Folded Paper PANCAKE Maps from Fiber Lab

It's no secret around here that I have a thing for stylish paper objects, especially those with a purpose... so a Twitter link to this image caught my attention as quick as a wink.

pleated paper wall map art of Taiwan displayed outdoors

The shape puzzled me... modern art? a fan? butterfly wing? No, it's Taiwan! I found myself at Fiber Lab, Justina Yang's Etsy shop (you might recall she also designs beautiful tessellated paper lamps), where I learned Justina very recently launched a series of collapsible decor. She describes these PANCAKE maps as dessert for your walls... "When adorable crinkle fans meet sophisticated world maps."  

pleated paper wall map of U.S. held by model

The USA is 30 inches wide, 18 inches high, and 3/4 inch deep, and if my eyes aren't deceiving me, has a built-in op art effect. If you like, Justina will add a specific place marker and also welcomes new map requests.


I asked how the idea came about:

I was trying to come up with a design that's simple in concept (but hopefully clever), and easy to package / ship. I also like the idea that people will be interacting with it - opening, closing, and personalizing. That's what I kept in mind when I created this hybrid of crinkle fan and map. 

pleated wall map art of Vancouver, BC displayed on decorative concrete wall
Vancouver City

I also asked Justina to tell us a bit about the process of creating each map:

I start off with getting the digital coordinates of a map, then calculate their relative position on the "fan" shape. The straight score lines are done in a jig I made - something like this. Right now I am hand cutting the outline, but I am definitely looking into laser cutting and die cutting for the future to speed up the process.  

colorful folded paper bracelets displayed on metal rod

So the link about the jig took me to her blog, titled where techy meets pretty + etc. I immediately settled in to catch up on all sorts of interesting posts and know you'll enjoy them too. If you recall Justina's DIY tessellated paper bracelet with the free folding pattern that continues to fly around Pinterest, I'm happy to report she has created a nifty counterpart for the guys... meet the Fiber Lab bow tie!

origami bow tie on bearded model wearing dress shirt

Here is the bow tie folding template. Follow the same mountain and valley fold instructions as for the bracelet. I'm thinking it would be the perfect way to dress up a Father's Day gift!

Fiber Lab is on Etsy (currently on hiatus) and Facebook.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. Love this idea! Can you do a video showing how the folds go? Thanks in advance!

  2. Those map fans are amazingly creative!

  3. Oh my gosh, amazing work. Now I d/l the bowtie template (thanks) and have no idea what to do with it, but love folding!

    Have a great weekend, Ann!

    1. I hope you'll give the bow tie a try, Molly. I haven't had a chance to make it yet myself, but I loved the bracelet and found it practically folded itself once I had scored along the folding lines. Let us know how it goes!

  4. Why did you took off the pattern on bowtie? I thought it was free but then it was removed? Explain please

    1. Check out Justina's Google+ page for step-by-step photos:

      She is also now selling ready-made bow ties in her Fiber Lab Etsy shop.


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