Thursday, 24 November 2011

Map Bauble Stars

I made a discovery this week (excuse the awful pun!). I was on the look out (around the house) to see if I could find any materials to upcycle and came across this out of date map book:

A perfect example of an item which is disposable but can be made into something of more value. I sat down and cut, folded, sewed (is that a word?) and eventually came up with these:

Here is how they are made...

You will need 3 strips of map, about 1 and a half cm wide and as long as the map book (the one I used was an A3 one I think). The baubles are made from a larger circle and a small star. First you need to make the small star. To do this, take one strip and cut it in half, so you now have 2 short strips and 2 long strips. Put the long strips aside, making sure they don't get lost (awful pun number 2).

Put one strip on top of the other, at right angles to each other and staple. Now the folding starts. You want to fold the strips over and over, alternately, until you reach the end of the strips. Then staple the ends to secure.

Then repeat the process again with the 2 longer strips, so you have 2 map springs.

Just pull them slightly to make them expand, then pick up the smaller one. Attach the 2 ends to each other with a few stitches of thread. You will feel like you need another set of hands at this point, but keep going and you will get there (pun number 3 - sorry). Do not cut the thread yet because you will need to sew the larger strip together with it too.

OK, so now all that needs to be done is to arrange the longer strip so it circumnavigates (!) the star and sew the ends together to secure. Oh, and make sure you make a loop with the same thread so you can hang your creation up.

We will be having some of these hanging on our tree this Christmas but I am sure they could be made into a garland too to decorate other spaces. I like the way the light creates shadows on the folds. They might make a good present topper too - with map wrapping paper! Good for a person who likes hiking/travelling/driving. Maybe?

If you like the idea of upcycling maps, there are loads of ideas out there...beads, pots, flowers, frames, wallpaper etc etc!... Have fun!