Introduction: Decorative World Travel Map

Picture of Decorative World Travel Map

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Turn a standard map of the world into a showcase for your travels by plotting the places you've been.

Make a plain wall into a travel diary and source of inspiration.

Step 1: Foam Board

Picture of Foam Board
  • Layer 1 - Lay the foam board next to each other so the total size is larger than your poster
  • Layer 2 - Make a second layer but cut the board in halves and quarters so that none of the seams will lie on top of the seams on the first layer
  • Use spray adhesive to glue the two layers together
  • Use tables and books to hold the layers together while the glue dries.

Step 2: Mount the Map

Picture of Mount the Map
  • Use double sided tape or spray adhesive to attach the map to the board
  • Cut off the excess foam board with a sharp craft knife

Step 3: Plot Your Travels

Picture of Plot Your Travels
  • Push small nails into all the places you have been.
  • Wrap the string around the nails in the order you traveled to each destination
  • Add a drop of super glue under the head of every nail to hold the string in place.

Step 4: French Cleats

Picture of French Cleats
  • Make 4 french cleats out of thick corrugated cardboard by staggering 2 strips and gluing them together with hot glue
  • Make the other half of the french cleats (that will mount on the wall) but chamfer the corners and leading edge so that the cleats will slide together easily
  • Note the ‘grain direction’ of the corrugated cardboard. This is the strongest way to use the cardboard in this application.

Check out butynski’s instructable to see what a real french cleat is made of wood. This will help to understand the concept if you don't know what a french cleat is already.

The cardboard cleats were a bit of an experiment. I wasn't sure how strong they would be but they turned out great. It is very strong and stable.

Step 5: Mounting French Cleats

Picture of Mounting French Cleats
  • Glue the straight cleats to the board with lots of hot glue
  • Slide the cleats to be mounted on the wall into the cleats on the board and add some double sided tape. I added some masking tape to the chamfered edge so that it would grip the cleat and not fall out.
  • Put your map on the wall in the position you want it and then unhook it from the cleats.
  • The wall cleats will remain in place held by the tape in the perfect position. Put some screws in to hold them permanently

Step 6:

Picture of
  • Hang your map by sliding it down over the wall cleats and surround it with your favorite traveling pictures.
  • There are two threads on my map. One for my travels and one for my girlfriends. I twisted both threads for destinations we went to together.


Use gel super glue and use a pencil or toothpick to apply the glue.

I picked an old looking map and copper nails. I think this color scheme works great.

If i was to do this again i would try and use a thicker thread or a color that contrasts the map more.

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thebeatonpath (author)2014-03-18

Hubby and I have been talking about doing this for years. I'm picking up foam board and a map today if I can find a good one!

That's great. Post a picture when you're done. I'd love to see it

Foam board: check. Great map: harder to find. May have to purchase online. Will post once I'm done. So excited! I'm afraid my strings will get a little nuts.

dweinke (author)2014-03-16

very cool... I think I may try this. What type / brand of mp did you get?

Igloo Studio (author)dweinke2014-03-17

Thank you

This is the link to the poster i bought

Its 55" x 39"

cmalone (author)Igloo Studio2014-03-18

For the non-Canadians amongst us,

Igloo Studio (author)cmalone2014-03-18

Well spotted. This is the U.S link to the same poster I used.

The cropping and colouration on the one I had chosen makes it slightly better for this application, eh?

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone whilst eating poutine, and drinking Tims, didn't win the roll up the rim :( Omg is that a Moose?!


You had me at Tims. I married a Canadian and miss that treat.

dlindstrom (author)2014-03-18

Thumbs up. I'm making this for me Father in Law to map his ham radio encounters throughout the years.

Dr.Duckhunt (author)2014-03-17

I started one like this three years ago, but only the province I live. I'm a truck driver and I put a pin in the board for every stop. It's a fun way to see where you've been you've been .

This is a great idea. I just got back from a two month long trip through India, Nepal and Europe and this would be a great way to document it.

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