Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Big A** Paper Bows from Old Maps

I taught scrapbooking and paper crafting classes for several years. One of my best-selling kits consisted of some pre-cut strips of paper and instructions for making your very own paper gift bows. I had to share! These are SO EASY you'll be whipping them out in no time!

The bows I'm featuring are JUMBO and made from old MAPS. The instructions show some decorative scrapbook paper and heck, I wasn't going to retake a bunch of pictures
just because the paper as you go through them, just imagine you're looking at a double-sided map of New York instead of the floral print I used :O)

All you need: Paper Cutter, Glue, Foam Tape, Old Map (I took a warm iron to my maps to get out most of the folds/ didn't always work, depends on the condition of the map! Another option, go make a photocopy of the map on the biggest paper possible. Make sure to do it double-sided, as both sides of the map will show on your finished bow.)

Firstly, here is the cutting guide for the JUMBO (8 inch) bows:

Start with 13 strips of paper cut according to the diagram.

Fold and adhere the eight 12x2 inch strips into loops as shown. Adhere two loops together, end-to-end, ending up with 8 of these:

Adhere two sets together, forming two of these:

Set aside.

Repeat with the remaining 4 strips. (You end up with 3 sets, one slightly smaller than the other two.)

Roll the last (shortest) strip into a ring and adhere with the ends overlapped about ½ an inch.

Place a square of double-sided foam adhesive in the center of each piece.

Starting with a large set, stack and adhere the loops, turning each set about 45 degrees so the loops set between the loops of the layer below. The top layer should be the smaller of the 3 loop sets. Add the paper ring to the very center.

Pop some foam adhesive on the back, stick it to your gift, and you are good to go!

Here are cutting guides for standard (4 inch) and mini (2 inch) bows:

When I learned this technique, I went a little BOW CRAZY :O) Here are some more examples:

Funny story (aka, I'm still kicking my own ass story), I listed these on Etsy last winter, and someone from a MAJOR magazine contacted me, saying they needed some samples asap for their Christmas issue. I did not log in for a few days and was too late to meet their deadline. See? kicking-my-own-ass! pfft.

Trying this project? I WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOUR BOWS! Comment me a link and I'll give you a shout-out! I can't wait to see what you make :O)

Craft on ladies, craft on.

Linking up with:

Trash to Treasure Tuesday at Reinvented

Transform Tuesday Blog Party at The Pumpkin Patch

Whatever Goes Wednesdays Blog Party at Someday Crafts

Look What I Made! Blog Party at Creations by Kara

Look What I Made!

Show & Tell Wednesday Blog Party at Blue Cricket Design

Be Inspired Blog Party at Room to Inspire

Strut Your Stuff Mother's Day Ideas at Somewhat Simple

SYS Mothers Day

I Made It Blog Party on Everything Etsy

I Made It Thursday Blog Party

All Things Dreamy Blog Party on Sweet European Dreams

All Things Dreamy Thursday Blog Party

Hooking Up With House of Hepworths


Show Off Your Stuff Party at Fireflies and Jellybeans

Fireflies & Jellybeans Friday Blog Party

I'm So Crafty Fridays at Fun To Craft

Look at me, I am SO Crafty! Fridays @ Fun to Craft!

Hodgepodge Friday at It's A Hodgepodge Life

Hodgepodge Friday Blog Party

Saturday is Crafty Day at Along for the Ride

Saturday is Crafty Day at Along For the Ride


  1. Christy--you re seriously becoming one of my favorite crafters! I love what you make and your posts crack me up. I feel like I know you just from reading your posts. I love your spunk. :)

    Thanks for linking up to my Transform Tuesday. Can't wait to see what you link up next week.

  2. That is so creative, I've never attempted to make a bow but now I will!!!can't wait, thank you so much.

  3. Oh, wow! My husband saves every map from every Nation Geographic we've ever gotten~and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't notice if even half of them are missing.

    I'm making bows! Thank you!

  4. Wow! I love the bows!!!! I found you through Fireflies and Jellybeans party. You are the first person I have found who has the same background blog page color as I do.
    -Mama E

  5. What a clever idea, I am definitely going to try this one!

  6. I KNEW this was you just by the pic, you clever smarty pants girl. Love you stuff. Love it.

  7. What a great tutorial - your bows are fabulous. Thanks for linking this up to Be Inspired this week!


  8. Love Love Love it! I just created a gift wrapping closet and know I need to fill it with these beautiful bows. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Those are awesome!! I now have one more idea on my list of things I want to make!!

  10. Love these bows, you make it look so easy! Thanks for the tutorial! ~Marcy

  11. This is such a great project! I love it and can't wait to come up with some reasons.

  12. Christy, I love where your mind goes when you see something mundane and then make it fabulous. You have the best imagination.

  13. Great tutorial!! I love the old map touch. Thanks!! :-)

  14. I love these bows! The map pages make these very unique!

  15. Love the map bows! They look very professional...I will definitely have to try these. Thanks for posting!

  16. Wow these look great. You tutorial is awesome! Thanks for linking up to Saturday is Crafty Day!

  17. Love the idea of using maps. Too cute! Thanks for linking up!

  18. I'm always looking for new ways for bow this tutorial awesome thank you for sharing it with us!


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