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How To Make Repurposed Map Decorations

I don’t know what it is about old maps, but I love their lovely muted colours and the thick yellow paper they are printed on. This year I decided to add to my upcycled Christmas ornaments with gorgeous repurposed map decorations.

Maps add interest to Christmas decorations. They can be personalized if you use maps of places unique to you, such as your hometown or favourite holiday destinations.

I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to old maps. They are easy to find in your local charity (thrift stores). Some of the older roadmaps are often printed on woven paper.

If you are looking for a more Christmassy feel for your decorations, try to find old maps with a lot of red and green. On most maps, the roads are marked with red ink and the open spaces with green ink.

DIY Christmas Map Decorations with Ornaments and Garlands

These gorgeous map decorations are straightforward and fun to make. You can string them up in a lovely garland or hang them individually as ornaments.

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What You Need To Make Map Decorations

  • Old road/street maps – You can pick these up at your local charity/thrift stores or on eBay. For this craft, it doesn’t matter if the maps are printed on one side only.
  • Fiskars X-Large circle punch – This makes the craft very quick and easy.
  • Glue stick
  • Bakers twine
What you need to make gorgeous map decorations

For the ornaments

How to Make Repurposed Map Decorations

Step 1: First, punch out lots of circles from the roadmap using the extra-large squeeze punch. You will need six circles for every map ornament. Simply place the cutter over the bit of map you want and squeeze the handles. The tool will then cut a perfectly round map circle.

You can cut out the map circles with scissors instead, but this will take much longer, and the circles won’t be as neat.

Using a paper puncher to cut circles out of old road maps.
Cutting paper circles out of old road maps

Step 2: Next, fold each circle in half, making a semi-circle (6 for each ornament). If your maps are only printed on one side, make sure the printed map is on the inside of your semi-circle, as this is the bit of the map that will be visible.

Folded map circles for decorations

Step 3: Using the Pritt (glue) stick, apply glue to the outside of one map semi-circle and stick it to the outside of another. Carry on doing this until you have a stack of six map semi-circles.

Glued map semi circles.

Step 4: Open your map paper ornament into a ball-like shape. But before glueing the two ends together to complete the circle, decide whether you will hang them as ornaments or in a garland.

Paper Map Christmas Ornaments

How To Make Road Map Garlands Decorations

Step 5: To make the paper map decorations into a garland, place the baker’s twine in the middle of the ornament before glueing the ends together.

Then, repeat this at regular intervals along the twine until you have a long enough garland. This garland can look quite festive if you use a baker’s twine in Christmas colours, such as red, with the right coloured road maps.

Making map decorations into a garland
Repurposed road map garland
Upcycle old road maps to make a gorgeous DIY map decorations in the form of a garland.

Making Hanging Map Christmas Ornaments

Step 6: Make a tassel out of the embroidery thread to turn the paper map balls into a hanging Christmas ornament. Add decorative beads and a hanging loop before glueing the paper ball shut.

Use an embroidery thread skein to make a tassel. Simply tie the top of the skein with thread and then cut away the bottom. Wind a contrasting yarn around the top of the tassel to secure it and add decoration. Then thread some beads onto the loose thread.

Making a tassel from embroidery thread
 map Christmas ornament complete with tassel.
DIY Map Christmas ornaments

As a massive fan of map decorations, I made map garlands and ornaments to add to my Christmas decorations this year. The ornaments would also make lovely gift toppers, especially if you used maps with personal significance.

Repurpose old road maps into unique personailised Christmas ornaments with tassels.

Check out my other Christmas decorations, including these gorgeous map paper pine cones.

Like these gorgeous 3D map stars that can be printed and fol, you can print the free world map design or a blank design to use a map of your choice.

Printable 3D map stars

Other map Christmas decorations.

If you have any map lovers or relatives and friends with wanderlust, then you should check out my map-themed gift guide. The guide is full of beautiful ideas for homemade map-themed gifts and ideas of gifts you can buy.

Repurposed road map garland and ornaments

Check out all my map-themed crafts and not those just for Christmas. I’ve used the same circle paper punch to make some cool DIY map art from old road maps.

Cheryl Foraker

Thursday 19th of May 2022

Love the oak leaves of maps. I will wad up the brown paper with bag to Make it more pliable OR use brown crepe paper

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

Thank you so much and thanks for the tip about brown paper.

How to Make a Vintage Map Heart Garland - Pillar Box Blue

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

[…] vintage map heart garland is basically an update of the repurposed map decorations I made for my home over Christmas.   I can’t get enough of decorating my home with […]

Teresa

Monday 18th of December 2017

I love these cute as can be ornaments! What a good idea to use old maps this way! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Party in Your PJs.

Claire Armstrong

Monday 18th of December 2017

Thank you, Teresa. I just love crafting with old maps.

Julie

Saturday 16th of December 2017

These are great Claire, I have a couple of circle punches (from a birthday or Christmas when I was very specific about what I would like) that would be perfect for this. Pinning :-)

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 16th of December 2017

Thank you, Julie. The Circe punches make it a very quick and easy craft that can be done whilst catching up on Netflix.

Jelica

Thursday 14th of December 2017

Okay, so this is the cutest, quirkiest holiday decor idea! I love the unusual quality of it and, yet, I can't put my finger on why I love it, but I really, really, do! Thanks for the inspiration :)

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 14th of December 2017

Thank you, I think it's the old maps that just look good and give it a vintage feel.