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Upcycled Map Roses

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

Today we are going to go through those closets and find any dusty magazines to turn into gorgeous rose bouquets. These can be used to freshen up your home decor or make excellent party favors for weddings or baby showers!

This project is extremely simple. Once you become used to the technique, you should be able to complete a rose in about 20-30 minutes. There is minimal investment in materials.

Years ago I received dozens of old National Geographic magazines. I LOVE that publication, but the magazines kept stacking up. I even used them one year to add weight to Christmas presents because my husband is too adept at guessing all his gifts based on the size and weight of the packaging.

One evening as I was steeling myself to the inevitability of throwing the magazines in the garbage I started looking through all the inset maps. I realized I couldn't bear to throw those beautiful maps away and decided I would upcycle them into party favors for my upcoming baby shower.

You could use this technique for any paper and while it probably would look beautiful with old dictionary or literary sheets, I personally found the laminate gloss on magazine pages helped to preserve the roses and made them more resistant to tearing during shaping. Also, I'm a fiend for it was a no-brainer for me.


Here is what you will need:

(Photo-bombing corgi sold separately)

Low temperature hot glue gun -- Trust me, if you use a high-temperature glue gun you will burn your fingerprints right off

Floral Tape

Floral Stem Wire

Wire Cutters

Old magazines, book pages, name it!

**Optional: If you choose to make these roses as party favors, I recommend purchasing bud vases to make them individually packaged. In step one I will go through my process to complete the bud vases.


Let's Start Crafting!

Step 1:

**IF you choose to make these as party favors, I highly recommend finding some tiny bottles to serve as bud vases. I determined that actual bud vases would be too expensive so I opted for these small glass bottles. They cost about 25 cents each:

I didn't want the bottom of the floral stem wire to be visible in the glass, so I chose to employ my absolute favorite creative medium...SPRAY PAINT!!! Tape each glass from the top to about 3/4 of the way down and spray paint the bottom whatever color your heart desires. I went for gold.

My extra bottles went to my step-sons, who (with my encouragement) went through a STRONG Harry Potter phase. These doubled as excellent potions vials!

Step 2:

Next you will need to create a template for your flower. This will be comprised of three separate pieces:


(measures about 4" across)


(measures about 4.5" across)


(measures about 3.75" in length)

I went around and around about these templates, but soon realized I was really over-complicating the project. Imperfections increased the reality of the final look and added dimension and variety from rose to rose. I am not an bear with me on these ugly templates.

Step 3:

Cut your floral stem wire to an appropriate length. I was happiest with a stem about 8" in length.

For each rose cut out 4x flower templates, 1x star and 2x leaves. Try to select some variety in colors on your map or other print publication to make each level of petals stand out from the next. Poke a hole in the center of the flower and star cut-outs and use the scissors to cut about 1/2 inch in from the crease of each petal to make the petals more moveable and separate from their neighbors.

Step 4:

Place a blob of hot glue on the end of your floral stem wire. "Blob" is totally a scientific measurement, so make sure to get the amount perfectly right.

Step 5:

Run your first flower cut-out up the stem. This will be the bud of your rose. Make sure the side you want facing out is on the bottom for this first cut-out.

Using your scissors, curl the edges of each petal so the finished side curls upwards. Select one petal and curl it completely around itself, securing with hot glue. This is the center of your rose. Next you will curl the remaining four petals around the center and glue in place.

*A note on glue placement-- usually you want to place the glue on the side of each petal in the direction it is spiraling. HOWEVER...oftentimes you may find that a petal doesn't fit perfectly and should be glued in the center, or bottom, or even in several different places. Be flexible and willing to work with the paper in any way it wants to curl.

Note the bud in the center of the flower, you want the first cut-out to curl tightly. Use your scissors to curl the side of the petal, not the top.

Secure your bud with a dollop of hot glue against the bottom of the stem.

Step 6:

Curl your next flower cut-out slightly to one side of each petal. You can choose if you want to place the finished side facing up or down, depending on how much contrast you want between petal layers. Just remember, your petals should start curling downward from here on out.

Push the cut-out up the stem wire from the bottom and secure with the hot glue you just placed at the bottom of your bud. Try to maneuver this flower cut-out so the petals fit between the bud's petals, to give an overlapping effect. Secure each petal in place with glue.

Step 7:

For the next two flower cut-outs, make sure the finished side is facing up and curl the tips of each petal downward. Stagger your petal placement so they overlap and glue the bottom of each layer to the stem.

Step 8:

Your final layer will be the star, this is meant to represent those little leaves at the base of the rose (forgive me, I'm not a botanist). To give that characteristic swoop to these leaves, curl each petal in two opposite directions. Secure this layer in place with hot glue under the flower petals.

Step 9:

Wrap the stem in floral tape. To accomplish this, simply press the tape tightly to the base of the rose and begin wrapping downward. A few inches from the top, wrap the base of the first leaf into the tape and curl the leaf downward. Once the first leaf is secured, continue to wrap the floral tape a few more times around the stem before adding the second leaf. Once you have wrapped the entire stem, cut the tape and press it firmly to the base of the stem. You can choose to add a small amount of hot glue to the base of each leaf for extra stability.


There you have it! An elegant party favor gift idea that costs next to nothing and recycles those old publications that would otherwise simply be thrown away.


As always, thank you much for following and stay tuned for more hacks, crafts, and project ideas.

Let's celebrate those Mad Mommin' Skills!

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