The marauder’s map was the secret to Fred & George’s success at Hogwarts, and plays a huge roll in the rest of the series. In fact, the marauder’s map is part of the reason The Prisoner of Azkaban is my absolute favorite book of all seven. The first two books is were a warm up, an introduction to the characters, and the plot for each book was nicely wrapped up between the two covers. The third book, however, was the start of the actual Harry Potter story, where we are introduced to the plot that takes us through the very end.
I have never had a tree skirt, and with the amount of detail in the maurauder’s map, I felt that no other type of Christmas decor could do it justice. The skirt gave me just enough room to give the map enough detail, and still look good given my basic painting skills!
Marauder’s Map Tree Skirt
You will need:
- 1 yard of tan or beige cotton or linen fabric
- black acrylic paint
- thin paint brushes for detail work
- pencil for tracing
- Picture for reference, I used pintrest.
1. Start by cutting your fabric into a circle. I used a yardstick placed in the middle, marked each end with a pencil, then grabbing in the center, rotated the yardstick a few inches at a time until I had a perfect circle of marks, then connected the marks and cut.
2. Once you have your circle, cut a straight line into the center. This will be the back of the skirt. If you have a real tree instead of an artificial one, you can also cut out a small circle shape in the center so that the skirt fits more naturally around the trunk. In my case, the artificial stand is small enough that it didn’t effect how my skirt lies.
3. For my map, I started by creating a border on the edge with the repeated phrase “I solemnly swear I am up to no good” and “Mischief Managed” separated by two footprints.
4. This was the semi-tricky part. Using an image on pintrest for reference, I sketched the castle of the map in pencil first. To get a good diamond, I first marked each corner lightly with pencil, then worked on one wall at a time, first marking the 3 towers for a wall so that I would have a clear reference for direction and spacing. I’m no artist, so I know I could easily get going and realize I was way off for a diamond shape.
5. Once I completed my pencil outline, I then went over the entire map in black paint. I’m right handed, so I made sure to start working on the left most corner and worked my way across so there wasn’t any chance I would accidentally smudge the paint with my hand. To do the shading, I would wait until my brush was almost out of paint, and then rub what was left in the brush onto the fabric, which created a nice, softer shade. Once you finish painting the castle, allow to dry completely.
6. Once the castle is dry, you can trace out the letters of The Marauder’s Map in the center of your castle. I do know that in most representations of the map have the entire center filled in with the letters reversed, but I honestly, didn’t have enough confidence in my painting skills to feel sure that the map title wouldn’t look terrible, so I opted for this simplified version, and I’m glad I did!
7. Continuing to reference the picture, I then traced the inscription “Itinerarium Maraudentium” and below that “Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot & Prongs are proud to present”at the top. Go over your pencil with black paint, and allow to dry.
8. The final step is to fill in some of the blank space with footprint trails! Allow to dry fully, and give it the place of honor below your Christmas tree.