Craft: Mar­sha Smith turns maps into mod­ern art

Start scour­ing for old maps be­cause, with a lit­tle pa­tience, you can trans­form them into your very own mod­ern art! Mar­sha Smith shows you how.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS - AWW

Man­dala-in­spired map art

A man­dala is a sym­met­ri­cal cir­cu­lar pat­tern. There are many gor­geous ex­am­ples to be in­spired by, but it’s best to keep it sim­ple to start with. You’ll end up with a won­der­ful piece of art that’s in­di­vid­ual and unique.

What you’ll need

Pa­per maps Sticky tape (mask­ing tape or in­vis­i­ble tape) White mount­ing card­board Hot glue and glue gun Box frame of choice


1 Start by cut­ting the maps into long strips about 21mm wide. Fold each strip three times length­ways, so they end up be­ing around 7mm wide. This art­work can be as small or large as you like – it’s up to you and how many rolls you cre­ate. 2 Start­ing at one end of each folded strip, roll up the pa­per as tightly as you can. Keep rolling un­til you reach the end of the strip, then use a small piece of tape to hold it in place. 3 To make a larger cir­cle, tape on a new strip and con­tinue rolling it up tightly un­til you have reached the de­sired di­am­e­ter. 4 Make a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent-sized cir­cles to achieve the pat­tern and size of art­work you’d like. Think about the colours you want and use var­i­ous parts of your map to cre­ate these – for ex­am­ple, the ocean for blue cir­cles, land masses for green. 5 For a tear-drop shape, start rolling your pa­per strip into a tiny cir­cle, then pinch one side so a tri­an­gu­lar end shape starts to form. The sides will get longer and the curve will be at the top. 6 Lay the pa­per rolls on a piece of mount­ing card that has been cut to fit your frame. This is where your cre­ativ­ity comes into play. Move the rolls around, and play with de­signs and shapes un­til you have a pat­tern you are happy with. 7 Heat your glue gun and glue each piece into place on the card. Now it’s ready to frame!

African geo ele­phant

We’ve cre­ated an ele­phant tem­plate, but im­ages of other geo­met­ric shaped an­i­mals can be found on the in­ter­net if you pre­fer some­thing else. You will need to scale it up to your cho­sen size on a pho­to­copier. If you can only print in A4 size, sim­ply tile it and sel­l­otape the pieces to­gether.

What you’ll need

Geo­met­ric an­i­mal pat­tern (see tem­plate, right) White mount­ing card­board Cut­ting board Pen­cil Re­mov­able mask­ing tape Stan­ley knife and blades Metal ruler Thin card­board Large map Craft glue or spray ad­he­sive Frame of choice Steps 1 Place the mount­ing card­board on your cut­ting board and lay the printed tem­plate on top, po­si­tion­ing it so it will be able to sit in the cen­tre of the frame. I found it help­ful to draw the shape of my frame in pen­cil on the card­board first. Use re­mov­able mask­ing tape to hold tem­plate in place. 2 Us­ing a sharp Stan­ley knife and a metal ruler, cut out the geo­met­ric shapes, cut­ting ei­ther side of the black lines (don’t cut along the black lines). You need to cut through both the tem­plate and the card­board, so you will prob­a­bly need to go over each cut a few times to get all the way through. Take your time, as it is very easy to slip and cut through the thin pieces of card left be­hind – and you don’t want to cut a fin­ger! TOP TIP: Keep shapes sim­ple and al­ways use a sharp blade – I went through about six blades. 3 Once you’ve cut out all your pieces, re­move the tem­plate and trim the card­board to fit into your frame. 4 Cut a piece of thin­ner card the same size as your frame. Place your map on top of this card and lay the ele­phant cut-out on top to see how it looks. Ad­just the po­si­tion of the map un­til you are happy with the re­sult, then glue the map onto the thin card. 5 Now all you need to do is put your lay­ers to­gether and place in­side your frame to hang. IDEAS: Make your piece of art more per­sonal by us­ing an an­i­mal that may have sig­nif­i­cance to you, or a map of a place in the world that you love!

Tem­plate: En­large to your cho­sen frame size.

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