Naked Button Globe - A DIY Globe Upcycle

08 November
Guess what today is?!

It's Thrifty Chicks Wednesday! On the second Wednesday of each month, a group of blogger friends and I participate in a monthly challenge project and we share our projects. It's also a surprise to each of us, we don't tell each other what we are making so we have to wait until reveal day too!

This month's challenge is maps and/or globes. I'm sharing mine here. At the bottom of the post, there will be links to check out the other ladies' projects!

How to upcycle an old globe into a cool conversation piece!
I chose to upcycle this old globe.

Upcycled globe

I have sold several of them at my space at the antique mall. I picked up this one super cheap because it had this ugly, oily stain on it. Since it had the stain I just set it aside thinking I'd do something else with it.

That time has come!

First I removed the paper parts. That took awhile, about an hour to get it all removed!

I tried several different methods for removing the paper but I found that using a razor blade worked best.

I would pick a corner loose and then slide the razor blade under it to get it big enough that I could grab hold. Then I pulled and secretly prayed each time that it would come off in a big sheet... no such luck... little bitty pieces... it felt a lot like peeling wallpaper, I wanted to poke my eyes out, UGH!

I almost gave up several times and went to Plan B... trouble is I had no Plan B!!! But finally, I had a naked globe! I'm glad I stuck with it!

Now, I wanted to recreate the continents with buttons! I saw one on Pinterest once but could never find the actual source for the image... so I decided to make my own!

First I used a small globe I had as a pattern to draw the continents. (Looking back I should have traced them before I removed the paper from the globe, DOH!) I didn't really bother too much with accuracy, I just free handed it using the small one as a pattern for the general shapes.

Then I cut out the paper pattern I created and laid it onto my naked globe and lightly traced it.

I had some vintage white buttons but not nearly enough to complete this project so I bought a couple of packages of all white buttons at JoAnns (THESE and 2 packages of THESE)

I used Aleene's Tacky Glue to adhere the buttons to the globe.

This part really didn't take too long and it was kind of fun arranging all the buttons! I just filled in a small area with glue and then added the buttons.

Until I had one continent done, and then I added a second! I stopped at two but you could totally keep going and do them all!

You can see I used a combination of old and new and white and off-white buttons. I layered some on top of others and filled in here and there with some vintage pearls I had.

Since I stopped at this point my globe was pretty heavy on the side with all the buttons and it kept turning upside down so all the buttons were on the bottom. To remedy this I wired the side bars and top so that it wouldn't turn anymore and then went over that with jute twine to disguise the wire.

I would imagine that if you kept going and adding the continents on the other side of the globe it would even itself out and you wouldn't need to do this part.

I added a little wooden heart in the approximate area where I live (it's in the star circle in this picture).

Oh... and that oily stain? It was still there after I removed the paper from the globe so I covered it with a continent! 😁

I think it's kind of a cool conversation piece now, what do you think?

Now, definitely check out the other ladies' projects here:

Marie - The Interior Frugalista - How to Make Wood Slice Map Ornaments
Tuula - Thrifty Rebel Vintage - How to Make a Decoupaged Silver Tray Map Table
Diana - Adirondack Girl at Heart - Christmas Around the World Star Ornaments
Lora - Lora B. - Create & Ponder - Antique Trunk Refresh

And if you missed any of the past Thrift Chicks challenge projects you can see them all here:


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  1. Oh that's pretty cool! You def need to fill in the other continents and then paint the blue water in between!

  2. Lora BloomquistNovember 08, 2017

    Vintage buttons on a globe; what could be more cool! Love the classic combo of the white buttons on the craft, but getting that paper off...what a job:(

  3. Debra PashkowskyNovember 08, 2017

    I love the look of this. It is a wonderful idea to use up all those old buttons we collect. I do like the look of the nake globe. And the touch of the heart to show where you live is so precious.

  4. Well I just learn something new every day. Never heard of a naked button globe, but it is pretty cool!

  5. Diana PetrilloNovember 08, 2017

    I just love that underneath the map lay that awesome kraft paper--the perfect canvas for your button northern hemisphere :) Neat project that fits in so nicely with your BoHo look!

  6. Nancy CarrollNovember 08, 2017

    Deconstructed perfection!

  7. Yes! I didn't even think of it being deconstructed but it sure is!!


  8. Lol... I just made that name up!


  9. Yah... it was pretty brutal, I hate tedious, boring jobs like that! But it was worth it in the end!


  10. Stephanie AbbottNovember 12, 2017

    Such a cute idea. Love the little heart!

  11. Thank you Stephanie!!


  12. What a cool globe DIY! I'm a globe collector and I LOVE this! Never thought of buying a globe that needed a little TLC but now I will! Thanks for sharing this with us at Vintage Charm:)
    xo Kathleen|Our Hopeful Home P.S. Pinned!

  13. Hi Kathleen, thanks for the nice comment! I went back and forth on this and painting it like a chalkboard.


  14. Michelle LeslieNovember 14, 2017

    That looks so incredibly cool Tania. I seriously love the way it turned out but knowing me I probably would have given up half way trying to remove the paper. UGH, that must have been so frsutrating

  15. I've always wanted to do that, too:) Congrats, I'll be featuring you at tomorrow morning's Vintage Charm #109!

  16. This is such a cool idea, Tania! I love how you added the wooden heart where you live. This would make a great gift!


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