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It’s been a long summer for me here at Vintagepoetic. A new home in a new state, and a new husband to boot! It was crazy trying to budget for both a wedding and a move, but I was able to use my upcycling skills and make some cute things for our Transatlantic themed wedding.

One of my favorite projects was to make buntings using pennants I made out of old road maps. While I did have to purchase some from Etsy and local antique stores, the majority I was able to get from Freecycle. Maps are great for this sort of thing, because almost everyone has a few stuck in a drawer somewhere that they never use, and are willing to pass on to someone else. They’re colorful and very decorative; I have a number of maps framed around the house as well!

The first thing I needed to do was decide how big I wanted my pennants and make a cardboard guide to use to trace them on the maps. Refolded, I was able to get between three to five flags per map, three and a half inches across at the top. I wanted them to be big enough to paint letters on.

It’s important to keep the maps folded, start at the seam when tracing them out. That way you can slide your cord between the two sides and then glue the two sides together when stringing your flags.

Then it’s time to paint. I found it best to use stencils and a stencil brush for a more uniform look, and that poster paint worked best. I also found that letters had more of a pop when using a glossier map, such as the kind that would come in old National Geographic magazines, but a lot depends upon the color of your paint. I chose a blue and yellow to match my wedding colors, and there were a few pennants where these colors didn’t show that well, (thinks deserts and oceans), so you might want to buy a small sample bottle of paint to begin with and make some test flags first.

As for what you paint on your flags, that’s your choice! For the church, I painted on the attributes of love from 1 Corinthians 13. As both my husband and I are writers, I chose to paint lines from poems we’d written to one another on the buntings for the reception. It’s really up to you and the space that you have. Just be careful and remember, the shorter the line, the better. I had to make over seventy flags for just one bunting.

This project would work just as easily with any other decorative paper, an old encyclopedia, eye charts, posters, newspapers or magazines. The important thing is to find something that matches you and your personality and aesthetic.

Have fun and enjoy!

The cord I used came from Etsy seller Twine and Tape. They’re fast shippers and reasonably priced, please check them out!


Some of the maps I used for the wedding, as well as some of the great vintage maps I have in my home, came from Etsy seller The Candy Shoppe. Again, fast shippers, reasonably priced, a big help!


Love the look butnot the DIY type? Check out Ann Kay’s Etsy shop!