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!


  1. This is really lovely Josie, your daughter and her friends were worthy winner's!

  2. Great idea and love the finished project.

  3. No wonder the teacher chose the map bunting as the winning project. I don't think I've ever seen old maps used as bunting - I love the idea!!! Your daughter and her friends have done an awesome job. Adding the lace finishes it off perfectly.

  4. I love this bunting . This is so neat ! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  5. What beautiful bunting. I love the use of old maps and the lace really sets them off. The colours are gorgeous. A really fab project, it's no wonder your daughter and her friends won. Huge congratulations to them all. Xx

  6. Josie, the bunting is lovely. Your daughter takes after you, so talented. X

  7. I love Map crafts and your bunting is beautiful. Your daughter is obviously very crafty too!

  8. oooo, this is fab. I love making bunting from fabric scraps and I love making things with old map books.
    What a totally brilliant idea. Love love love (did I mention that I love it!!)

  9. This is super-cute! A hint though--just sandwich the triangles between the bias tape and sew. No need to actually do the bias-tape-thing with the folding and the pinning. That's how I make my buntings--just shove the triangle into the crease of the tape and sew it down. Fast and easy!

  10. That method is definitely quicker but I quite like the lack of visible stitches on the front with a traditional bias tape finish. I also love sitting down with a little bit of hand sewing in the evening and in this case my daughter needed the practice!
    The method you mention is great too and allows the choice of using tape or ribbon simply folded in half and pressed. Much cheaper than bias tape and quite often lots more choice!

    Thanks Sarah!