How To : Make Bespoke Map Artwork

Having seen these advertised on Etsy and NOTHS at surprisingly high prices I figured it couldn’t be that difficult to make my own… and I was right! They make fab presents if you’re stuck for ideas too – I’ve made them as engagement and wedding gifts for friends and they went down a storm.


You will need:

  • Maps – I raided the car and removed all the old road maps that had been taking up valuable boot space! These have a slightly vintage look as they’ve discoloured over time.  For a more modern appearance you can always print the location sections you need from a map website (Britain and global) This looks especially good in black and white, and you can always mark a special location in colour to make it stand out
  • Frame – I needed a bespoke size for this project,  but I would recommend buying the frame first and fitting your map design within
  • Card / thick backing paper (you may find that your frame already contains a suitable piece of paper)

And these tools:

  • A ruler*
  • A sharp pencil and rubber*
  • Glue stick*
  • Scissors or craft knife* (use what you are most comfortable with)
  • A round object to draw around – I used a sherry glass




Choose your locations – place the round object over them and draw around it with the pencil.  N.B. I don’t use a compass for this to avoid leaving a puncture mark on the map.





Cut the map pieces out, slowly – it’s surprisingly hard to cut a perfect circle!

Remove any remaining pencil marks with a rubber.




Arrange all your pieces on the backing sheet in your desired pattern/design.  Use the ruler to ensure they are evenly spaced (unless you’re just going freestyle!) and secure in place with the glue.  The map paper I used was quite thin, so I only used a very small dab of glue to avoid bumps showing through from behind.




Mount within your frame and hang/lean as preferred.