (I used old maps of Portugal and maps of the Portuguese explorers)

Nautical decals of your choice

Portuguese crest (optional)

1 bottle of decoupage (white matte)


Sponge brush



Paint the trunk with a few coats of white, beige or any color primer you chose. Find old maps on the internet. Here’s a link to some map images.
Cut the maps to fit the tops of the trunk or you can go all the way around if you prefer.




Lay out the maps and decals to make a great pattern or look you want. When ready start coating each section of trunk under the maps with decoupage piece by piece, then gently place the map over the decoupage. Smooth out the wrinkles as you lay on each piece.




















After sticking on each section of map, let the whole thing dry for a few hours and coat with a layer of decoupage. Let dry at least another 2 hours and coat with another layer of decoupage.


When completely dry paint over with a coat of polyurethane.

dsc06016Place desired monogram or number on the front. I used a “D” for my last name but you can also put your house numbers on it.

I printed out a letter D on my printer but you can also find numbers at craft stores. Using the same method apply the monogram with the decoupage and let dry 2 hours.



He’s the finished product.