by Robbi Lindeman (salt labs)
I create map and nautical chart pillows here at salt labs in Detroit, MI. It seems like a natural evolution for me to be making map pillows. Maps are part of my DNA. I almost can’t walk or drive anywhere without a mental map in my brain of the places I’m travelling to or from. I have to know the north, east, south and west of the place I’m in. In Michigan, one intuitively orients oneself by the surrounding bodies of water, our Great Lakes.
Over the past year, I’ve been on the craft show circuit, first locally, then regionally. I tended to prop my booth with all things map-related that I’ve collected over the years – vintage globes, educational maps, etc. For Chicago Renegade this fall, I needed a much more transportable solution and I realized paper garlands would be the perfect prop – light as the air that animates them.
Indirectly my daughter, Micha, was the inspiration for creating my map paper garlands. She and her buddy, Ben, were constantly making little oragami creations that filled the nooks and crannies of our home. When she returned home this summer, she taught me how to make the traditional water balloon or “bomb”, as it’s called. We spent our evenings together turning old maps into “globe” garlands.
At Renegade, people loved them. Everyone wanted to buy my props. In the end, though, what they really wanted was to know how to make them – everyone loves to craft. So the least I can do is share this neat, little DIY for creating your own garlanded world of little origami "globes".
1. start with a square of map paper (I used 5-inch squares for my garlands)
2. fold both ways diagonally (called valley folds in origami)
3. fold horizontally, then vertically (called mountain folds)
4. bring folds together as shown, like a 3-D pyramid
5. then flatten into a triangle
6. take bottom right corner up to the top, press fold with finger
7. repeat fold on left corner to the top
9. fold side points of diamond to center
10. flip over and repeat on the other side
11. use a thin, wooden stick (or your little finger) to open the center pockets, tuck (or even double tuck) each top flap well into each center pocket, pressing flat with finger
12. repeat on the reverse side, again tucking the top flaps into the center pockets
(notice how flat the flaps are in the pockets)
13. gently pull at the sides to expand into the balloon shape
14. blow into the end with a hole to inflate...et voilà!
15. now make 50 of these (just kidding!) – the number depends on the length of garland you want
16. string the globes along a natural hemp twine 8" to 9" apart, double knotting before and after each placement to keep the globe in place.
PS: Here's an illustrated guide for quick reference: