Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Upcycled Vintage Map Bunting

DIY Map Garland

As UK schools inch towards their six week summer holiday, teachers seem to become more creative with their homework tasks and the academic pressure eases off a little.  My daughter's geography class were put into small groups this week and told to create a recycled product for a 'Dragon's Den' style lesson!

She and her friends created this gorgeous upcycled garland using old maps, vintage lace and felt manufactured from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles.

It was an easy make and they only needed the smallest amount of help from me, so I thought we would share the process in this quick tutorial. 


Old Maps
Cream Lace
Bias Binding Tape
Pinking Shears

Step One

Cut a triangle template from thin cardboard (use a protractor and pencil or favourite computer programme!) and then round lower corner.

Lightly mark out map triangles, using your template and faint pencil. Roughly cut out each map triangle leaving at least an inch margin on sides.

Step Two

Layer map triangles onto backing felt and then machine stitch directly on top of your pencil lines.   Remove from sewing machine and trim just outside stitched line.  We used pinking shears but it would work equally well with regular scissors!  

Step Three

Unfold bias binding tape and place map flags and lace inside, with the triangles at approximately 2 cms intervals, lining up top edges.  Make sure you leave at least 15 cms of tape at both ends of the garland for hanging purposes, then machine stitch.  If you don’t have any bias-binding simply use some pretty ribbon or tape folded in half.

Step Four

Turn bias-binding tape to back of garland flags and hand sew into place using matching thread and a small slip or ladder stitch....and that's it!

See, it was easy!

The felt backing not only adds beauty to the finished garland, it also protects the paper maps from tearing.  I just love the addition of the cream lace too, so shabby chic!

Quick to stitch bunting makes a perfect present, and a garland using maps that hold special memories for the recipients would make it even more precious, especially for a wedding or housewarming gift!

The geography teachers obviously liked the project and voted it as their winning idea - My daughter's group graciously allowed them to keep the finished garland, hopefully not as a bribe to win! 

Happy Stitching!