DIY Christmas Map Ornament for Travelers

Christmas Decoration Idea: Map Ornament Design + Free Maps

The Decoupaged Globe Ornament

Decorations for your Non-traditional Christmas Tree

Not every Christmas hosts a traditional flair. These days, families find themselves scattered all over the globe. Rather than making that trip back to home base, it is becoming quite common for loved ones to pick a place on the map and celebrate the holidays in an entirely different setting. And why not? If everybody is flying somewhere anyway, what could be more fun than meeting up for a romantic family adventure in snowy Tahoe or (for the snow birds) sunny Malibu? Santa certainly keeps tabs on these kinds of things. He’s not the first to hear about the non-traditional Christmas.

In light of these Christmas time journeys, we’ve designed two map themed ornaments (see our Origami Globe Ornament) to help you and your family remember your travels.  Don’t have an old map? That’s okay! As an added Christmas bonus, we are making our popular World Antique Wall Map 1595 and World Antique Wall Map 1664 free for download for the rest of the year. Click the images below to print your maps!

 What you’ll need:

  • Old World Maps [see downloads at top]
  • Scissors
  • Modge Podge or gloss finish
  • 4” Styrofoam sphere
  • Ribbon
  • Bells
  • Small nails or tacks
  • Paintbrush

Step 1

Pierce the Styrofoam ball with a sturdy rod to create a passage from the top to the bottom. Decoupage can get messy. For a cleaner experience, hold the sphere on the rod during the glossing process. This is where the ribbon will feed into in later steps.

Step 2

We used a 4” Styrfoam ball specifically because the Old World Map download fits perfectly on an 11×17 sheet of paper. The circumference of a 4” ball is roughly 13”. If you are using a different sized ball, make sure to measure by wrapping a ribbon along the “equator”, and measuring it. That measurement should be the same size as the width of your map.

Step 3

Cut out the circular portions of the map (and save the lovely artwork for missteps and cover-ups). Cut along the yellow lines depicted here to produce 12 separate pieces.

Step 4

With your Mod Podge, paint directly onto the sphere, setting each piece of the map in its proper place. Paint on another coating after each piece has been set.  Let dry for a couple hours. If you see any white spaces, use other pieces of the map to cover them up.

A bit nervous? Here are a couple links to help you get started decoupaging like a pro:

WikiHow – How to Decoupage in 12 Steps

Doityourslef.com – How to Decoupage Anything

Video: How to Decoupage with Mod Podge

Step 5

Feed your ribbon through the hole and secure a couple bells at the very ends. Tuck in portions of the ribbon at the top for a frilly appearance. Glue if necessary.

Step 6

This is the fun part. Tack every place friends and family are flying from, as well as the final destination. With ribbon, connect the dots!

If you like this one and would love to see another Non-traditional Christmas ornament design, make sure to check out our DIY Origami Globe!

What other ways have you repurposed maps? Tell us your ideas in the comments below!

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