Craft: Geocaching Map Candles

I collect maps. Everywhere I go, if I see a free map, I have to take it. And if I see somewhere online to send away for a free map, I do. Most states have a department of tourism that will send you maps and travel guides for their area. I have hundreds of maps and decided it was time to finally do something with them. This is the first of what I hope to be a series of projects to do with paper maps.

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I like maps and I also like yogurt, especially Oui by Yoplait. It comes in these super cute little glass jars that are absolutely perfect for a tea light candle. After you eat the yummy yogurt, clean the jar well and peel the label off. Don’t worry if you don’t get all of the sticky adhesive residue; it’ll be covered by the map.

Choose what part of the map you want to wrap the jar. I chose a section of the Kansas map that shows the location of the oldest active geocache, Mingo.

Measure the height of the glass jar that you’re using. For the larger Oui jars, trim a strip of map to be about 2-1/4 inches high and about 8 inches wide. Make sure that your focal point is right in the middle. Then use a straight edge and X-acto knife or paper cutter to get nice straight cuts. Please be sure to cut on a cutting mat and not on your table! At the very least put down some thick cardboard under your project. Start in the middle and work your way out to maintain that your focal point will be front and center. Cut the rectangle into vertical strips, each about an inch or so wide.

Start with the middle strip and use Mod Podge and a foam brush to glue it onto the jar. I used a matte finish, but you can use whatever finish you want. Work your way around, lining up the bottom of the pieces and allowing the top edge to overlap slightly so that the top edge lines up with the top of the jar. I know it feels like you’re covering up part of the map, and yes you are, but I promise it won’t be noticeable once you’re done.

Go over the entire thing once more with Mod Podge to create nice even finish and then let it dry. Once completely dry, add a tea light and enjoy the flicker of your favorite geocaching location.

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