I want a cork globe

• ~300 words • 1 minute read

Per a thoughtful message on Twitter from my friend Benjamin, I was informed I needed this cork globe to mark my travels from the past year. I wholeheartedly agreed and was ready to make an impulsive purchase until I saw the price tag — $200!

So, unless a kindly, blog-reading patron wants to surprise me with a gift, I'll have to figure out the best way to make my own one of these weekends.

I see two approaches:

The super lazy approach

Find someone selling cork balls at a size large enough to draw a map on. I can't find anything larger than these 2" cork balls from Widgetco though. That might still be a fun size to create a tiny globe on though, and they're pretty cheap. This approach is kind of lazy and would probably be highly imperfect.

The less-lazy, much better approach

Buy a roll of cork, create the map via a mercator map projection stencil, cut it out and fold it over a large ball of some kind — or better yet a cheaper globe! Actually, these instructions from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute document the process just about perfectly. I wouldn't be surprised if that's actually how the $200 globe was made.

If you really want to go all-out you could probably find a vector version of the map online and order it pre-cut and engraved via Ponoko. Though once you factor in material costs, cutting time, shipping and the value of your own time invested I'm not 100% certain you're saving a lot of that $200.