I don’t know what it is about old maps but I just love their lovely muted colours and the slightly yellow thick paper they are printed on. This year I decided to add to my upcycled Christmas ornaments with some gorgeous repurposed map decorations.
Maps add interest to Christmas decorations. They can be personalised if you use maps of places that are special 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 really 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 that have a lot of red and green on them. 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 really easy 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 Decortaions
- 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 XLarge circle punch – This makes the craft very quick and easy.
- Glue stick
- Bakers twine
For the ornaments
- Embroidery floss skeins – I used red and gold.
- Embroidery Needles
- Small (5-6mm) coloured wooden beads.
How to Make Repurposed Map Decorations
Step 1: First, using the extra-large squeeze punch, punch out lots of circles from the roadmap. 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.
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.
Step 3: Then, 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.
Step 4: Next, open out your map paper ornament into a ball-like shape. But before glueing the 2 ends together to complete the circle, decide whether you are going to hang them as ornaments or in a garland.
How To Make Road Map Garlands Decorations
Step 5: Next, to make the paper map decorations into a garland, place bakers 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. If you use a bakers twine in Christmas colours, such as red, with the right coloured road maps this garland can look quite festive.
Making Hanging Map Christmas Ornments
Step 6: Next, to turn the paper map balls into a hanging Christmas ornament, simply make a tassel out of the embroidery thread. Add some 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 thread around the top of the tassel to secure it and to add decoration. Then thread some beads onto the loose thread.
As I’m such a huge fan of map decorations, I made both 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 that had some personal significance.
Check out my other map Christmas decorations.
Like these gorgeous 3D map stars that can be simply printed and folded. You can print the free world map design or a blank design to use a map of your choice.
Other map Christmas decorations.
- Map heart ornaments
- Personalized map thread cotton reel ornaments – another great upcycle.
- Map Paper Christmas tree ornaments – a great use for old road maps
- Embroidered map hanging decoration – Shows you how to print maps onto fabric at home.
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 wonderful ideas of homemade map themed gifts and ideas of gifts you can buy.