In addition to using them for this DIY map bunting, I recycled pages of an old UK road atlas destined for the bin to personalise some cards that I can send to my nearest and dearest. These map cards can show case some of your favourite place and it’s a great way to share a special place with someone you love. Remember that city break you went on with your best friend or your boyfriend? If you came home with a much relied upon fold out street map you can use this in your card or to make the envelope and send it as a thank you “wasn’t that a fun trip?” note.

Below are two different ways to personalise your card using a map or pages from a road atlas. To follow both you will need an old map or pages from a road atlas (perhaps a couple of A4 pages worth and maybe more for the envelope), some card (you can buy blank cards and envelopes at most craft shops), a pencil, glue and/or sticky tape, scissors, a ruler, paperclips, white paper for the inlay, some colourful embroidery thread or thick cotton and a big enough needle that will go through card.

Firstly ensure that you have your blank card folded and ready by cutting out and folding your required size or pre-purchasing it in gift card size.

Decide what shape you want to cut out and where you want it to be, I would recommend using a stencil or drawing around something to ensure the shape is accurate.

Then line up the map where a special place can be visible. Here’s where the two different cards vary.

For the pink card, which shows the English city where my best friend went to University (where we shared many drunken fun nights) I didn’t have enough map around the destination to create an inlay for my card so I cut out around the place and stuck it straight in behind the heart I’d cut out, correctly positioned so it was visible.

I then chose to insert a white paper inlay to smarten the card up but that is optional, depending on how homemade you want your card to look. Read on below to find out about adding the inlay.

For the other card which features Dublin, a place I shared a great girlie weekend with two great friends many years ago, I had enough of the atlas page to create an inlay for the card. To do this you will need to line up and measure out the size of your inlay so it will show the right place in the cut out chosen shape. On this occasion I simply used the rim of a glass to measure a clean circle in the corner where Dublin was on the map inlay. And I also cut out a white paper inlay the same size as the map inlay.

A few tips for you when creating the inlay sheets;  cut an extra centimetre away from the edge of the map and paper inlay so they are slightly smaller than the card. This stops them sticking out the edge, which can look a bit messy.

Line up all the layers where you want them and ensure they all fold in the same place. Using your paper clips secure the layers in the right place for you to assemble the card with your thread. It is definitely easier to do this when you already have the holes already in place so using your needle poke two small holes in the fold and through all the layers, one approximately one inch from the top and another an inch from bottom of the card.  Then thread your cotton or thread through these holes so the ends meet on the outside of the card’s spine. Pull tight and tie a pretty bow on the outside spine of the card.

Your card is ready to write in and send to your loved ones!

What’s that?! You need an envelope? Well,if you have enough of your map leftover follow these simple steps and you can go all out map-crazy!

1. Place your card on top of the map you’re using to make your envelope. Ensure you have enough paper so that it can fold and enclose your card with at least an inch on either side and above.

2. Mark out where the fold of your envelope will be below your card. Also mark out where the side of your envelope will be along the full length of the paper then trim away the extra inch on the bottom half section up to the fold.

3. Folding the bottom section again, trim away the top “flap” so that it’s only an inch. This will be how you seal your envelope.

4. Cut diagonal corners on the side flaps, which will be folded in.

5. and 6. Fold up your bottom and either glue the side flaps inside or outside of the envelope depending on your preference.

7. Use a sticker or blank piece of paper stuck on the map to write the address clearly on.

8. Seal with a loving kiss… or failing that some glue or sticky tape!

Now post your handmade card to the one you love.

Remember that you can use any paper to make these cards, and in particular old magazine pages look great as handmade envelopes. We Travelettes are big believers in up-cycling and recycling what we can in a creative way in order to look after this world we love exploring. So happy sustainable crafting!


This post was written by Frankie Thompson who was a Travelette from 2012 – 2015. Originally from London, UK, Frankie was nomadic for several years before settling in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where she lives with her Australian partner and baby boy. She spends her time buying vintage dresses, riding a rusty old bike around the canals and writing books inspired by her travels. Frankie blogs about travel, writing and motherhood at As the Bird flies blog.