A couple of years back I did a different kind of travel map, right here. But the original map was one that Ryan made me way back in the day for a Valentine’s gift. It had a dot on every city we had been to together, with a string connecting the cities in the order in which we had traveled to them. It was a masterpiece. I found it the other day and I thought it would be super cool to recreate it larger, and with the additional places we’ve been together and now as a family with our kids. So here we are. This thing is a work of art! And we’ve got a free printable so you can make your own DIY travel map too.
- printable map
- small brads
- embroidery thread
- craft knife
- optional: computer, printer, and white paper
- double-stick tape
Make Time: 2 Hours (or less if you have only a few places on the map)
Step 1: Download our printable map and head to a print shop. The map is sized to 11″x17″ to give you lots of space to add your cities. Have them print a color copy for you.
Step 2: Use a craft knife to make a small incision dot on every city you’ve visited.
Step 3: Insert a brad through each dot and fold the metal prongs back behind the paper.
Step 4: Separate a single strand of embroidery thread from a package of floss. (Most embroidery threads have six strands wound together. You’ll need something pretty thin for this so a single strand works well.)
Step 5: Decide which brad to start with. Wind your thread around it a few times and tie it to itself. Trim the end.
Step 6: From there, crisscross the map from city to city, mapping out your travels. If you run out of thread and need more length, repeat Step 5 on your most recent brad and start a new thread.
Step 7: When you get to your final city, tie off the thread in a similar manner.
Step 8: For locations outside the U.S., I approximated their location on a smaller scale, just off the map a bit. If you have locations outside the U.S., label them with a small printed city or country title. We used Century Gothic Bold font, size 7. Print and cut your city or country name and affix to the map with a tiny bit of double-sided tape.
We framed and hung ours so we can marvel at all the traveling we used to do! Granted, the first couple of years of our relationship we were on tour but MAN that’s a lot of cities. There are also a few missing that we’ve been to separately but never traveled to together. And now we have some places, like Tulum, that we’ve been with our little ones. I have a secret dream to have a mural wall of a world map and do the same thing in greater detail. Someday! xoxo