Picture of Cutting a Path - No Laser Paper Cut Map
I have always had a love affair with maps. They can be a beautiful representation of places we've been or places we want to go. I wanted to display a map in my home, but wanted to be creative with it, so I created this paper cut map.

FYI: I originally created the map a few years back, so for the purposes of this instructable, I'm creating a smaller example for the step by step instructions. 
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Step 1: Gather Supplies

Picture of Gather Supplies
Supply List: 

map (It's important that the map be a detail of a city so that the streets are large enough for you to cut around. My large map was a tourist map from a hotel that I got when traveling. The example in the following steps was printed from an online map.)
paper larger than map (I originally chose to use plain white paper for a minimalist effect, but since my second map is much smaller, I decided to use a magazine image from a large fashion magazine. I would have loved to use an image of the town in the map. Perhaps someone else would like to go that route.)
x-acto knife
optional: frame

Step 2: Placement

Picture of Placement
Tape the map to the back of the paper.

If there's an image on the front, use a window to see through the papers and make sure it's placed the way you want.

I used masking tape, but just about any type that will cut easily with an x-acto would work.
trapper6611 year ago
I used to. I just recently moved down to DC with my fiance, but that harbor will always be a dead giveaway. (I tried using the reply option first, but for some reason my computer wasn't happy with that, so I just decided to reply back here).
Brooklyntonia (author)  trapper6611 year ago
Congrats on your impending nuptials!
trapper6611 year ago
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe I'm looking at the map of the city of Baltimore, MD.
Brooklyntonia (author)  trapper6611 year ago
Ding Ding Ding! Show him what he's won Vanna!
Good eye. Do you live in Baltimore?
Lost Moai1 year ago
I just thought of another application... THEME PARK MAPS!!! Disneyland cut into your favorite Disney movie poster, or Six Flags cut into the Looney Toons logo.
Brooklyntonia (author)  Lost Moai1 year ago
Sweet idea! I love disneyland!
ayer1 year ago
This is beautiful!! and a wonderful decoration!
I am going to do one right now!!!!
How much time did it take to make the big one?
Brooklyntonia (author)  ayer1 year ago
It took about three days working on it after work each day. It's also hard to do too much at once because your fingers get sore after a while, but it was totally worth it.
klixtopher1 year ago
Love the effect of the shadows, especially on all the little fiddley bits around the fjords. Well done!
Beergnome1 year ago
count me as another vote for it actually being "hand cut" with a steady hand and an X-acto knife.

seeing the inspirational art work in the background of the final pics is inspiring.
Janers411 year ago
These make really nice "goodbye" gifts for friends that are moving away. I did one for a friend of mine and situated her house right in the middle. She cried when she realized what it was. :)
rolfy121 year ago
A wonderful idea! I've a couple of maps I wouldn't mind using for a project like this.
Lost Moai1 year ago
Absolutely love this! When I first saw it I thought it was just another laser cutter project, but I hazarded a look because I happen to love maps as well. I can definitely see myself doing this as a way to log visits to other cities. I have maps I've kept from visits to New York, San Francisco, Boston, etc. The big parks would especially make for a good display with all the walking trails and such. Your floating display is also a great idea that looks great.

I haven't been this impressed with an instructable in a while.
I agree Lost Moai. I had to look to see if it was actually "hand cut" as I kinda view CNC and laser cutting as 'cheating'. Great job, Brooklyntonia!
DB.Cooper1 year ago
I cannot begin to say how impressive this is. Voting, Favoriting, Collecting, Copycatting.

Thank you.
KEUrban1 year ago
Have you seen this store on Etsy? Same idea, but cut with a laser cutter:
That looks so cool! It would be fun to do one of these of back home :)
What an amazing Idea :). Thank you so much for sharing. I am gonna do one for sure.
So pretty! I think I need to do one of these from my hometown. :D