DIY Origami Map Ornament

Christmas Decorating Idea: Map Ornament Design + Free Map

The Origami Globe

Christmas Geography Project for Teachers!

Don’t throw your old maps away! This year we’re exploring ways to both repurpose and celebrate maps this Christmas season, with a bit of a traveler’s touch.

This one is a bit trickier than our decoupaged globe ornament and needs a bit more patience. However, it can be an excellent project to do with your budding geography buff and is perfect for the classroom!

Don’t have an old map? That’s okay. As a little holiday gift, we’re making our New Century Map available for download through the rest of the year to use for all of your crafting and teaching needs!

What you’ll need:

  • Map [printable download]
  • How To Make a Paper Sphere [printable]
  • Scissors
  • 4” Styrofoam Sphere
  • Pencil
  • Compass and Ruler
  • Ribbon & Bells (for a Christmas time flourish)

Step 1

The circumference of a 4” ball is roughly 13”. If you are making this for any other sized ball, you can measure the “equator” by wrapping a ribbon around the middle and measuring the feed. This map printable fits comfortably on an 11×17 sheet of paper.

Step 2

On a large piece of paper draw a rectangle the same length as the circumference of the ball. The height of the rectangle should be half the circumference of the ball. Draw an equator line through the center of the rectangle, lengthwise. Cut out the rectangle.

Step 3

Draw the gores. This is the heart of the process. We found an incredibly useful worksheet at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute website.

Step 4

Cut out your gored paper. It should look like this. It is helpful in the case of gluing to create small tabs (seen on the bottom points) for connecting the pieces of paper together over the sphere.

Step 5

Wrap the gored paper around the circumference of your styrofoam ball and connect the ends with either tape or glue. Hang with a ribbon, connect some bells, and enjoy your little “world on a string” on your Christmas tree!

How did it turn out? What other map repurposing projects can you think up?

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