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How To Make Map Paper Angel Wings Wall Decor

I’ve always admired the large angel wing art that you often see in interior stores. Having a bit of time on my hands at the moment I decided to make my own paper angel wing wall decor by using old road maps to make the feathers.

I have made some small feather angel wing ornaments before using upcycled shuttlecocks. This time I wanted to make a much larger wall decor.

If you follow my blog you will know that my two main upcycling obsessions are denim and maps. I have made denim feathers in the past and even though these would look fantastic used to make angel wings, this time I decided to use maps.

A lot of feathers of different sizes are needed to make this angel wings wall decor. I love using old maps for my paper crafts as they tend to add extra interest to the project.

These paper wings can be personalized by using maps of special places. A road map of Los Angeles (City of Angels) would have been very apt to use for this craft. Unfortunately, I didn’t have one in my collection of old maps.

Road maps not only look great but they are a very affordable craft material. If you don’t have any old ones yourself you can often pick them up really cheaply in thrift stores and flea markets. This still works out cheaper than buying craft paper and more environmentally friendly.

I know that getting out to craft stores for a lot of us is very difficult at the moment. So we want to craft with the things around us whilst we stay at home. The great thing about this project besides the road map and glue the only other material you need is some scrap cardboard packaging.

Maps and cardboard

I found an old wood frame for the paper angel wings decor and have hung it above our bed for now. It’s like the angel wings are a symbol of protection at this difficult time in the world at the moment.

What You Need

  • Old road map – if you don’t have any ask older relatives I find that they often have old out of date maps they are happy to part with. My dad is actually now my greatest supplier of old maps.
  • Cardboard – I just used some scrap cardboard from Amazon packaging.
  • Craft glue – any white paper glue will do.
  • Map feather template – download for free here.
  • Angelwing template
Feather template
Angel wings template

How To Make Map Angel Wings Wall Decor

1.. The first thing to do is to make the wing template in cardboard. Draw one half of the angel wing onto the cardboard and cut it out.

Then draw around this wing shape on another piece of cardboard and cut out the shape. If you flip over this wing, you will end up with a pair of angel wings that are the mirror image of each other.

Making cardboard wings base

2. Next, make the paper map feathers. Cut out the template of the three feather sizes onto thin card. Use these templates to draw around and cut out map feathers.

Top tips: If the map is blank on one side draw around the feather on this side as it will be easier to see the lines. Also, if you layer the map paper you can cut more than one leaf out at a time. I put 3 sheets of map paper together and cut 3 leaves out at a time.

cutting out map feathers

3. The number of map feathers you will need will depend on the size of your angel wing art. For each of the wings I used, 11 large feathers, 15 medium-sized feathers and 24 small feathers.

Note that the feathers are curved you will need to cut out 2 sets of feathers. One for each side of the map angel wing. So you end up with 2 sets of feathers one curving to the right and the other curving to the left.

Top tip: Once you have cut out one set of map feathers, turn the template over to cut out the second set facing the other way.

Cut out map feathers

4. Once all the map feathers have been cut out, you are ready to assemble the angel wings decor.

Glue the feathers one by one to the cardboard wings. Starting off with the longest feather, paste glue on the bottom third of the feather. Glue the feather to the tip of the wing.

Start off by gluing 3 large feathers next to each other on the wing tip.

Gluing map feathers to make angel wing art
First row of map feathers

5. Next, add another row of large map feathers overlapping the first row. Carry on adding rows of feathers making sure the cardboard underneath is not visable.

Once the large feathers have finished (3 rows), glue the medium sized feathers to the wings. Then glue the small feathers working from the bottom up.

Adding feathers
Making a map feather wing

6. When you get to the final row of small feathers, they will probably overlap the edge of the wings. Once the glue has dried simply trim the edge with a pair of scissors.

Finished feather wing before triming
Trimming wing edge

7. Repeat the process with the other cardboard wing. A video tutorial can be watched here.

Finished map feather angel wings

How To Display The Map Paper Angel Wings

As these upcycled angel wings are made from just paper and cardboard they are very light and easy to display.

The angel wings can easily be stuck to the wall using double sided mounting tape.

I found an old large frame in my shed. Using grey paint, I painted the frame and backing board. I then simply hung my wings in the frame with the mounting tape. The glass was not put the glass back in the frame.

map paper angel wing wall decor
Framed map angel wing wall decor

I loved these map angel wings so much I’ve made a fall version of the angel wings out of painted pine cones.

This isn’t the only large upcycled map wall decor I have in my home. In my living room, I have a large map art pet portrait I made of my dog Toby.

Don’t forget to check out many of my unique map DIY and craft decor ideas, from IKEA table hacks, lamp hacks and even clock hacks. Or if it is feathers you like, check out these upcycled fabric feathers.

Yield: Map feather angel wings

Make Map Paper Angel Wings Wall Decor

map paper angel wing wall decor

Angel wings are very popular in home decor. These gorgeous upcycled paper feather angel wings would look great on any wall.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1

Materials

  • Cardboard - such as old Amazon packaging
  • Old road maps
  • Paper glue
  • Feather template - free to download

Tools

  • Scissors

Instructions

1. Draw and cut out 2 angel wings from the cardboard. The angel wings should be a mirror image of each other.

2. Print off the feather templates, small, medium and large.

3. Draw around the feather templates on the map paper and cut out the feather shapes.

4. Cut out 11 large feathers, 14 medium feathers and 24 small feathers for each wing

5. You should end up with 2 sets of feathers the mirror image of each other just like the wings.

6. Starting with the large feathers glue a row on the tip of the cardboard wing. Only apply the glue to the top half of each feather.

7. Carry on adding feathers to the wings making sure each row overlaps about 50%. Move on to smaller feathers as you reach the top of the wings. You should finish off with small feathers at the top.

8. Use the scissors to trim off any excess map feathers at the top of the wings.

9. Use double-sided mounting tape to mount the wings into a picture frame. Or just stick them straight on the wall unframed.

There are more paper angel crafts here.

Upcycled paper angel wings decor

If you don’t have any road maps there are some free downloadable city maps here you could try with this craft.

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Beth A Greenberg

Thursday 18th of February 2021

Where are the feather templates? I cn't find them.Thanks

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 18th of February 2021

There is a link to them in the materials list, but here it is again for you hope that helps. Feathers template

Kalyn

Wednesday 13th of January 2021

This is awesome. What is the dimensions of the cardboard wing base for the amount of feathers listed?

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 14th of January 2021

Thank you, each wing is about 60-70cm (24-28 inches) in length and about 25cm (10 inches) at the top. But you can make them any size you want.

Michelle H

Friday 8th of May 2020

THAT is soooo creative and clever! I love it.

Claire Armstrong

Friday 8th of May 2020

Aww, thank you so much.

Michelle Leslie

Sunday 19th of April 2020

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Love the way you think Claire

Claire Armstrong

Monday 20th of April 2020

Thank you so much Michelle. Love the way you think too.

Michelle

Saturday 18th of April 2020

What a cute and creative idea! It turned out really nice. I love the map feathers!

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 19th of April 2020

Thank you so much. I have a load more maps so more map projects to come.

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