Introduction: Countries in a Nutshell; Italy

About: I am a 19 year old student who loves crafting details!

To make a wonderful memory from for example your holidays, you can make a framed map of the country you've visited together with little cultural highlights of the country on the frame itself. I use Italy for an example, but you can make every country shape you'd like :)




Any screen you'd like

Polymer clay

Clay tools

Chalk pastels


A black marker

A photo frame

Your own creativity :)

Step 1: Step 1: Making a Template

I use the internet to find an image of the country's contours. I then use the screen (computer, phone or whatever works for you) as a light box to draw the outlines over on a piece of paper (don't forget Sicily ;p). Then, I search for the country on Google maps (or Osmand) to look for the main road patterns and main cities. For this you can also use the light box method as well, but I chose to draw these details by hand.

Here I chose to highlight the cities Rome, Napels, Milane, Florence, Palermo and Venice.

Step 2: Step 2: Making the Countries Map

Roll out some white polymer clay, approx. 2 mm thick. Lay the template on top and cut around the edges. Use a sharp pin to pinch through the template at the cities' places. You now have your first draft of the country with the cities.

Step 3: Step 3: Colour the Country

Now let's give the map a little colour.

Italy has a very nice flag to colour.

Use chalk pastels to brush gently along the sides. When you brush longer, the less chalk will come off. I use this to make a little gradient as shown in the picture.

As I use white clay, the middle stays unpainted as this is not necessary anymore.

Look at the flag of your own country to see how it should be painted.

Step 4: Step 4: Draw the Cities and Roads

To clarify the cities I made little balls of clay. For the capital I use a red, slightly bigger, ball of clay and for the smaller cities I use smaller black balls of clay. Press them gently down on the earlier pinched places if you want them shaped like a globe, or push a little harder to make them completely flat.

After that, I used the same sharp pin to 'draw' the road pattern in the clay.

Step 5: Step 5: Making the Details

Together with your country you can make little details for your frame. For Italy, I chose to make pizza, olive branches, the tower of Pisa, a Vespa scooter and a little gondola :)

You can use your own creativity (and maybe some help of the internet) to make all the details you'd like for every country

Then, bake the polymer clay according to the package instructions.

I use Fimo polymerclay, which has to be baked at 100 degrees Celcius (212 F) for 30 minutes.

Step 6: Step 6: Calligraphy

While the clay is baking solid, cut out a rectangle which fits your photo frame.

Then, write the name of the country on the bottom. Choose whatever calligraphy style you like and feel free to use your own language :)

One tip: first practice a lot on another piece of paper, so you don't mess up the final product. When you are satisfied of your calligraphy skills, you can first sketch the name lightly with pencil, and when you're satisfied with the position of the name, you can draw the name with a nice black marker.

Step 7: Step 7 Highlight Roads

When the clay is baked, you can glue the country nicely in the middle of your cardboard. You can highlight the roads with a black fineliner.

(due to the lighting the red colour is a little bit different, sorry)

Step 8: Step 8: Putting Everything Together

Then, arrange all details on your frame, and when you're satisfied you can glue them on.

Don't forget to clean the glass front of the frame with glass cleaner, you don't want some fingerprints ruin your beautiful project :)

Step 9: Step 9: Finished Product

Frame the picture and tadaaa, there's your own framed country of your holiday destination/home country :D

Maps Challenge

Participated in the
Maps Challenge