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How To Make Paper Rosettes Decorations From Old Maps

If you look at many old roadmaps, they are often printed in Christmassy colours (white, red and green)! The backgrounds are white, forests and open spaces are green and significant roads are printed in red. That’s one of the reasons I decided to use them to make some Christmas paper rosettes.

What I love about these map paper rosettes is that they can be made in various sizes and used in multiple ways.

They look superb hung together in clumps as a wall or door decoration. Hung individually on the Christmas tree as lovely ornaments. Or you can stick a map paper rosette to the top of a gift as a beautiful decoration.

If you use maps of unique places, then that will make the decorations even more personal and unique.

DIY Map Paper Rosettes

These paper rosettes are so affordable too! All you need is a hot glue gun, old buttons, and some old road maps.

If you don’t have any old road maps, you can pick them up cheaply in charity and thrift stores. Buying old road maps for crafts is very economical as they are often cheaper than gift wrap or craft paper.

DIY map paper rosettes

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What you need to make Map Paper Rosettes

  • Old road maps – If you don’t have any, I find elderly relatives often have a stash with which they are willing to part. Or try your local charity and thrift stores.
Old road maps

How to make paper rosettes

Step 1: The first thing you need to do is to work out how large you would like your paper rosette. I made mine in a variety of sizes.

Depending on how large you want the paper rosette will depend on how long a strip of paper you will need. The length of the paper needs to be five times the width.

To make a map paper rosette 10cm in diameter (5cm radius), you will need two strips of map paper 5cm wide and 25cm long. So to make a paper rosette 8cm in diameter, you will need two strips of map paper 4cm wide by 20cm long.

To ensure a nice straight edge, use a metal ruler, mat and rotary cutter to cut the strips of map paper. Cut two strips of paper for each paper rosette.

Cutting up road maps

Step 2: Next, concertina fold (like you would for a fan) each map strip. The folds should be between 7-10mm apart.

Concertina folding maps

Step 3: Next, fold each strip of concertina map strips round into a semi-circle shape. Use a hot glue gun to hold this shape in place.

Top Tip: If the map paper you have used is a bit stiff, sometimes it helps to glue a strip of paper across the semi-circle to help it keep its shape.

(Careful when using a hot glue gun, the glue burns if touched with the naked skin.)

Making a map paper rosette

Step 4: You should end up with two map semi-circles. Again using the hot glue gun, glue the two semi-circles together to make a paper rosette.

Finally, finish and tidy up the paper rosette by glueing a button or craft gem to the centre.

putting the semi-circle maps together

Step 5: I made lots of these paper rosettes in different sizes using different roadmaps.

map rosettes in different sizes

How To Display Paper Rosettes

Now that you have made the map rosettes, there are several ways to use them. If made with Christmas map paper, add red velvet ribbon and hang them as ornaments from the Christmas tree.

Road map rosette ornament tutorial

One of my favourite ways to use them is to hang a cluster as wall decorations. For this use, upcycled map paper rosettes in different sizes hung from ribbons of different lengths. This is not the only way I’ve used maps as a door wreath; I’ve also made an autumn leaf map door wreath.

Map paper rosette door wreath

Or you can use the map rosettes as a gift topper. The gift recipient could then hang them on their tree; it would be like a present.

Map paper rosette gift topper
DIY map paper rosettes

Old road maps are a favourite of mine to upcycle, especially into decorations and gifts, as they can be personalized. I’ve made map heart ornaments and vintage map heart garlands for Christmas and Valentine’s.

Other upcycled map Christmas decorations include paper pine cones, wooden ornaments, road map paper Christmas trees and road map Christmas crackers. My favourite is the cute cotton reel map ornaments I made.

I’ve even used the road maps to upcycle old Christmas cookie tins. However, my beautiful map roses are for all year round and not just Christmas. Old road maps can be easily repurposed into cool, personalized map art.


Wednesday 2nd of January 2019

make a few small ones put a magnet on back for holding notes on fridge. rena

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 2nd of January 2019

Thank you that sounds like a lovely idea!

Rosie (@greenrosielife)

Saturday 15th of December 2018

Now these would be something very different to top a present or decorate your house. Thank you for adding this post to #GoingGreen and I hope you enjoy some of of the other posts that are linked up.

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 16th of December 2018

Thank you so much. They do look great together.


Saturday 15th of December 2018

What a lovely idea and so easy to make. They are perfect to embellish a gift :).

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 15th of December 2018

Thank you. I’ve been wrapping my Christmas presents today and have stuck a few on astoppers.

Amy AKA The Hippy

Saturday 15th of December 2018

These are simply stunning. I am always on the lookout for old maps and atlases when I'm out at the thrift shops or garage sales. There is always something cute to make from them. I love what you have done here. I most definitely will be copying you for a roadmap rosette garland for my mantel! Love them!

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 15th of December 2018

Thank you so much. They are fun to make.


Saturday 15th of December 2018

These are lovely, I like how full they are as you did them in 2 halves, if you know what I mean.

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 15th of December 2018

Thank you. I think they look better full too!