Thursday, August 1, 2013

You need a map!

I travel between Virginia and Texas several times a year.  Dasher the dog and I stop at every state line for a little break and a walk.  I also like to pop into the visitor's center where I pick up paper maps.  I started collecting these maps for mixed media projects years ago.   For a while I've suspected paper maps will soon be obsolete now that there are so many GPS options. My suspicions are coming true because this summer when I stopped in Mississippi I found that they didn't have the old paper maps.  They had created a glossy magazine full of coupons with a little pullout map without too many details. So pick up some paper maps in your summer travels, they'll be collectors items soon.

I use maps in my artwork in lots of different ways.  As a  drawing surface, in collage or as a sculpture,  maps are so interesting with all of their lines, words and colors. They can remind you of places you've been and people you know.  Maps can make your art even more meaningful because of these memories.

Let's make a folded map book.

I've used lots of different kinds of paper for this project but I find maps make these books even more interesting.
 1. Cut five 6 X 6 inch squares.

2.  Fold in half

 3.  Fold it in half again

4. Open the paper and fold it diagonally

 5.  Open it up again

6. Now comes the tricky part. Fold in the diagonal parts in,
 7. And flatten.

8. Fold the other 4 pieces the same way.

 9.  Now open and on a flat side put a little glue

10.  Attach the next page flipping over the paper and matching up the flat sides.

 11.  Continue adding all pages.

 12. Carefully fold them into an accordion style book.

 13.  Decorate your book with words, doodles and pictures.

14.  With the scraps create a paper doll.  Or save for future collages.

During the holidays I'll show you how to turn this book folding technique into a star.


  1. I love these maps projects! I never thought about it, but you are right - these things are likely to go away! p.s. I want to see a picture of Dasher! p.s. I followed you on GFC. great blog! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I checked out your blog too. I'm a run/walker and love the stress release!

      I'll post a picture of Dasher tomorrow. He's part of "I'm going on a trip"

  2. Karen, I'm visiting from the UBC. I love the emphasis on creativity in your blog. Years ago, a friend told me she thought I was very creative, and her observations changed my life. I love your fresh ideas for using paper maps. I'm subscribing!

    1. Thanks Kebba! Love your blog too.

      Keep up your creativity.